Sunday, 28 May 2017

Renovation project - Bonne Fête des Mères (Mothers day in France)

Renovation project - Bonne Fête des Mères (Mothers day in France)
Picture courtesy of
Today is the last day in May and as such it is mother’s day here in France or Fête des Mères. As far as we can see it is so much less commercialised than it is in the UK. Each patisserie has a selection of specially baked cakes. (The most popular seems to be the strawberry tart).
The actual history of mother’s day in France was more to do with the alarm at the low birth rate in France so mothers of large families were celebrated.
During World War 1, American soldiers sent so much mail back for mother’s day that a postal card was created.
In 1920 the French government made the day official for mothers of large families, but by 1941 all mothers were honoured, still a case of the bigger the family the better, but we won’t leave you other mothers out any more because France is nice like that.
In 1950 the last Sunday in May became "Fête des Mères” and all were required to pay homage to French mothers on this day. During the 50’s the celebration became far more commercialised. But as I said that may not be the case all over France, in our little bit of Brittany all we have seen is the fabulous cakes in the patisserie and the signs in the shops wishing a "Bonne Fête des Mères"
But remember it is moved to the first Sunday of June if it falls on the same day as pentecost
So for all you mums out there put your feet up and enjoy your day, even if you are not with your children
Bonne Fête des Mères
And for all you grandmothers here is a great quote

Une maman formidable donne toujours une grand-mere exceptionnelle.-A great mother always makes an exceptional grandmother.-Jean Gastaldi, French writer.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Renovation project - Shopping in France

Renovation project - Shopping in France
This is a slightly different post today, I have just been shopping and am still amazed at times at the cost and variety of things in France and the complete difference in attitude to shops from what we are used to in the UK.
The first example is the wine; always a fabulous bargain in France but this is unbelievable, 6 bottles of very drinkable Rose wine for 9.95 Euros.
Renovation project. jennyandjohninfrance. Wine
And when the mussels were available you could get 2 kilos of fresh mussels for 5.99 Euros.
Fabulous prices and there are so many other things that are just amazing, but then we go to the other extreme.
An example is the chocolate Christmas advent calendars have now been reduced to 70% discount, we are almost in June!!!!!!
Renovation project. jennyandjohninfrance.

Renovation project. jennyandjohninfrance.
This is the earliest I have seen the Easter range reduced (after all Easter was only a couple of months ago!)
Renovation project. jennyandjohninfrance.
This is something that I will always love about my little bit of France, the Christmas items are not reduced after Christmas never mind before Christmas and it is considered perfectly normal.

The staff in the shops also have quite a different attitude, they will not think twice about leaving the till to tend to another matter or chatting to the person in the queue, this is just the friendliness that is here, but don’t be fully fooled, if its busy and another till is opened, there will be a stampede!
Is there any thing that you love about shopping in France or would like to see?

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Renovation project - Carnac Stones, France

Renovation project - Carnac Stones, France

We have actually had a day out sightseeing and went to visit Carnac.

This is somewhere I Have wanted to visit for some time, it is famous for its standing stones and when you see them they really are amazing.

I was expecting just a few like Stonehenge but these are in rows covering a massive area.

The most amazing bit is that there are actually a couple of old houses built amongst them. Why anybody would actually decide to build a house in the middle of this site I have no idea, but as they say, “there’s nowt as strange as folk”

There is also a beach at Carnac and as we were leaving we saw a village centre with some shops and bars.

I could now pretend to be very knowledgeable about the area but I’m not, so here is some of the real info from the Brittany Tourism site:

The standing stones of Carnac are one of Brittany’s greatest attractions. Three fields – Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan – contain around 3,000 aligned megaliths, which date from 4000BC. The granite stones were erected on the spot where they were dug, hence the differing sizes, although it is not known why they were put up; it is thought they had a religious or cultural significance.

Click on the link for lots more info about Carnac Brittany Tourism

But here are the photos to enjoy

Renovation project. Carnac Stones. jennyandjohninfrance

Renovation project. Carnac Stones. jennyandjohninfrance

Renovation project. Carnac Stones. jennyandjohninfrance

Renovation project. Carnac Stones. jennyandjohninfrance

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Renovation Project - Recycling in France

Renovation Project - Recycling in France
Throughout both renovation projects we have tried to recycle where we can, we have made tables from old walls, doors from old floorboards. Nothing has gone to waste.
But today I am rather proud of myself, I have really taken recycling (or maybe it’s more up cycling?) to a whole new measure.
Here in France something’s can be very expensive, they are totally random items such as coat hangers (yes I know strange item) chicken costing more than salmon and the biggest bug bear for me is wine glasses.
I have no idea why, especially as the wine is so cheap, but then maybe that is the reason.
I have always loved wine glasses and especially matching wine glasses, since moving to France, this is something I have given up on, I have lost count of how many sets of glasses we have had, but in a project they do not last long I know we are no longer in a project, but with a John they do not last long either
Tonight we have friends visiting for dinner; I am unwilling to serve wine from a mug so have no option but to get some new glasses.
At the intermarche I do not find any that I like, but then a brain wave hits me, the mustard here is sold in glasses. I go to the mustard shelf and see the matching glasses to 2 that we already have (yes this is not the first time we have drank from mustard pots!
Once emptied and cleaned they look very nice, our friends can’t believe it when I tell them we are drinking from mustard jars, all except John who is actually drinking from a nutella jar!

But have a look and at only 1.36 Euros each they are an absolute bargain with enough mustard to last the year
mustard pot wine glasses, jennyandjohninfrance,

mustard pot wine glasses, jennyandjohninfrance,

mustard pot wine glasses, jennyandjohninfrance,