MIAM

MIAM

Sunday, 20 August 2017

It's Nice To Go Trav'ling...

....so said Frank Sinatra.  He also said it was 'so much nicer to come home',  err.... not if you discover a leak under the bathroom basin less than ten minutes after stepping foot back over the threshold and the following day your microwave goes bang .  These things happen I suppose, but I did wonder if I should have stayed in France and after three weeks there, I really didn't want to come home.




I would normally post a travelogue after my trip but I'm concerned that you might be finding them tedious after so many visits to Vendée.  Instead I'm posting a few frivolous thoughts and observations about life across the channel.   

 Mireille Guiliano famously wrote some years ago that French Women Don't Get Fat, but has she been to rural France lately?  Let me tell you, it is a myth that all young French women are chic, skinny and well groomed...they are not.  I saw plenty of overweight women whilst I was there, dressed in unflattering leggings, baggy and over tight tops, devoid of make-up with scraped back hair.  However, there is this notion, perpetuated by many a blog writer, that les françaises wouldn't be seen dead without looking effortlessly put together.        Of course the women I saw may have been tourists but one thing was certain, they were all French. Perhaps British actress Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, an honorary 'froggie' (she was awarded the Légion d'honneur no less) whose views on French vs British women were not well received in some quarters, should get herself down to Le Pays de la Loire as I think she may be slightly out of touch. The stylish and elegant women that I did notice, were locals going about their daily business and mostly over 60.  I wish I'd taken some sneaky photos but I was concerned that I might get caught and offend.

Another thing I've been noticing for a while is how much Anglais has crept into French, something I think is a terrible shame.  We all know about le weekend, le sandwich etc. but du hard discount ??  WTF!       
  L' Acadamie Française has tried to prevent anglicization of the French language, but it doesn't seem to be having much luck does it?  




  Little dogs seem to be everywhere in France, is it a trend or are small canines favoured over the channel?  





I've often read that Paris is a dirty city, I've not been there in decades so I can't comment, but here in the UK I feel ashamed of the litter and fly-tipping that blights our towns, cities and villages.  Litter is not something I noticed in rural France and I remarked upon this to a British friend that I met while there.   We noticed that chewing gum had been jet blasted from les trottoirs, fag ends were absent from the pavements and bins were not overflowing.  Dog poo is very much in evidence though!


As I age, (and I've recently celebrated another shocking birthday, the one where you can take a lump sum from your occupational pension) I'm finding it takes longer and longer to make myself presentable to the outside world.  Sometimes I will just dash out without a scrap of make up, but usually the very least I rely on is mascara and lip gloss.  France is generally a lot more expensive than the UK so I checked out the beauty aisles at the local supermarchés and was pleasantly surprised.  I'm too tight to pay top dollar for high end beauty brands such as Caudalie, La Roche Posay, and Nuxe ...as lovely as they are and rely on less expensive (read budget) products.  I wondered if it was possible to find anything in my price bracket in French supermarkets and found quite reasonably priced cosmetics, mascara and nail polish €3.99, eyeshadow €4.99, sitting alongside the pricier brands such as L'Oreal and Bourjois.  I also found myself a great lipstick in Lidl for €1.29


   
   A friend took this photo of me after viewing my attempt of a selfie and informing me that my neck looked like Deidre Barlow's!  Thanks mate.
Here's Deidre...for any non UK readers she was a famous character in a soap opera, now no longer with us.


Finally, I discovered some fantastic Gallic tunes on the radio and this one, a big hit from les années quatre-vingts is a favourite. The video was directed by controversial filmmaker and photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino.  Enjoy.



17 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! Glad you had a good time in France, I hope that nothing else goes wrong now you are home. Oh and you look nothing like Deidre Barlow! Far prettier!

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    1. Thanks Amy. Fingers crossed nothing since and I've got a new microwave now.

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  2. Welcome back! I'm not surprised you didn't want to go home what with leaky sinks and the incessant rain.
    I love your travelogues!
    I'm perplexed with this myth about French women being so chic - usually perpetuated by American bloggers. Like you say it's only usually the older ladies who look good the rest are no less scruffy or overweight as any other nationality.
    Talking of looking good - look at you! No hint if a Deirdre Barlow neck there. Happy Birthday. xxx

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    1. Thanks love, maybe I'll do a travelogue next time, I'm back out there in a month. x

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  3. Happy birthday Fiona! Not surprised you didn't want to come home, though I would have loved to read your travelogue. How could that ever be boring? I have yet to make a selfie which doesn't make me look awful, and I'm not just talking about turkey neck here. Here in Belgium, a lot of English is being used in shops, advertising and the like. Most of the time, I don't even notice anymore. Unless they make silly mistakes, that is ... I'm surprised about the French, though. xxx

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  4. I think we are ultra critical of ourselves Ann, when other people say they look awful, I always think they look fine. I heard a lot of English words dropped into French on the radio, such a shame because to my ears, French sounds so beautiful. xx

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  5. I know some words don't translate but it never ceases to amaze me, and to be honest often crack me up laughing at the random English words you hear in conversations around my work place.

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday. x

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    1. I went to La Rochelle on my birthday, with friends, it was lovely. x

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  6. Happy Birthday! Fingers crossed all your other appliances carry on working. I did believe the myth about French women, horrifying to think they also wear leggings! I can't do selfies either. Ooh I'd have loved to have seen your travels xxx

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    1. No other domestic mishaps and the microwave has now been replaced. x

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  7. You look so nice and young Fiona, so you can happily celebrate your birthday !
    It seems that most women prefer casual outfits and quick make up all around the world nowadays ...

    Doing good selfies is really hard! I did sometimes but my photos always turned out to be ugly caricatures!

    Best wishes for your birthday!! Don't forget to properly celebrate it!! :-)

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  8. You are very kind Dan. Doing selfies is hard, you are right, especially when you can't see very well. (glasses on, glasses off)
    xx

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  9. Hey. It's me. Cathe from Atypical60! I didn't get the email for your blog then I went into my spam folder and it was there! I'm so GLAD that you and I are on the same page with French Style. I read that French Women Don't Get Fat and it should have had the subtitle (while they are living in the 16th or 7th arr). Bonaparte has noticed that over the past few years, young people in Paris and throughout France are getting a little meatier. I think is because of all the McDo those young'uns are eating! And BTW, that photo of Kristen Scott Thomas after I clicked the link--her outfit is wearing her--she doesn't have French style. She's a great actor though!.
    Who says Paris is a dirty city? I'm an ex-Manhattanite and I ignore dirt and filth. Paris is just fine in my book.
    But the photo of you. I love it!! And I wanna get back to France asap!!! XOXOXOXO

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    1. Hi Cathe
      I agree with Bonaparte, unfortunately I saw quite a few obese kids this year. Yes I think McDo is partly responsible and also there are wide ranges of ready meals and junk food in the supermarchés, something I never thought I'd see in France, but then I guess they have busy lives just like the rest of us. Thanks for the kind comments re my photo, brave eh...no make-up! I'm back over the channel soon for the last time this year. :( xxx

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  10. Hellooo! I really enjoyed reading your blog today and agree that the whole of France can't possibly be swimming in young slim people - how could it! But is the image we hang on to. Jo x

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    1. Thank you Jo, hope you'll come back soon. x

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  11. Happy birthday! Noooooooooooooooooooooo to the leaky sink!!! How dare it!!!
    No to the anglicization of the language too!
    Glad you managed to get some nice bargains too!x

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