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!

Do you? Would you? Have you?

Driven in France, that is. If you haven’t, would you?

For those of us from the UK, there is always the thorny question of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. This was an opinion frequently expressed by my students. I, of course, always pointed out that this wasn’t ‘wrong’, just different. I also intimated that it might be us Brits who are the odd – ones – out, as the majority of the world (but not all) drive on the right!

Driving in France has its challenges and may not be for the faint hearted. French drivers drive fast but, in my experience, do follow the speed limits when driving through villages etc. They are terrible for tail-gating and will sit one centimetre from your bumper. This I find not only annoying but dangerous. They also ‘crow – hop’ and don’t get me started on their overtaking techniques… However I think that, in general, the lane discipline on French motorways is very good.

The only time I had an incident while driving in France was when I was looking at some pompiers  (firemen) who were unraveling their hoses. My lack of attention resulted in a dented bumper when I collided with a parked car…

Here’s a light hearted video in which a Frenchman tries to educate a Brit about the correct way to drive in France:

I’d love to hear about your experiences of driving in France!

Breathtaking beach …

But where am I?

Brittany? Les Landes?

No, Fancying France has been on a walking break in South Wales!

I know some very beautiful French beaches but Rhossili Bay, on the Gower Peninsula, never fails  to take my breath away with its stunning views and wonderful – if strenuous  – walks!

Do you have a favourite beach? I’d love to know.