Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Bonne Année !

In France, we wish our friends, neighbours or acquaintances a “Bonne année” (Happy new year). We also say

“Meilleurs Voeux” (best wishes), and “Bonne santé” (good health).

We only start wishing “Bonne année” or “Meilleurs Voeux” on 31st December and we have right up until the end of January to do so.

We send “Cartes de Voeux” in January rather than Christmas cards. Usually to people who live far from us and / or that we don’t see often.

If you haven’t wished Bonne Année to your neighbours, hurry up! You only have a few more days…

Photo: French carte de voeux showing Dinan, our local medieval town.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Unhappy Breton pig farmers

At the moment, pig farmers (éleveurs de porcs) only get €1.30 per kilo of meat. The price is at rock bottom and farmers are furious.

Yesterday, sixty unhappy pig farmers visited 4 supermarkets in and around St Brieuc in Brittany and took off the shelves all products (pre-packed ham, patés, sausages, etc) that didn’t have the mention « Viande de Porc Française » or « Origine France ».

Pig farmers have been asking supermarkets to promote French pigs and they have not kept their promises.

Looking at the photos of OuestFrance (see link here), there were not a lot of items left on the shelves!!

Hopefully local supermarkets will change their attitude as we know how bad French strikes can be!

Census - the forms are on their way!

If you reside in France, you might get a form called ‘Recensement de la population’ in your letterbox. It is a census done in France every 5 years. Our village of Evran was surveyed last year and in 2005.

Don’t just bin the form; you have to fill it in!!

You will be asked for the names of the people who live with you, dates of birth, nationality, qualifications, how long you have lived at your present address, where you lived before, your occupation, if you are retired or unemployed, what job you previously had, etc.

A person will either fill the form with you or drop the form in your letterbox and pick it up later that day or the day after so don’t just leave it, do it straight-away!

If you require assistance with the census, don’t hesitate to contact me here.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Electric cars for La Poste

The French postal service (La Poste) is testing electric cars. The tests are starting in Brest and Rennes in Brittany with 22 cars. Postmen and post women get a short training of 15 minutes, (they need to get used to the 2 pedals and not to change gears!). The staff who have already tried the cars are amazed how quiet they are.

At the moment, an electric car can only do about 50 km, so it can’t be used in rural areas.

Each car will save 3 tons of CO2 per year and per car.

Other French companies have followed this environmental friendly idea and have ordered altogether 50 000 cars for the future.

Who knows? We will all be driving an electric car soon!

Friday, 7 January 2011

French school holidays 2011

If you run a gite in France, you might be interested to know the French school holidays. Here they are:

Zone A

Zone B

Zone C





Spring (Easter)/Pâques




Summer/ été




Autumn (Toussaint)








Zone A: Brittany, Pays de la Loire, Lower Normandy, Lorraine, Midi Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon, Auvergne and the Rhône-Alps.

Zone B: Provence, Alps, Côte-d’Azur, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Picardy, Higher Normandy, Champagne-Ardennes, Poitou-Centre, Charente, Alsace, Burgundy Franche-Comte and Limousin.

Zone C: Aquitaine and Ile-de-France (Paris + around Paris).