The Famous French Tut-Tut (and I)

From the wild to the wonderful, the trivial to the downright ridiculous, I have been told off for many things in France. Some of these “tut-tuts” or “tellings off” could happen in any country in any town. Some only in France. Granted, some tellings off are justified - nobody enjoys noisy kids in restaurants.  Others however, are straight out of the unwritten French social protocol to which I am still not entirely privy. 

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Summer and Sardines

We are currently camping by the seaside in Quiberon, Brittany. It reminds me of the Victorian Bass Coast - it’s beautiful, varied and not over-run with tourists. It’s less pretentious than the south. Here, I feel overdressed wearing my fake panama hat, whereas down south I lack the sparkle and glitz that is more the norm. I guess you could say I feel pretty “at home” up here.

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How to dress French

It’s time for a fashion post. Or at least my version of one. On the streets of Paris, my eyes are always peeled for the latest French trends. It’s a fun game to play at the school gate, at crèche pick up, on the metro or out for dinner with friends. It’s also a passive attempt at slowing a one-way skid down Dagsville (hint: nobody French lives there).

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Wardrobe detox: Paris style

I’ve been known to complain loudly and often that “I have nothing to wear” whilst standing in front of a full to overflowing wardrobe. Lately these complaints have become louder, more frequent and peppered with emotions such as boredom, frustration, anger and general fed-uppedness. Top of the range #firstworldproblem I know, but if you fancy a bit of low-brow self-indulgent fluff, read on. Heaven knows we could use some light-heartedness after this week of craziness and confusion when #firstworld became #trumpworld, and fluff became a hair-style. Sorry where were we? Wardrobes. Focus. 

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La Langue Française et Moi

My French language journey began in 1990 with a rather frightening school-teacher named Mr Curtis.  This so-called distributer of knowledge was a man not easily forgotten.  He had eyebrows like the jaws of death. His eyes were bullets that bore holes into your skull, through which he could see the entire contents of your underdeveloped Year 7 brain.  When all he could find was lyrics to the Stutter Rap (as opposed to French auxiliary verbs) he not impressed I tell you not impressed at all and by jove did his eyebrows tell you so.

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The Bogan in You

Since the '80s, the word bogan has evolved, as have the people it describes. It means different things to different people. The effect of it’s use depends on context, tone and the number of swear words it’s sandwiched by.  It’s a word that can be loaded with hilarity, pride, and affection - as well as hurt, anger, shame and judgement. 

I argue that we are all a bit bogan. On some level. 

(Image by Michael Perkins via Daily Telegraph)

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Holiday in South-West France

In Australia and most other English speaking countries, people refer to their partner’s parents as the “in-laws.”  To me, the term “in-law” conjures up all sorts of fearsome images.  Perhaps it’s just because when I hear “in-law” my brain links the term “out-law” and into my head pops a bearded man in a metal helmet robbing a train. 

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Stuff I've noticed in Paris: an Australian perspective.

I'm getting to know this old town Paris. Scratching the surface at least.  I've drank a lot of bad coffee, along with the occasional good one. I've met some amazing people and some very funny ones (not funny ha-ha).  I've pushed a cumbersome double pram around many a skinny street. I've navigated public transport (no small feat with 2 small ones), French TV, red tape and their (quite) early learning system.  I've stumbled across breathtaking views when I least expect it - often enough to remind me where we are and how lucky we are to be having this experience. It's this getting-to-know-you-process that's led me to notice a few things. Differences, if you will. 

Warning. Disclaimer. Pardon.*

*gross generalisations ahead. 

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Les Enfants: PART 1

The kids. Les enfants. It’s been a tough gig for the kids over the last 6 months. Almost everything in their little lives has been turned upside down. Nan and Pop are no longer a car-drive away. They can’t cuddle them, jump on the trampoline or play with their cousins in the cubby. At the park, nobody understands them and cafes don’t serve babycinos.

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