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Loiseau

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  1. What bad luck, EmilyA...

    I wonder if it is worth trying your French bank? I think there is some kind of travel insurance included with accounts, and they just might pay for cancellation.
  2. Maroilles - Arrrghhh!

    Tastes good, though.
  3. Welcome to the forum, Marie Adam.

    On our first house, where the oak beams looked a bit woodworm-y, the carpenter stuck a penknife into one of the beams and said “Look, this only goes in 3mm; you have nothing to worry about.” So if your beams are of something hard, like oak, you would be ok.
  4. Holiday home since 1970. Many many happy times with friends and family staying; loads of lovely local friends (French and British - and Dutch). Sold in 2017 because French inheritance laws meant I would not be able to share house among my stepchildren on my (hopefully not imminent) demise.

    I did have the advantage of fluent French, having studied and, later, worked in France in the 1960s.

    Having the house made a big change in my life, as it inspired and enabled me to became both a guidebook author and publisher.

    I would never want to live in France full-time though. Far too hedged about with ever-changing rules and regulations. And UK food and shopping is so much better these days.

  5. I have stayed in quite a few French-owned B&B - almost always choosing ones that do evening meal because I hate having to go out again once arrived. As long as you go for 3 or 4 ears/keys they will be immaculate - often super modern decor far better than I have at home.

    Gîtes can be another matter. I have booked 3-épi Gîtes de France-listed (French) ones, and they always seem pretty basic. The shower head is always impossible to attach to the wall, and its hose is bent and twisted; seating is uncomfortable, and beds often ditto. I think the French have a romantic idea that their holidays are going to be “back to nature”.

    For hotels, often the Logis de France ones seem stuck in a time warp today. I rather like Ibis, for good-value town-centre rooms, with pleasant staff and reasonable breakfasts.

    It's a shock in the U.K. that rooms are often charged per person, and not per room; can’t get my head round that,if a double bed is being slept in by one person, surely the laundry cost is not half the cost that it would be if crumpled by two...

  6. Ahem, I think you mean French and runner rather than broad, WB!
  7. We always broached the cake on Christmas Eve, as the family arrived to spend the hols, and were fully up for a filling treat with their tea after a long journey.

    After Christmas, when I used to head to the Vendée to start my major hedge slashing and laying jobs, I would take the remaining half of the cake to add the odd much-needed sugar boost.

    Sorry I can't provide a recipe, mint. I used to make the Katie Stewart one from The Times "Cook's Calendar", but I often messed up at the baking stage and made it too dry, so I usually buy one now - unless my daughter proposes to give me one of the delicious ones she makes. 😋

  8. Good point, mint, about the selling scenario.

    My estate agent wanted me to have an "illegal" washbasin unit removed before showing the house (unlike everything else, it wasn’t connected to the septic tank).

  9. There will be an announcement to wake you up at least an hour before arrival, and to require you to vacate your cabin.

    So you might as well go and have breakfast to fill in the time before you are allowed onto the car deck.

    I have not sailed on the Etretat, but the ones I have been on have various food outlets, such as self-service, waiter-service and bar-service. The first two have cooked-breakfast options.

    Try not to have too much overnight luggage with you, as you will have to tote it around in the morning until disembarkation.

  10. Hello, scalehill, and welcome to the forum.

    I am sure the first consideration will be whether the wall in question overlooks anyone else's property. If it does, you may perhaps be allowed to have a non-opening window of obscured glass, but nothing you can see through.

    Your local Mairie should be the first port of call to see what would be allowed.

  11. I agree about soft drinks, when proffered, not being ones that you actually like, idun.

    During the recent heatwave, I was offered a jug of chilled water with strips of cucumber peel floating in it, and thought it deliciously refreshing. And soooooo easy to knock up!
  12. "Avoir la main verte" i think is the expression.
  13. OK, Patf, I see what you mean.

    I haven’t continued your "pain and fear" trials, but with a bit of help from this excellent website

    https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-french/

    I can come up with a few more:

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

    Un "tiens" vaut deux "tu l'auras"

    The cobbler's children are the worst shod

    Les cordonniers sont les plus mal chaussés

    A little bird told me

    Mon petit doigt m'a dit

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder

    Loin des yeux, près du cœur

    His Achilles' heel

    Son talon d'Achille

    Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

    À cheval donné on ne regarde pas les dents

    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

    Il ne faut pas mettre tous ses œufs dans le même panier

    Every cloud has a silver lining

    Après la pluie, le beau temps

    Kill two birds with one stone

    Faisant d'une pierre deux coups

    To let sleeping dogs lie

    Ne pas réveiller le chat qui dort

    Let the cat out of the bag

    Cracher le morceau

    When pigs fly

    Quand les poules auront des dents

    Raining cats and dogs

    Pleut des cordes

    Something smells fishy

    Il y a quelquechose qui cloche

    Spitting image

    Le portrait tout craché

    Ressembler comme deux gouttes d'eau

    The last straw

    La goutte qui fait déborder le vase

    To cut a long story short

    En bref

    Her hobby

    Son violon d'Ingres

    Can’t teach an old dog new tricks

    On n'apprend pas au vieux singes à faire des grimaces

    And this quite funny one, that I have occasionally heard said ironically, but which of course comes from traditional fairy tales:

    They all lived happily ever after

    Ils vécurent heureux et eurent beaucoup d'enfants

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