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  • Watch Your Language!

    Published April 30th, 2013 by Colin Morley
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    Had wind of any English pounds recently? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well frankly I’m not surprised. The phrase is re-translated into English from a notice I saw in a shop some time ago which had been (poorly) translated into French by an English speaker.

    It’s not always as easy to translate the written word as to understand the spoken word when you are dealing with a language which is not your own. The French language uses the word “livre” in two ways. Livre (noun feminine) = pound (also an old measure equivalent to half a kilo) and livre (noun masculine) = book.

    The word “vent” (noun masculine) means “wind”, whereas “vente” (noun feminine) means “sale”. The offending notice was adve...

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  • What's On in summer in Nice?

    Published April 24th, 2013 by claire
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    Nice is a fantastic city that has so much to offer all year round. For those of you who aren’t so familiar with the capital of the French Riviera (or even those of you who are!!) here are our highlights of the niçois in the summer months.

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  • Words you really NEED to know when buying property in France

    Published April 24th, 2013 by claire
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    You’ve realised your school French didn’t cover the words you really need when buying property? Our guide to French property vocabulary is just what you need! From vocab concerning the water and electricity companies to key property terminology, these are the words you need to know if yu’re thinking of buying in France!

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  • Removing The Jitters From Life Abroad

    Published February 19th, 2013 by frankiehughes
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  • Choosing a French lawyer

    Published January 27th, 2013 by Cordiez French Solicitors www.solicitor.fr
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    Tips on how to choose the right French legal adviser.

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  • Heading Abroad? Your Guide To The European Health Insurance Card

    Published January 9th, 2013 by agencyglasgow
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  • Getting around Montpellier

    Published December 9th, 2012 by Rosemary Redfern
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    The city is a hub for the high speed train. This can get you to London or other northern countries in a few hours with one change at either Paris or Lille. You can also get to Spain easily although as part of the TGV route has not yet been decided upon because the government of the departments of Aude and L’Herault cannot agree on the route, the speeds, until you get to Spain, are slower. Whenever you travel by train in France it is important to compost your ticket. This wonderful expression just means you slide it into the machine at the entrance to the platforms or inside the trams to have the date imprinted to show you have paid for that journey.

    The city, known as a Grande Ville, is close to the pay...

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  • November

    Published November 27th, 2012 by Rosemary Redfern
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    With intermittent warm days of clear, blue sky and no wind, the local vine growers near the coast are beginning to prune their vines. This creates the beautiful, twisted and woody wood stocks (called suches) of the vine. The twigs (sarments) are put into the ditches and burned.
    This does two jobs. It gets rid of the cuttings and clears the ditches for any winter rain. The fires are often left unattended and rarely get out of hand.

    Further inland the vignerons (vine growers) will be wondering if March
    is too early to prune in case a frost nips the plants.

    The vineyards which haven’t been pruned or ploughed still have a few gold and black red leaves and an undercover of false rocket making a white carpet of...

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  • The 15th November

    Published November 21st, 2012 by Rosemary Redfern
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    The 15th November was warm with a cloudless sky and no wind. Lunch outside without a coat was a pleasure, basking in the sun. We were entertained by the enormous flock of small, black birds wheeling round and then settling in the pine trees and arguing ferociously. Without warning there was silence and they took to the skies again. They’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now and presumably are massing to migrate somewhere. The sound of their feathers as they fly overhead is slightly unnerving and Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds surfaces in the mind.

    Later we thought a trip to the coast would be good. We went to Peyriac sur Mer, a small village on an étang (salt water lagoon). It must be a couple of kilometers from the...

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  • French Roadside Maintenance

    Published November 15th, 2012 by Rosemary Redfern
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    One thing the French are meticulous about is maintaining their roadside verges. At any time, but particularly in autumn, you will round a bend and see a red triangular flag on a stick stuck into the land on the side of the road. Often there is a yellow van. A mowing tractor chunts up and down the verges ensuring that visibility is good for drivers and that signs are clear. Sometimes if the road is narrow or on a corner the sign comes as a shock.

    Vignerons, wine growers, also maintain their ditches carefully. They have perfected the knack of leaving the vegetation in the ditches to smolder, often without anyone there. This leaves a safe channel for water. They get rid of the prunings in the spring like this also. It means in an a...

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