Covid complications causing concerns

Martin and Nadine haven’t been to France since January, and Covid complications certainly are an issue and a constant worry. It seems sorting out a ferry crossing isn’t the only hurdle. Is it better to go or to cancel?

Requirements for driving in France – Breath Test Kits

On 1st July 2012, a law was introduced in France: all drivers had to carry a breath test kit in their car. Find out why and if or how that law was implemented. Read more about the driving requirements in France.

Kouign-amann vs Lardy cake

Kouign-amann is a beautiful, buttery, traditional Breton cake. During the current lockdown, unable to travel to Brittany, we have found an alternative: the British lardy cake. 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

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

Every year our neighbour takes two weeks off work to chop wood. Wood is his only source of heating.

Wood management is very important in Brittany, there is always a patch of woodland being completely cleared and then replanted. It is very common in France for parents with land to plant up to 1,000 saplings when a child is born and then to give the trees to the child when they reach 18.

Coppicing is also very popular, this is a traditional method of woodland management which takes advantage of the fact that many trees make new growth from the stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested, and the cycle begins again

This year our neighbour managed to find a patch of woodland, mainly oak trees that were being cleared just outside of Reminiac. For a week he sawed and chopped the several huge trees into reasonable sized logs and stacked them in a neat pile. Last week he borrowed the tractor from the Mairie and transported the logs home where they have been stacked down the right hand side of his garden. He now has two enormous log piles.

As he was proudly looking at his wood piles, I asked him,

‘How long will the wood last?’

‘Six years’, he replied, ‘It is really good to know that for six years I will be warm and no one can take that away from me. I’m not reliant on anyone to provide me with heat for the next six years.’

I know he will chop wood next year. To have a six year wood supply is very important to him. This is not the first time I’ve heard this view. In Brittany, wood is still the main source of heating and to be self sufficient in wood is very important. There is good evidence of this as you drive through the villages, most houses have sizeable wood piles.

I wonder if in years to come when power cuts become less and the French become to trust the power companies whether this need to be self sufficient in wood will become less important or whether it is so engrained into their culture they will always have huge wood piles.

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