Walking on the high side in France

Written by on August 5, 2017 in Newsletter from France

I learned a new French expression recently: Tenir le haut du pavé. It means to succeed in life but its literal translation is to walk on the high side of the pavement. What’s that all about I thought to myself. Well the saying dates back to the middle ages. In French towns, waste water (and other things) were chucked onto the cobbled streets. The streets were therefore built sloping into the middle so that the waste would run down away from doors. If you were rich in those days, you could walk on the high side where it was cleaner, if you were poor – you had to walk in the middle. Plus ça change as they say in France, nothing changes! To walk on the high side indicated you as a rich/successful person. During the French Revolution, protestors tore up cobble stones to throw at authorities – as much symbolic as convenient. Which brings us back to Bastille Day, the commemoration of the day that’s said to mark the French Revolution and the birth of a new nation.

Meanwhile, I have named my two orphan chickens – Ken and Barbie (you can see them on my Instagram page). Ken loves me and follows me everywhere. He has taken to throwing himself at the window of the house to try to get to me or sitting on a bench by the kitchen window staring in folornly. I have never been stalked by a chicken before – it’s a little bit freaky.

And one last thing – my book “My Good Life in France” has been published in Australia. You can get the Kindle version on Amazon and paper at Booktopia and in bookshops (more details here).

This is an except from the newsletter from July 15 with highlights on Epernay, Champagne, historic bars in Paris, Reims Champagne and more…

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