Things we love about France (and there are lots)


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #1

As the weather is being so kind and the light nights are about to kick in, why not spend some time reflecting on what you love about the country you have adopted as home?

However, trivial , list it here, and I am sure the list will be very, very long!



I love the fact that parking is either cheap or free, you can park on the pavement and you NEVER have to pay during lunch time - how very civilised!


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #2

My sister killed one in the car, so we ate it - all!


(Nickie Kirke) #3

We (well hubby to be exact ) are living in hope that someone will leave prepared boar on the doorstep! As you say people who really don’t have much are so prepared to just give away what they do have. I reciprocate with jam and loaves of bread (with a soft crust)


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #4

I came home once to a massive basket of haricots verts and they were already topped and tailed!
My friend had a sliced boar liver left on her doorstep once!


(Nickie Kirke) #5

I’ve been so touched by people’s generosity - from the mysterious person who burns off my potager for me each year to clear the ground, to the carried bags of tomatoes left on the doorstep. This never happens in the UK!


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #6

We too have neighbours like that - they always repay you - with home made cheeses, pates, tarts, fruit, or anything else they have, which is not much really.


(Nickie Kirke) #7

How true that nothing seems to be wasted. We are just starting a barn renovation project and have managed to find people eager to remove old straw bales we were going to burn and all manner of “junk” that we have no use for but someone else clearly does. Recycling / barter / gifting actually seem to work here and everyone profits.


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #8

I agree - our commune has recently announced that they will be becoming greener, and using less noxious weedkillers, so we will see a few more dandelions in the hedgerows, which is fine by me.
The wood stacks are a work of art, and reflective of the fact that nothing here seems to go to waste.


(Nickie Kirke) #9

Still a relative newbie but love the way the countryside is maintained - ditches have been cleared, wood is neatly stacked, fields are ploughed - there is a palpable sense of pride in and connection to the landscape.
I love that I’ve bought citrus trees which are so laden with fruit I’ve had to remove some to stop the boughs breaking.
I also love it that everyone says “bonjour” even passing motorists. And there was me thinking I’d become invisible in the UK!
We haven’t quite worked up the courage to leave the cars unlocked yet, but we know many, many people around here do.
Most of all - knobbly, seasonal, affordbale food


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #10

The weather - clear blue skies and warm - time to potter in the garden, welcoming friends for a quiet drink in the evenings when it’s warm enough to sit out. We are truly blessed.


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #11

The variety in wines year on year
Discovering a new delightful wine for under ten euros
The seasonal nature of the markets with piles & piles of vegetables looking their finest
The friendliness of my village
The lovely Dr who prescribes homeopathic or alternative medicines rather than simply saying 'just take paracetamol’
And the fact that our lovely Dr will come out for home visits
That we feel we can manage with 1 car (local shop, boulangerie, cafe, restaurant & Dr’s home visits in emergencies)
The local playgrounds where my children can play in the sunshine most of the year
My great neighbours who let my cat move in with them even when there is no end date in sight
The fact the plumber from the next village who came out to fix my ‘calcaire blocked shower’ when asked “how much?” said “Cadeau” :slight_smile:
Ah I could go on…


(Sandy Whitehead) #12

I love that I can take my broken extending pruning gizmo to the chaps at the local agricultural store, and they dont try to sell me another one, they rummage around and find another spring, I had also completely forgotten the word for spring so lots of silliness around ‘printemps’ and the fact that both the Spring weather and the spring from the gizmo had disappeared so therefore it must be my fault!! It was decided they were both in my bay hedge!!

Then they charged me 2euros40,!!

I then went to the dechetterie, and the lady who works there had her very beautiful 4 month old Mal puppy with her to socialise him, and also asked me if I would be in later in the week as her daughter was a bit stuck on her English presentation. So she’s going to ring me, take it in with her and I’ll see if I can help. Thats the same lady that helped me pull some old windows out of the skip to make cold frames, and pallets to make a chicken house.

I love it all!!


(Kirsten Stroud) #13

Go on then, sort it! :wink:


(Catharine Higginson) #14

Where’s the like button?!


(Kirsten Stroud) #15

Taking daughter to work with me and someone else there having to bring two of their lambs with them as they’re being bottle fed, then watching daughter bottle feed them and play with lambs and her being able to run freely without me worrying if she’s safe (OK this obviously only applies for rural life in France!)


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #16

…sitting out and chewing the fat in the warm sunshine - in March!


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #17

I recall, it was just to have an update gossip about it all!