Dogless in France

I love France. I love dogs. I was brought up with dogs.

Our sons were brought up with dogs.

These are last two family dogs: Cassie, our beautiful Flatcoat Retriever and Brillo, our rescue lurcher.

However, we are currently dogless. This is for lots of reasons; we are virtually empty nesters, we spend a lot of time travelling between SW France and SE England and we are only too aware of the responsibility in taking on another dog…or two!

To fill the gap we decided to become #Trusted Housesitters. This is an organisation which ‘connects home and pet owners with trustworthy animal lovers who sit for free.’ I quote! I can thoroughly recommend Trusted Housesitters should you want to travel and look after animals. Equally, if you have pets and don’t want to put them in kennels, this could be ideal. Here’s the link to their website:

https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/how-it-works/

Our first sit was for two beautiful young Border Collies and our second! In fact we’ve stayed friends with the owners of the collies and we still meet up for walks and meals.

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Next, we looked after a gorgeous labradoodle, two budgies and a geriatric rabbit!

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We’ve also looked after my sister’s Blue Heeler puppy, a friend’s long haired, white, German Shepherd and the young cats which belong to my son and his girlfriend.

This has helped to fill the dog shaped hole in our lives…to some extent…!

However, I have discovered that there is a dog rescue centre, in Carcassone,  where I can volunteer:

http://dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/

I have volunteered at a rescue centre, previously.  And, yes, we did end up with a rescue dog! He lived with us until he was sixteen.

This post was originally intended to be about breeds of dogs originating from France but I appear to have sidetracked myself!

Here are two other dog related posts I wrote  earlier:

This one is about dog poo! Yes, really! Or rather the lack of picking up that is generally done in France:

https://fancyingfrance.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/i-need-to-talk-about-dog-poo/

And this one is about the naming of dogs in France:

https://fancyingfrance.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/naming-dogs-french-style/

I still like to think a dog(s) is out there for us somewhere!

Are you a dog lover? Do you travel with your dog?

 

 

 

 

 

Snack

This was the prompt word that popped up in ‘The Daily Post’ email I received from WordPress the other day. It prompted me to thinking about snacking in France.

When I’m in France, I don’t snack. Conversely, when I’m back in the UK, I find it far too easy to nibble between meals; crisps and biscuits being my usual snacks of choice. Why?

It may be a huge generalisation but, in my experience, the French don’t snack. This may, of course, be changing… Le fast-food, for example.

Such books as ‘French kids everything’ and ‘French women don’t get fat’ exemplify the not eating snacks myth. If it is a myth?
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Certainly, le goûter, which is mainly eaten by children around 4pm, is a French tradition. I remember being quite surprised the first time I came across a chunk of chocolate slapped in the middle of a baguette!

IMG_0130Photo courtesy of Pinterest: http://www.painlaboulangere.com/fr/pains/pain-gouter/gouter-petits-pains-barres-chocolat

The nearest I get to snacking when in France is when I have something to accompany an apéro …

I’ve come to the conclusion that snacking may be a cultural habit? What do you think? I know I have readers from all round the world, as well as France and the UK. So, I ‘d love to know if you’re a snacker! And, if you do snack, what is your snack of preference?

Crisps, chips and French fries…!

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I love language, in the fullest sense. I don’t, particularly, love crisps, chips or French fries! But I do eat them occasionally.
Why, I ask myself, are crisps, in France, called ’les chips’? So, in an attempt to find out, I wasted spent too much time doing some ‘research’.
The word ‘crisps’ is used in the UK and refers to thin slices of potato (or vegetables nowadays) sold as a snack. These are usually called “chips” in America. However, the word “chips” in the UK refers to what in America are called “French fries” or “fries”.

Are you with me?! In Canada, I have read, crisps are often called “croustilles” in French speaking areas. As I yet have to visit Canada, I can’t verify this! Also, in the French speaking parts of Canada and also in Europe, French fries are usually called “frites”…

Have you lost the plot yet…?!
Along the way I have discovered a mad interesting blog all about crisps:

https://ablogaboutcrisps.blogspot.fr/

Although I’m not a crisp fan, I do have a weakness for these:IMG_0112Are you a fan of crisps/chips/fries or do you have other favourites?

This post is linked to:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/Crisp 

I never knew…

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A friend, very kindly, posted this on my Facebook page. I wonder why 😳?!

We have been friends for a long time – over twenty five years – and we used to teach in the same Languages Department in a secondary school. She has never forgotten the occasion when my eldest son was shopping with his childminder. They arrived at the wine and my son pointed and said ‘Mummy juice’. Ah, the shame … but very funny, nevertheless!

Are you…very superstitious?

As it’s Friday 13th I thought it would be interesting to revisit the subject of superstitions and the differences and similarities between superstitions in France and the UK.

Are you very superstitious? I like to think that I’m not really but, nevertheless, find myself walking around ladders, saluting magpies, and uncrossing knives; much to the amusement of my family! However, this got me thinking again about the differences between superstitions in France and the UK. I am fascinated by cultural similarities and differences, in general. I am already aware of several superstitions from France but my research has helped me to discover even more!

If a bird defecates on you, in the UK, this is considered good luck! However, the French believe that it is stepping in dog poop that will bring you good luck – as long as it is with your left foot! With the amount of dog poop that I see around in France, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get lucky!

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Hanging a horse shoe outside your door can bring you luck in France, if hung in the French way. This means hanging the shoe upside down – well, not as far as the UK is concerned! We believe that all the luck will drain out, if the shoe is inverted.However, for the French the luck will pour down on you!
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Superstitions about black cats vary a lot, depending on what you read and where you happen to be. Black cats are traditionally supposed to be the familiars of witches and if one crosses your path, in France, this brings bad luck. In the UK, it’s good luck when this occurs because the black cat hasn’t noticed you!cat-1387052-640x512

I was very surprised to learn that, in France, if a pregnant woman sees an owl, the child will be a girl.

The number thirteen has always been lucky for me but generally it is perceived as unlucky in the UK. However, the French will stock up on lottery tickets on Friday the 13th but also believe that having thirteen people around a dinner table is very bad luck indeed.

There are many more aspects of superstitions I could write about and I would be very interested to know if you are superstitious and particularly about any other French superstitions that you may know.

Must hurry;  I’ve just knocked over the salt cellar and need to throw some salt, over my left shoulder, into the eye of the devil…and I must remember not to put my new shoes that have just been delivered on the table!

In the meantime, here’s a clip about French superstitions – ironing my husband’s underpants? I don’t think so. I’ve got far more interesting things to be getting on with..!

How to make Kir Normand — The Good Life France

I have written before of my love of the French custom of having an apéritif; especially a Kir or a Kir Royale. Therefore, I was very interested to read this article that was in ‘The Good Life France.’ I don’t think I have ever tried a Kir Normand but I certainly will the next time I am in Normandy! I hope you will enjoy this article as much as I did.

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Kir Normand is a derivation of the classic French aperitif called a Kir which is traditionally composed of white wine and fruit liqueur. The Kir Normande is popular in Normandy, famous for its apple orchards and this liqueur really is all about the apple. Made from cider and mixed with Calvados, an apple brandy and…

via How to make Kir Normand — The Good Life France

A shopping spree…

What are you thinking? Designer handbags, fabulous French fashion, perfume…

These suggestions couldn’t be further from reality!

a-shopping-spreeThese are the first purchases for the new home.

You may spot rubber gloves, toilet paper, kitchen towels, a toilet brush – to name but a few items – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m not complaining, however. I’m delighted!