A lunar calendar to improve my gardening skills

Does the lunar calendar work for planting fruit, vegetables, flowers, for sowing seeds, or for simply gardening? What is the Calendrier Lunaire? Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

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Mushroom picking in France

In France, mushroom picking, or “la cueillette des champignons”, is practically a national sport during the Autumn season. However, there are guidelines to follow before wandering through the woods.

Pineau … or Pinot? Do you know the difference?

Pineau is a delicious alcoholic drink which comes from the Charentes region of France. It is a fortified wine made from 3 parts grape juice and 1 part Cognac and, like many great delicacies, was discovered by mistake.

Find out all about Pineau des Charentes

We had a really bad week for cars in August.

Simon Pocock

Simon Pocock

On the Monday, we were heading for Lannion on a long straight road, when a car pulled out in front of us without looking. Only thanks to Pauline’s fast reflexes did she avoid smashing into the side of him, which would have certainly hospitalized the driver and written off out car.

Instead, she swerved and it was just a bumper to bumper plus wing damage to both cars.

I bought a roll of sticky tape and we carried on using it.

Although the other driver admitted responsibility for the crash, unfortunately we are both with the same insurance company, and the “expert” estimated the damage at 3000 euros and the value of the car at 2500.

This seems ridiculous as there is no difference in the driving of the car: it just needs some of the plastic bumper and side changing.

So, after much haggling, we are allowed to use second-hand parts, and the garage next to the car breakers yard is going to repair it next week: a month after the accident.

A few days after the accident, our Boxer started making a nasty vibrating noise. The garage told us that finally the engine is beginning to fall out, so that is dead too.

Once the plastic car is all legal again, we’ll fit a tow bar to it and buy a car trailer as we need something to transport my mower tractor.

The season is slowing down now with only a few clients.

We now have a winter let with “Big Ron”, who is staying 6 months while he’s looking for a house. He’s a big Dutch guy from Plestin who used to play American football until his knee joint packed up.

It’s also the time of year known as the “rentrée”, when all the clubs and schools start their year.

A teacher friend started work last Friday without the children, so I asked her what they did. Basically, it was a long coffee session followed by a talk by the school boss for an hour, then lunch in a restaurant. She claimed they worked in the afternoon but I don’t think they did much.

The local bank is the same every Thursday: they shut at midday, then it’s a long session in the restaurant, and they reopen at 3.30pm.

The local “harmonie” had its first practice last night: it was very depressing, as about 6 good players were missing, still on holiday, the conductor has got really bad and it is difficult to follow him. His choice of music wasn’t practical for the musicians present and to cap it all, we had a potential new “chef”: someone willing to be the new conductor as the present one is retiring (about 5 years too late) in January.

I only hope he had a good supply of Prozac as it was a dispiriting experience.

The only plus was that his companion is Veronique, a former clarinet player, and she is willing him to take the job as she says the ambiance is really good. At the moment, she plays with Perros Quirec, which is at a higher level but dull.

For us seasoned players it was also difficult, which probably explains why we spent longer over the drinks than the rehearsal (so my head told me the next day).

Please help us!

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