Guest Blogs

The story of the Matisse Chapel in Vence, south of France

Written by on April 20, 2018 in Guest Blogs
The story of the Matisse Chapel in Vence, south of France

Night Nurse Needed – Should be young and pretty. This was the ad Henri Matisse placed with the nursing school in Nice, France in 1942. He was seventy-two years-old and still working while recovering from a serious surgery. He required constant care and needed someone to fill in while his regular night nurse was away. […]

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Louis Bleriot the first person across the English Channel by air

Written by on April 20, 2018 in Guest Blogs
Louis Bleriot the first person across the English Channel by air

France, especially in the north, has long had aeroplanes and aviation entrenched in its genes. There have been many great French air pioneers both male and female. Louis Bleriot was born in Cambrai and he was perhaps one of the greatest exponents. Louis Bleriot, Aviator Bleriot, from his earliest adult days, had an instinct for […]

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The Bridges built by the Devil in France!

Written by on April 9, 2018 in Guest Blogs
The Bridges built by the Devil in France!

The town of Vallespir, Céret, formerly in the region Languedoc-Roussillon, now the newly created super region of Occitanie, has a beautiful stone bridge spanning the river Tech. Built over twenty years between 1321 and 1341, it had, at the time, the longest single stone arch of any in the world. Known as the Pont du […]

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A family’s experience of moving to France

Written by on March 19, 2018 in Guest Blogs
A family’s experience of moving to France

Girton, Cambridge.  Nice house, good jobs, lovely friends. The most frequent question I’m asked is, ‘Why did you leave the UK?’  The most honest answer is that we left because we could.  I mean, why not? We were happy in Girton, but sometimes it’s a case of wanting to do something different, something a little […]

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Walking the historic streets of Paris

Written by on March 12, 2018 in Guest Blogs
Walking the historic streets of Paris

If you know Paris, you will have walked over the Pont Neuf, the creation of King Henri IV (1553 – 1610), visionary, lover, pluralist, urban designer, and soldier, who inherited the throne (1594) as the bloody civil Wars of Religion between Catholics and the “heretic” Protestants were still raging. The fanatics hated him because he […]

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The history of Cypress Trees in Provence

Written by on March 6, 2018 in Guest Blogs
The history of Cypress Trees in Provence

Where ever you look, slender, conical cypress trees in Provence are a definite feature of the landscape. They line roads, outline fields, decorate cemeteries, and adorn houses. These sturdy, practical trees protect crops and homes from the fierce mistral wind that whips through this area. But, there is more to them than meets the eye. […]

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The importance of cheese in France

Written by on March 5, 2018 in Guest Blogs
The importance of cheese in France

I spy with my expat eye – a view of France from the inside… When Keith van Sickel and his wife Val began spending time in France, they knew that they had much to learn. There was the language, of course, but also the customs and quirks of the French. Little did they know that […]

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The rules of boules – it isn’t just a game in France

Written by on March 5, 2018 in Guest Blogs
The rules of boules – it isn’t just a game in France

Boules is a serious business in France, it’s not just a game but a way of life… An introduction to boules Anton crouches, motionless. He cups a scuffed metal ball in his right hand, his face the picture of concentration. Seconds go by. A minute. The other players are silent as they wait for his […]

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How to fake speaking French in just one minute

Written by on February 15, 2018 in Guest Blogs
How to fake speaking French in just one minute

This might be just the thing for those of us who want to fake French with zero effort, well except for watching a 60 second video. Oliver Gee, an Australian journalist in Paris who runs a podcast called The Earful Tower shares his top tips for how to fake French and fool everyone (maybe)… Here’s […]

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Give us this day our daily bread in France | Les Porteuses de Pain

Written by on February 6, 2018 in Guest Blogs
Give us this day our daily bread in France | Les Porteuses de Pain

If you like bread, then when you’re in France you probably stop by the boulangerie every day to buy a baguette, croissant, or one of the other tempting treats that you will find inside. But if you were a bourgeois, or wealthy, family in the nineteenth or early twentieth century and lived in a town, […]

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