• Le grand debat national

    Le Grand Débat National – the big national debate – has got underway in France to gather ideas from the French people for the country’s future. It got off to a bad start when the person organising it, Chantal Jouanno, resigned after criticisms of her €14,666 gross monthly salary. (In...


  • Later Start

    It’s coming too late for my three, but there seems to be commitment from the French Education Secretary Jean-Michel Blanquer to at least have a trial run for starting the day at lycée (equivalent to sixth-form college more or less, but for three years) at 9 am rather than the...


  • Galette des Rois

    Depending on when you consider the First Day of Christmas to be (i.e. either Christmas Day itself, or the day after), Twelfth Night, at the end of the Twelfth Day, falls either on the 5th of 6th of January. This is when you can eat your galette des rois. Let’s...


  • Great Balls of Fat

    We’re feeding the wild birds here at Les Fragnes, and have been for a few weeks now. I’ve hung fat balls out in the trees several times before over the years, but until recently they were always met with deep suspicion and ignored. Perhaps this sudden interest in our fat...


  • Christmas food in France

    So what have French people been eating over Christmas? In our household we’ve stuck firmly to an English Christmas. During our fourteen years in Ireland we never crumbled either. We never made the adaptation to having ham as well as turkey at Christmas, or salted cod or spiced beef in...