A Taste of Garlic

That was the week…..

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceEvery Tuesday I intend to do a quick review of some of the posts from the last week that have made me smile, made me chuckle or, even…. just made me think.

Some of these you may have seen yourselves.

And some of them you may have missed.

I don’t think of these in any competitive sense at all.

This isn’t a top-ten listing.

They’re merely the posts that have stuck in my head.




that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France1). Tanya at Tanya in Transition went on strike this week – but not, I hasten to add, willingly.

She manage to fly back to France just as the Ground Crew at Charles de Gaulle airport decided to go on strike.

I’m sure the two events were in no way related even if there were rumours going round that Tanya was about to write a You know you’re in France when… type post!

It turns out that Tanya only had to wait four and a quarter hours for her luggage!

And the moral of this story…..

“Never get on a plane headed into Charles de Gaulle airport if Tanya is already booked on it!”

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France2). Samantha at Life, Love and Living in France had cause to celebrate when she announced that Wednesday is more than all write: I have an agent!

Yes, it’s true!

Stephanie DeVita of Dystel & Goderich has offered to represent her memoir, Seven Letters

And I’m sure that all over France Samantha’s fans are out celebrating!

Samantha – congratulations and about that interview for A Taste of Garlic….

You’ll have to brush up on your Johnny Halliday knowledge, of course!

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France3). Loulou at Chez Loulou would have been up for a The Real Truth about Life in France Award if only we had one.

But we don’t so I’ll have to mention her lovely post called Notes to Self here.

Oh all her truisms about Life in France the one I like the most is….

“You will never be able to pronounce the words grenouille* or moelleux*. Stop embarrassing yourself by trying to.”

How true!

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France4). Kasia at Love in the City of Lights had something to say about the language of blogging and seems to have met everyone who is anyone in the Paris blogoshphere!

It was quite fun to sift through the photos recognising people and trying to put faces to blogs.

As Kasia says… “Paris bloggers rule!”

Although I’m sure the Provencal Posse might haven something to say about that?

And what about the Lyon Lovelies or the Brittany Bunch?

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France5).Marie at The French Market Maven was busy being Mad for eggs – Mayonnaise.

And why not?

I love Egg Mayonnaise and, with all out chickies working overtime, we’ve always got plenty of eggs!

And Marie’s also provided a recipe for real mayonnaise!


that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

OK – now all that stuff is out of the way, let’s get on to the really important stuff…

Of course, it’s Awards Time!

And, I am proud to announce a new winner of the Blog of the Week Award!

This is awarded to the Blog post that has tickled my fancy the most during the past seven days.

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThis week’s Blog of the Week has been won by Merewoman at No Damn Blog, partly for her classy rant (you always get a classy class of rant at No Damn Blog) about Here I come Again, Mr J. E. Menfous but also for the consistent quality of regular blog posts every week.

And, you know, the funny thing is that I haven’t got round to reviewing No Damn Blog yet!

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceI’d better rectify that soon or else Merewoman will be ranting at me!

And if any of you are interested in the back end of a blog, you ought to take a look at some of the search terms that people use to find No Damn Blog!

Like the ones shown here!

Actually, I’m not so sure if it’s a blog that Merewoman runs or one of those playful parlours where you pay at the door for your particular personal panderings?

Not that I would know about such things, of course!

Merewoman, if you’d like to place your award on your blog sidebar just email me and I’ll send you the code.


Breaking news….

Of course, as well as reading lots of blogs this week, I’ve also been reading the papers. And boy, did I find some interesting news…..

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceDesperate news was seeping out of the besieged city of Lille as refugees headed away from the latest upsurge in rampant thudding against the wall that was making life intolerable for many of the local inhabitants.

Please click on the image to see it full size.

Our local reporter (who wishes to remain anonymous in case of reprisals from the local militia who control the streets after dark) managed to get out a brief but detailed message which details the misery that many now have to suffer in this once peaceful city.

Humanitarian agencies are gearing up for a massive relief operation and requests for donations are being broadcast on national TV.

Prince Charles referred to the situation in a statement he made at the Annual General Meeting of Angry Architects and complained that… “Monstrous carbuncles of wall pounding have erupted in the gentle northern suburbs of Lille.”

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceWith Karin at An Alien Parisienne reported to be Taking a Wee Break due to a melted motherboard (and it really was just a matter of time with the extraordinarily long blog posts that she’s famous for), a new contender for World Record for the Longest Blog Post Ever burst onto the scene!

Kim at The Cabes in France wrote a literally screen smashing post all about Christmas in the South of France – the Middle and the End which left many readers absolutely exhausted.

Please click on the image to see it full size.

One reader (who prefers to remain anonymous) stated… “I started reading the mega post at teatime and it was lunchtime the next day before I’d finished it!”

And another was heard to say… “Never in the field of human blogging were so many photographs published in just one blog…”

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceHeated debate was reported in various parts of France as American and Australian girls were busy discussing the relative merits (or otherwise) of the romantic French male.

Representing the Australian Totty Contingent, Poulette at Poulette Paris wrote a detailed blog post all about France v Australia which had all the men in the room dashing over to read it, thinking it was about Rugby, only to find that it was about picking your nose and spitting and other romantic stuff.

Please click on the image to see it full size.

But the post did make some good points; such as the one about… “A Frenchman will tell you your arse looks big in those jeans and you could do with losing a few kilos around the middle (yeah i’m looking at you, No Name!) An Aussie man will do no such thing. But he will bitch and moan about it to his mates.”

To which I feel obliged to add… “A British man, being a natural gentleman, would neither notice nor care if your bum was bursting out of your straining size 18 jeans. He would love you for the you inside and not the stick insect you would like to be.”

Sasha at Flip-Flop France gave us some Advice: Dating the French.

Which included these words… “Especially; don’t have sex. It’s rare to have sex and not have it be something.”

Reports that Condom manufacturers throughout France have seen a massive drop in sales as a result of Sasha’s words have been largely dismissed as premature.


Now for the rest of the awards….

The Award for Drinking Rather a Lot of Beer in One Blog Post goes to Honey at I’m an Outlaw, not a Hero for Oh look, they’ve dressed him up in a little suit.

Now, whilst the post purports to be about a trip to Brussels and the Manneken Pis getting dressed up, it is largely about eating Gaufres.

And… “did you know that gaufre makes you thirsty?”

Well, that’s Honey’s excuse, anyway!

The Best Offending Toilet of the Week Award goes to Piglet in Portugal for A Turkish “experience” in France where she gets to experience a proper French toilet!

Now, I seem to remember one of those toilets at a campsite we spent many holidays on during my youth. To flush it without getting drowned you had to start running before you pulled the chain. If you were lucky you escaped without getting drowned. The old and infirm tended to exit the toilet carried by a tidal wave. All very entertaining and more fun to watch, in many ways, than TV!

Now, this might be a little bit confusing as Piglet in Portugal is no relation to Piglet in France.

What makes this doubly confusing is that Piglet in Portugal was visiting Lyon (that’s Lyon in France – I’m not sure if there is a Lyon in Portugal?) which, surely, is our Piglet’s neck of the woods?

All too many Piglets? You tell me!

Bikini of the Week Award has to go to Sara Louise at Sara in Le Petit Village for her post about A Brazilian Holiday.

I’m not sure which, if any, of the bikini clad bottoms displayed on the post belongs to the intrepid SL and, rather embarrassingly, I’m almost too scared to ask!

There was an awful lot of competition for the Rant of the Week Award this week so I’ve decided to create some temporary Mini Rant of the Week Awards. These self destruct after 7 days so if you win one of these and want to show off – be quick about it!

The first Mini Rant of the Week Award goes to Sara at The Dish for Dear France.

Sara has a few mini complaints; biggest of which seems to be the Kissy-Kissy thing!

A lot of people who haven’t been doing this since birth find this uncomfortable; And this is largely why I’m rather busy in the cellar inventing a self-sanitising, keep your distance, automatic pop-up cheek pad thingy to allow us more reserved people to just lean forward, press a hidden button and get the whole thing over and done with with a minimum of effort.

I am having some problems with the sound effects, I must say!

Another excellent Mini Rant was spotted coming from Lesely at Peregrinations with her article on How to write about Bordeaux.

Lesley wins a Mini Rant of the Week Award for pointing out that although a cliché ridden article may sell papers, it might not actually bear any relation to the truth.

I seem to remember the papers banging on about the rejuvenation of the East End of London when I lived there. I’m not actually sure that any journalists ever visited to verify their facts? Probably too scared?

Another Mini Rant of the Week Award goes straight to Trisha at An ‘Old Biddies’ Life for her multifaceted rant about childbirth, Bed and Breakfasts and Bianca from Eastenders in I have been reading the English press of late, yes, the gutter press.

If you are concerned about the weird ways that rich, posh and famous people choose to have babies (when us normal people just cope with a five second romp in the hay, nine months of morning sickness and then a natural childbirth before going back to milking the cows) or the discrimination against same sex overnight guests then you really ought to head down to An ‘Old Biddies’ Life to read Trisha’s award worthy rant!

Another winner of a Mini Rant of the Week Award was screamish at Poum!

Her charming little rant about french post office (or how the french consider anglosaxon politeness proof of pathetic weakness) was well written, carefully researched and nicely restrained.

I wonder if she’s got her registered letter yet?

Brook at Sky Machines wins this week’s Award for the Worst Translated Film Title with we have a winner.

I am, for once, totally speechless!

No wonder the country is going downhill!


And just for the people who didn’t win an award this week….

Here are the famous Awards for not Winning an Award!

The Duchess at The Duchess of Earl gets an Award for not Winning an Award because she hasn’t said anything since…. well quite a long time ago!

She was heard humming Wham’s Last Christmas back on December 10th of last year. And before that had been raving over Wet, wet, wet (whoever they are – it’s difficult keeping up with these popular music artists when you get to my age!) two months previously.

There are strong fears in the local community that she has moved onto humming Boney M tunes and has, as a result, been locked away for her own good!

Duchess, if you’re not too busy humming “Rivers of Babylon” (or worse, “Brown Girl in the Ring”) could you do a little blog to let us know?

If we had an Award for Buggering Off to the Sunshine Whilst We All Shiver to Death in France then I’d be happy to award to it Kimberley at Non, je ne regrette rien but, we don’t so she will have to make do with an Award for not Winning an Award.

Kimberley, I hope you have a nice time; thanks for telling us… California, here I come…

I’m sure we’ll all think of you soaking up the rays whilst we’re busy watching our fingers drop off from frostbite and burning the furniture in order to defrost the duvet!

Don’t you dare come back with a suntan – you hear me, girl?

Well, apparently you can do it naked, you can do it with imagination with your loved one, you can do it in the bedroom and sunlovers can even do it in the garden!

But all that bouncing around described in On the rebound still is not enough to win Sarah at St. Bloggie de Riviere a proper award this week because….

a). There was a slight but noticeable lack of photographs of anyone bouncing (anywhere, clothed or otherwise),

b). After reading the first sentence I was expecting something an awful lot raunchier and

c). I’m jealous!

So it’s another Award for not Winning an Award this Week for Sarah!

Sorry but them’s the rules!

And, as we’ve haven’t got any Awards for Really Rather Interesting Visits to the Dentist (I really can’t understand how I failed to order some of those? A slight lack of foresight on my part, perhaps?) I’ll have to offer Sam at Totally Frenched Out an Award for not Winning an Award for her riveting post about when C went the the dentist the other day.

Sam, if C (or you, for that matter) goes back to the dentist could you give me a call and I’ll get some Awards specially made up.

I would have loved to have given Ditdit at Ditdit in France an award for her lovely police story but our legal department has been quite firm in reminding me, that if I did, some bloggers might be encouraged to speed and, as we all know, speeding is dangerous and naughty!

So, Didit, all I can offer you is an Award for not Winning an Award.

And talking of mayhem on the streets….

In the rather worryingly titled Breaking news, Karalynn at A day in the life… tells us that she’s passed her (unofficial) driving test!

So, no real award for you Karalynn (until you do something award-worthy in your host family’s car) but, in the meantime, here’s an Award for not Winning an Award.

And talking of Pandemonium in Paris….

I’d love to offer LA Mom (at LA Mom) an Award for Royally Stupid Moms but our order of Awards for Showing Off about Shoes has gone astray and, what with the strikes, we’re not sure when the replacements will arrive.

So, LA Mom, sorry but it’ll have to be an Award for not Winning an Award for you.

Oh, and as someone who was raised in her Majesty’s pleasant land, I can heartily say that no self-respecting kid would want anything to do with any shoes that Prince Charles used to wear!

Sooooooo….. uncool!


And finally….

And this really is hold the presses, last minute addition stuff……

I’ve just been woken up by our Paris roving correspondent (at 4am in the bluddy morning!!!!!) who wanted to remind me that Shannon at Je ne sais quoi probably deserves some sort of award for her JNSQ Friday Feature: Paris Bloggers collaborate – how to do the Soldes thingy which is all about spending lots of money on things you don’t really need at the once a year sales when the aforementioned things aren’t cheap but are just less ridiculously expensive than usual…..

You might have guessed that I’m not really a fan of Les Soldes?

I agreed that Shannon should get some sort of award and was just getting an Award for Spending 35€ on Yet Another Sweater when I’ve Already got a Wardrobe Full of Them knocked up when Mrs A Taste of Garlic intervened and insisted on calling it the Award for the Best Blogger Community EVA.

I decided to stand my ground (I am the man of the house, after all) and we decided to settle the argument by a little, gentle arm-wrestling competition…..

Having just returned from the doctor……..

Who informs me that the bones will set nicely…..

And that I should get full use of my arm again…..

There’s nothing more to say than…..

Shannon – it gives me great honour to award you (and your mad shopping crew) the A Taste of Garlic Award for the Best Blogger Community EVA!

All the best

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16 Comments

  • By pigletinportugal, January 25, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    There is definitely a litter of Piglets to be sure and another on the way! No it’s not a conspiracy :) I am Mama Piglet to “Piglet in France” and I fulfil my role as “parent” by embarrasing my offspring. I could have called my blog “old Sow in Portugal” but somehow that does not have quite the same ring…

    Thankyou for my “Best Offending Toilet” of the Week Award and look forward to further toilet inspection visits :)

    France is an interesting country and full of surprises

  • By ksam, January 25, 2011 @ 10:22 am

    Ohh, pretty soon I will be eligible for the award for winning the most ‘award for not winning an award’!

  • By Keith Eckstein, January 25, 2011 @ 10:27 am

    Ha! Piglet in Portugal, I didn’t realise that you were Piglet in France’s mother (sow?)

    Could you try and persuade your daughter to buy the house with the lap dancing emporium?

    You know it’s the right thing to do!

    All the best

    Keith

    P.S. Next time you decide to survey some French toilets, could we have some action photos please?

  • By Tanya, January 25, 2011 @ 10:27 am

    And that’s 4+ hours of my life that I’ll never get back!

    Thanks for the mention! :-)

  • By Keith Eckstein, January 25, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    Sam….

    The printers are busy knocking one up as we speak!

    All the best

    Keith

  • By Sarah Hague, January 25, 2011 @ 10:48 am

    Yeah, sorry for the lack of raunch. Still, I’d only had it for 3 days or so and hadn’t quite got the hang of all its marvellous potential. Still haven’t, actually, but I’m working on it… :)

  • By Aidan, January 25, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    I loved LouLou’s post too…and I forced myself to break out some bubbly over the weekend to celebrate Samantha’s agent-getting. Forced.
    a

  • By Susie, January 25, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

    Heavens! That’s two things I’ve won recently as well as getting the cash refund for the ruddy machine. My luck must finally be changing.

    A little discretion would be appreciated regarding the playful parlour. Already had six knocks at the door, and I don’t want the tax man to find out. :)

    Thanks, Keith!

  • By PigletinFrance, January 25, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    ha ha, the piglet clan!

  • By Shannon, January 26, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    Whoooo hoo, thats right! Suck it Belgium! Go cry to your mommy England!! France has the best blogger community Eva!!! (raises the roof/victory dance)

  • By Kasia Dietz, January 27, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    Merci for the mention in your lovely post! Would love to meet you at one of our gatherings!

    All the best, Kasia

  • By Keith Eckstein, January 27, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    Kasia – I’d love to be invited to one of your gatherings but….

    I’m not normally allowed out in polite company (I think Mrs A Taste of Garlic is worried that I might be a Frenchman in the Poulette Paris sense of things? At least, in the Nose Picking and Spitting department!)

    However, should I ever be allowed to visit the City of Lights (and the last time I was there I spent 2 days driving round that roundabout by the Arc de Triomphe – you know the one I mean? Nobody would let me turn off! Maniacs, the lot of them!), I’ll try to be one my best behaviour and promise to wear my Sunday best overalls (and will even put on a new pair of long johns/union suit!)

    Until then……

    All the best

    Keith

  • By Keith Eckstein, January 27, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    Hmmm…..

    A little less coffee in the mornings, I would suggest?

    All the best

    Keith

  • By Keith Eckstein, January 27, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    Is that strictly correct?

    Shouldn’t it be a herd of piglets?

    Or a swarm?

    Perhaps it should be a pack of piglets?

    Although that sounds like some sort of pork based chocolate bar that’s bad for your waistline?

    I’m sure that someone will come up with the grammatically correct form of describing lots of piglets.

    All the best

    Keith

  • By Keith Eckstein, January 27, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    Susie

    I promise that I won’t mention your Playful Parlour ever again.

    And I imagine that most, if not all, of the 1,418 visitors who read That was the week… on Tuesday have already forgotten but, if they haven’t, here goes…..

    Here follows a Public Information Broadcast to All Readers of A Taste of Garlic.

    Ummm, excuse me.

    This is a Public Information Broadcast…

    If you visited That was the week… on Tuesday and haven’t forgotten my little faux pas about the Playful Parlour (I really shouldn’t have mentioned that – at least, not in polite company!), could you do so (forget it, I mean) at your earliest convenience.

    There, done!

    You shouldn’t have any more visitors from tax men.

    Unless, of course, the happen to be clients?

    All the best

    Keith

  • By screamish, January 29, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

    Well Kieth I did get my package…thanks for the kind compliments. I wish i could take credit for the “research” that went into bad post office service in France but I have to say unfortunately pretty much every day is a bad day at La Poste…

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