Where are you posting from in France?

The ongoing discussion on a suggestion to ‘flag’ topics prompts me to make another proposal to improve the effectiveness of SF.
Many posts are made that require an understanding of where the poster is writing from - this is a vast country, with immense local variations, and often the question can be very parochial. Many posts ask for advice based on the experience of other SF members - but what happens in Brittany can be very different to life in Provence.
I therefore suggest that everybody’s ‘moniker’ should include a Département number, and a major local place name. Some Départements are huge in themselves, and experiences can be very different from one place to the other.
What do you think? . . . and whilst we are about it, why are we asked to create a a ‘nom de plume’, when posts are published under our actual name anyway?


The last point is the easiest - because that’s a standard feature of the forum software.

Though useful putting locations in might be more controversial. I do but I don’t actually live in France (I’m a 2nd home owner) but others might not be comfortable with that. We had enough discussion on photos vs avatars & this trays into the same territory.

I have no problem advising I live in 71.

Ditto 56, less sure about the “major local place name”.

Despite living in France, our closest major local place is Geneva…
(Edit…and first home in France was in Paris)


81 but also lived in 12, 15, 13, 22, 34, worked in 46, some time spent in 17 too… quite a valid point which came to light on the “dog poo and zebra crossing” post. The regional differences are huge and affect how people responded to that.


I’m not telling but I’m near Andrew…

Blimey Andrew, you’ve moved around a bit. Was the Cantal really as cold as I imagine ?

Hi Michael and welcome back.
There’s already a place in the registration pages to include your location.
It’s found under Preferences > Profile >then move down the page to Location.

If that bit is filled in, people who need to know where you are can simply click on your avatar and your page will show your location (if you have filled it in) as you can see from Peter Bird’s profile.


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Yes, Peter, 2005/2006 the winter when we had a metre of snow in 24h and -22°c. I worked in Aurillac, bloody freezing! But far less wind than here, OK when it was a cold and dry but cold and wet wasn’t good at all.


Similar, but different : lived in 2B, 55, 69 , and 63, studied in 67 and worked in 42.
Oh and spent a short while commuting in from 92 to the 15e arrondissement in Paris for work, which I hated in the extreme.

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Somewhere in 47.

I’m with you on this Michael.
Whenever there is discussion on SF about cultural behaviours I’m astonished by:

  1. How different people’s experience is in different places, and
  2. How easily they generalise their local observations into characterisations of ‘France’ or ‘the French’.

Just how diverse France is is perhaps clearer to me here in Brittany because it is very conscious of its cultural distinctiveness - I’m linked on other social media with the independence movement - it is a live issue here - but there are similar differences across France that I feel Brits are unaware of because they (the differences) are not so in-your-face as they are here.

I recommend Robb’s book The Discovery of France to everyone - a very scholarly account in English of how ‘France’ and ‘the French’ were invented mainly during the 19th century, and have very shallow roots indeed.


Oh yes Geof. SW France is very much aware of that. Not just “invented” but “invaded”. Like Brittany, this part of France has its own language, own culture. Some neighbours years back were returning to the UK and the mayor asked them not to sell to Parisians! The local community would rather have the British than anyone from Paris. :grin:


There’s a R4 podcast series called how to invent a country with Misha Glenny… I actually found Scandinavia much more interesting than the french episodes…but overall they are interesting.

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I started in the 14 in the 70s, went to the 16 in the 80 s, then the 87 in the 90s and presently in the 81.

Looking to maybe move on to the 30,32 or 47 areas, any advice anyone ?

Yes - the same is true in the UK of course - ‘British culture’ was largely a Victorian invention.

Don’t get the Bretons started on Parisians!
But - similarly - in my old UK home in Northumberland, Londoners were widely despised.

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People always used to ask where was our closest coastline and I replied Lake Geneva.


I’ve never lived so far from the sea as I do now. 200km as the crow flies to the Atlantic or the Med.

Me too.

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