Bonjour and bon weekend from France, August newsletter

Written by on August 19, 2018 in Newsletter from France

Bonjour
Hope you had a good week. We’re still in lazy mode here in France – it’s an August thing. When I say “we” I don’t mean me and the other half. No such thing as lazy in this house! We live in hope of one day waking up in the morning and thinking “ooh no renovating to do”, and having time to make the garden look good, but that day seems a long way off right now.

For “we” I mean everyone else here in France! I’m still stunned that anyone would close a restaurant for a break – during August. I mean, it’s when they’ve got to be at their busiest with everyone on holiday. Half of me rather likes that family and their own “me” time means more to them than making money. It wouldn’t happen in London that’s for sure. The other half of me thinks it’s totally bonkers!

You’d think I’d be used to it by now, the things that are so different in rural France from uber urban London where I was born and lived most of my life. Some things I have really come to accept and adopt. Like being friendly to neighbours and strangers. Maybe friendly isn’t the word, courteous might be better.

When I lived in London, I had the same neighbour for almost twenty years. We got the same train to work every day and worked in the city. And yet, we rarely interacted. Once when she was cutting her grass in the back garden, and I was cutting mine, somehow we couldn’t resist saying “snap” over the fence. Other than that, we never spoke on the way to the train station despite being just yards apart. London is so crowded that people value their little bit of space and don’t want anyone coming into it.

Here – it’s the total opposite. We have a ton of space. I can drive to the shops which are about 8 miles away and I’ll likely only pass a couple of cars and a tractor, though if it’s lunch time, the road is totally empty. I pass more animals than vehicles. This time of year the hedges of hawthorne, wild roses, sloes and hazel are brimming with pheasant, rabbits hop happily about, buzzards circle the fields and even deer and wild pigs venture out of their hiding places.

Nowadays, when we meet someone new, I instinctively say bonjour instead of trying to edge away and avoid eye contact as I did in London, and as was expected of me. In fact, even in London I speak to people, spreading a bit of joy as I go (!), or leaving them looking at me with furrowed brows!

Whatever you have planned, wherever you are, I wish you a bon weekend,
Bisous from France,
Janine
Editor
ps The photo is of La Roque Gageac, Dordogne, one of the most popular pics on my Facebook page this week in our A-Z of France month…<

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