Saturday, August 17, 2013

Life in France is good with friends

Last night I went out into town with the only French people I count on the exclusive group that makes up true friends, the ones you can count on the fingers of one hand, one and a half at most. We go back a long way so I value their opinions, and one of those was that I don't often talk about how much I enjoy living in France on my blog.

This is probably true but let's face it, a rant about the craziness of a particular incident, the result of some shoulder-shrugging, eye-rolling, pfft-saying fonctionnaire who is indifferent to your very real complaint is a lot more interesting that me warbling on about the joys of passing the time of day with Benoit the Boulanger.

But in the interests of balance, let me tell you that we spent a very pleasant evening. We sat outside in the incredibly balmy air until 10pm eating delicious tapas and admiring the swarthy thighs of the waitress who got an extra tip as a result. The little square was full of happy folk all enjoying their Friday night drinking and eating, un-bothered by traffic or other disturbance.

After lingering awhile chatting, we left and went to the ice-cream bar for dessert, mine a cone of heaven in the shape of passion fruit sorbet and Madagascar bitter chocolate ice-cream. We mooched down towards the Place de la Comédie where tourists and locals (presumably) filled the square and watched the various street artists. Lovely.

Living in the south of France has some advantages - evenings out like that being one although the essential ingredient to my full enjoyment was being with my friends. Had I been on my own it wouldn't have been half as pleasant. I think you can make the most of anywhere as long as you have good friends. If you have no friends, life is hell whether you're on an island paradise or the middle of Slough.

So thank you my friends for reminding me that life is good, even here in France where that lunatic Hollande is doing his best to destroy the Frenchness of France and who has recently been voted the world's worse politician. I'm making the most of it while I can... I promise...

23 comments:

  1. I know what mean. We had and have good French friends, had some very happy times with them....but they moaned about France even more than we did!

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    1. ...and there's a lot to moan about as you know.

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  2. I have just been writing along similar lines on my blog, I just so love living here in France.

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    1. Hi Michael, nice to see you here. It looks like you have a cool set-up chez toi being retired an' all.

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  3. I think your friends might be right - it's lovely to read about your perfect evening but we Brits like to have a moan or find humour in the things that go wrong, so I understand how you can't fill your blog with the fabulous stuff all the time.

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    1. And it's not that fabulous most of the time either... apart from the nice weather and cheap wine so it would be a pretty empty blog if I concentrated on the happy clappy stuff. :)

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  4. “I think you can make the most of anywhere as long as you have good friends.”

    That statement most certainly applies to Kuwait, and resonates with me. You can only drive to the boarders of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, visit several grand malls, dine at a restaurant and bask in the never ending sunshine so many times before it becomes monotonous. Thank goodness for all the friends we’ve made over the past two years. Although, some of our friendships can be tied to our endless supply of alcoholic beverages which, for most expats residing in Kuwait, are inaccessible.

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    1. Living in Kuwait you really put my theory to the test! At least in the south of France we have an easily accessible endless supply of booze. :)

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  5. I think that the best reply would be that great French line, "Qui aime bien châtie bien".... Living abroad means that you see everything in a magnified way - both the good and the bad aspects of France whallop us harder than the natives. I'm off to check out your link now :-)

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    1. I must say, having lots of sunshine really helps in all sorts of little ways. Even when the going gets shitty, it's less shitty that it would be under grey clouds and relentless drizzle.

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  6. Thank heavens for friends!
    I'm off to read that Hollande article...

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    1. Indeed! I hope you enjoy the article. :)

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  7. That is so so true. I have lived in beautiful places - like Cheltenham and a ski field in Switzerland but didn't have close friends and they were lonely times.

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    1. I can quite understand how you felt. I could never be a hermit.

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    1. Yep, I think she did a lot of sport outside in the sun. :)

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  9. Absolutely right that it's your mates who make a place special. And I think Trish is right to say that it's probably just our British sense of humour that makes us moan a lot - we like to rant! Your evening sounds idyllic though (especially the passion fruit sorbet - yum).

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    1. We do moan a lot but tbh, the French do too. It's a national occupation here. :)

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  10. Well, congratulations for having French friends! If I were still living in France I would be moaning like mad...

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    1. Moaning is reaching new levels here. There's a website, http://hollande-demission.fr which has started a petition calling for Flamby's quick exit (http://hollande-demission.fr/petition/) already signed by nearly 17K people. They have a FB page where you can see photos of Hollande Démission logos popping up like mushrooms. It's a brilliant grassroots movement.

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  11. I know just what you mean, Sarah. The good times are great and friends are what make them so, but in my much more limited experience the French also moan a great deal about the way life is going for them - rising prices, soaring taxes etc. etc.....

    As for passion-fruit sorbet - mmmm. Why can't I find sorbet in British supermarkets?

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    1. Oh yes, the French moan a lot too.

      You used to be able to find sorbet in the UK, that is where I first tasted passion-fruit sorbet. Maybe people prefer creamy ice-cream with bits in these days.

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