National Cheese day, French cheese and more

Written by on June 7, 2020 in Newsletter from France

Market stall in France piled with cheeses of all sorts


I truly hope you and yours are well.

Sone days I think, I’m ok at this talking French malarkey. I’ve wandered into builders merchants, ordered up tons of ballast and hundreds of bags of cement so we can lay floors in our rickety old house and acrow props (poles that hold the house up), even hinges for shutters. But other days I’m stumped for the right words.

So, you know last week I told you that Jean-Claude has a secret pumpkin patch he hides from his wife Bernadette. He’s hatching a plan to grab back the title of biggest pumpkin in the valleys whilst she, sensible woman, would rather he spend his days growing food they can eat. Last year he grew more than 50 pumpkins – there’s only so much pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup that anyone can take. My suggestion that it might be used to make pumpkin wine was not well received. And yes, there is such a thing.

Anyway, I had a load of emails last week – thank you so much to everyone who wrote to me – overwhelmingly in favour of Jean-Claude’s bid for pumpkin fame. So, when I saw him I thought I’d tell him that there are people in America, UK, Australia, Italy, Spain and all around the world who are rooting for him. I was sure he’d be tickled pink.

And that right there is the problem. In our everyday lives, the words we use in our own language are comfortable to us and we all know what they mean because we grew up with them. But telling Jean-Claude that we are “rooting” for him and he’ll be “tickled pink” in French would only confirm what my neighbours suspect: the only Brit in the village is off her trolley (mad).

I managed to tell him in less colourful phrases, and he now thinks that he is famous and says “merci.” Actually he said lots more because, typically French, he cannot just say one word when 101 words will do! He also says we’re in for a very hot summer – he claims to be able to read the weather forecast from ant and frog activity. Shortly after, it started pouring with rain so I’ll take that one with a pinch of salt!

I wish you and yours truly well from my little pig sty.
Bisous from France

ps Every day on FacebookTwitter & Instagram, I share a daily dose of France in photos. The most popular this week was the top picture of cheese which I took at the Orangerie restaurant at the Chateau de Chenonceau. It was National Cheese Day this week, but don’t worry if you missed it because its a very French thing – today is Cheese Day, and tomorrow, and the day after that and then every day after that!

Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print & audio, on Amazon everywhere & all good bookshops online, and My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life

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