Tag Archives: france


I use this word a lot.  Especially with my kids. It is Irish slang for idiot, but is meant in an affectionate way.  People tend to call you an eejit and cuff you over the ear.

Most people I know are eejits in one way or another; we ALL have our own particular eejitin’ ways.  Once must embrace that part of one’s soul otherwise one becomes uptight and obnoxious.

My kids who are half Irish/French have learnt the following exchange by heart:

Me:    Where’s your togs?  (togs = swimsuit, might be another Irish word, tbc)

Child:  I dunno

Me:    Did you look for them?

Child: Like – everywhere

Me:     Really?  Absolutely everywhere?

Child:  Gallic shrug, makes huge innocent eyes that somehow seem to rotate around the side of their head

(We both toddle off to their bedroom)

(Togs on floor beside bed / in their place in the wardrobe)

Me:      Seriously? They’re right there.  You didn’t look at all.  This happens every time!  What are ya?

Child  (and everybody else in the family): I’m an EEJIT!!

(cue much giggling and me giving child in question a number of light cuffs over the head, togs sail about the place as we do our best to lose them again)

Eating like a Frenchie

Himself brought home figs from the market yesterday and declared “they’re bloody in season so I says bloody heck I’m gonna buy some”.

The French have this thing they call “manger de saison“.  It means only eating fruit and veg that is in season.  It’s not very revolutionary and up until globalisation everybody had to do it.  But what is interesting is that the French, stubborn and headstrong as they are the wee devils, insist on continuing the tradition.  And it’s not even a hipster thing.

So why the culinary grit?  Apart from their adorable stubborn streak they reckon it tastes better, is more aligned with your nutritional needs, is less processed, costs less, has less carbon footprint and so on.  And after much navel gazing and not much scientific proof I reckon they’re right.

Having said that I can’t keep track of it because there are so many fruit and vegetables and I am admittedly a bit monomaniac when it comes to spuds.  But French kids learn it as they grow up and it becomes a part of their DNA.  Pardon the pun.

As an Irish girlie growing up in the eighties my main memory of figs growing up were fig rolls.  I used to love discovering them in my lunchbox at school.  Imagine my surprise when I saw what a real fig looks like.  Sorry Mum maybe you gave me real figs and I don’t remember.  Although I suspect you don’t give a fig.  Giggle.


So here’s the deal if you want to eat fruit like a Frenchie!

I think I am going to print this in an effort to learn it




La Brocante

One of the great traditions and more wonderful things about life in france is “la brocante”.

La brocante is defined as flea market, bric-a-brac, garage sale or a market for antiques.

DSC02364I have always have liked the idea of la brocante and bartering over old French furniture  with a wiley frenchie wearing a beret on a beautiful French pavement in the sunshine.

Chick Lit, moi?
This image is probably due to the reading of many different chick lit. books. Frequently involving young energetic ladies moving to france and renovating their old romantic French farmhouse and falling in love with the local rustic type.

Or alternatively slightly older dynamic ladies who have successful businesses based in London which specialize in finding old French furniture and whose husband runs away with the diabolical au pair but for whom there remains hope thanks to the handsome guy who owns the flower shop next door.

The possibilities are quite frankly endless where french men, french furniture and  french farmhouses/anything are concerned.


Anyway himself loves brocantes.   He is like a child in a toyshop.

french brocanteWe have a lots of old typewriters and gramophones and things like this at the house.

Anybody know what this is?


Fun for all the family

The kiddies love it too.  There are always a few stands with boxes of toys so they are always able to find some precious treasure. In general it leads to heartfelt disucssions about whether one should pick 3 wee cars at 50 cts each or two books at 1 euro each. They love it and seem to get more out of the experience than buying new toys. Most of the time the people managing the stands are pets and throw in a wee dinosaur for free.

Cherie, what on earth is that?

Plus, there is frequently lots of really weird stuff that people seem to think other people want to buy…in one visit to our local brocante I came across the following:

brocante stuffed snake

stuffed snake

(actually there were two)

french brocante



bare naked ladies (again we have two)

french brocante

 old skis!  perfect for your rustic French cafe/restaurant/whatever

stuffed animal

holy god, another scary scary stuffed (what is it?)

hound from hell I’ll warrant?

french brocante


2nd hand shot bottles.

where did they come from? what will they be used for?

a mystery…

murano glass

100 year old murano glass beads (for interior decoration & women’s jewellery)


and last not but least, my personal favourite:

grumpy woman statue

(she looks like she is thinking “who did I wrong in a previous life to end up here?)

J’adore la brocante!!!!!

Handbag happiness

Am inordinately happy with my new handbag.  It is perfect.  It is small enough to prevent shoulder fatigue due to overfill PLUS it has pucks of pockets for uber organisation.

time for the shopping prayer!

Thank you monoprix mecca for your oblation. In you I have found a sister to one of my favourite Irish emporiums (all hail dunnes stores).  In you I always find a reasonably priced solution, sometimes manifold thereof.

Ahem. I mean Amen.

That said, in my quest to find the perfect handbag there is an element of trial and error.  er. so:

anybody need a really cute little handbage in nearly perfect condition that can camoflage in safari conditions or against early 19th century french tiles?  perfect for that purchase that you don’t want to reveal to your husband/wife just yet)

handbag(completely house trained – can you hear it purring?)

 Apart from that, some essential french phrases for the newbie-in-france multiple handbag buyer:

J’aimes mon sac a main / I like my handbag

Je n’ai pas trop de sacs a mains – n’importe quoi!

I don’t have too many handbags – that’s just silly talking

On ne peut jamais avoir trop de sacs à main – hein?

One can never have too many handbags

Si tu m’aimais tu ne me dirais jamais ce genre de chose

If you loved me you would never say something like that

Ch’ais pas (informal Je ne sais pas)

I don’t know!  ==== (*essential* If asked how much it costs…)