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). I suppose that no matter what else is happening in the world, most of us will be thinking about that Blogger Extratordinaire, Sara Lousie from Sara from Le Petit Village.

Unfortunately, Sara Louise has had some bad news and has had to go back to the USA.

She mentioned it briefly in a post called I’m not sure what to say?

And, to be honest, I’m not sure what to say either?

When you read someone’s blog three or four times a week, they become part of your family…

When they suffer, you suffer too…

I really don’t know what to say…

Only this…

SJ – no silly awards for you this week – too busy thinking about you.

Hope you’re doing OK…

I’m sure we’re all missing you as much as you’re missing us…

If there were such a thing as an Internet Love Canon, I’d be firing it at you….

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France2). Mrs A Taste of Garlic told me that…

“If I didn’t mention her new blog, she’d cut my goolies off and feed them to the piggies!”

So I’d just like to say that Mrs A Taste of Garlic and I travelled all the way up to the big city (Rennes) to meet a couple of other bloggers and have an excellent meal.

All the details are at La Maison des Fleurs in a post called Fun with friends at Apple Pie in Rennes and, if I say so myself,if you ever find yourself in Rennes, yuo could do far worse than have a nosh up at The Apple Pie!

Hopefully that’s enough to keep Mrs A Taste of Garlic happy?

If it’s not, I’ll be talking in a high voice next week!

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France3). Kim at Paris – You are Here deserves a mention for writing the seminal Life in France blog post when she published How to drink cheap wine and speak bad French!

I wish I’d read something like this when I first moved to France…..

However, being totally honest, I ought to say that the last 8 years of learning all about drinking cheap wine and speaking bad French have been an awful lot of fun!

Even if I haven’t yet discovered a Vin de Pays that… “frolicked like a muddy puppy in my throat.”

Obviously, I’ve got an awful lot more training to do!

It’s a hard job but….

It’s got to be done, hasn’t it?

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France4). Richard Brown has just started blogging over at Overloaded Ark and has written an article about pocket knives called Cutting Edge.

I think that’s it’s lovely that, in France, there’s no social or political stigma to carrying a pocket knife.

Ideally, the perfect pocket knife should be able to open a bottle of wine, slice a baguette and spread some cheese onto the fresh bread.

If it’s also able to trim a freshly spotted Cep, all the better!

Collecting pocket knives is a great hobby, and (for anyone who like the occasional bread and cheese with a glass of wine), a very useful one as well!

Great article Richard, love your blog – what a great start you’ve made!

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France5). Tuula at Le Petit France Blog welcomed in the spring with Springtime Skies & the Return of French Cafe Culture.

About time too, is what I say!

All that sitting around outside cafés sipping Ricard…

And watching all the youngsters…

expressing their springtime-amour!

What could be better?

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 David at David Lebovitz for his Scratchy Backside Jam.

I suppose anyone who could write a blog post with that title deserves some sort of award?

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe fact that David consistently writes great prose on his chosen subject (which just happens to be my favourite subject), food…

Means that he’s pretty much everyone’s favourite French foodie writer.

And has probably already got about ten million awards in his cupboard….

So another one won’t hurt?

David, I’m sure that in Le Touquet, in my youth, I once ate “Nipple Cakes” – if you should find anything similar on your gastronomic travels, please write about them to bring back those naughty memories!

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

New blogs on the block….

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Magic27 before but, even if I have, I’ll mention her again.

Magic27 is… “A Brit living in the south of France recently and very painfully separated from a Frenchman, sharing custody of two beautiful young daughters (Dec.01 and Apr.04) and a fab cat” and this week she mentioned that she’d love to be in Love, right now.

So, any handsome non-attached young men in the Montpellier area (as long, I suspect, that you don’t look too much like David Cameron?), you might just want to take a read of Magic27

Matchmaking duties over…

I’ve just come across Bellecroix which is described as… “The thoughts and ramblings of our new life in France with molly the collie two chickens and Bob the hub”

Looks rather interesting.. especially if you like horses.

And, talking of horses, another It’s a horse’s life in France blog is Skyfaxa

Now, I’ve known about this blog for quite a while so why I haven’t mentioned it before is totally beyond me?

Premature senility?


Breaking news….

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceIt can’t be easy, being an Au Pair….

No sooner than that most famous of Au Pairs in France (famous for losing her charges on the way to school, that is) Lauren at The Au Pair Project announced that she had gone back to America and wasn’t coming back (for a while) people have been speculating about what drives these young women to come half way round the world to look after other people’s children.

And some wise observers have speculated on what happens when an Au Pair is pushed too far!

Do they turn into axe wielding maniacs desperately searching out children who haven’t brushed their teeth before going to bed?

And, if they do, is “I was an Au Pair” a reasonable excuse?

Our investigative team at A Taste of Garlic decided to take a look and find out for ourselves!

We started off by taking a look at Lucy’s progress at Adventures of an Au Pair Across the Channel but Lucy seems to be taking things in her stride and even rejoicing in Un nouveau boulot!

And Left Bank Manc was talking of Au Pairing being a form of contraception in Babysitting Again

She seems to be coping and there seems to be no apparent likelihood of an imminent psychopathic chainsaw event involving lots of young children….

At least, no more than usual?

Nikki at Into the Woods also seems to be coping the the pressure of being an Au Pair – perhaps it’s not as bad as people make it out to be?

Coco Marie at Ma Petite Vie Francaise has been quite for the last week but did mention, a few weeks ago that… “I was sort of at the breaking point of hating my job because I spent over 60 hours with people under 8 years old”

And her last post was Je déteste mon école… so perhaps the pressure of being an Au Pair is starting to show?

And finally, Mandy at My Adventures in France was reinforcing how much my job sucks.

And just last week she announced (of one of her charges), She bit me!

Mandy, a word of advice….

If one of those kids bites you again, you bite them right back!


that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceI’d like to talk about NICE CHILDREN.

It’s well known that children of expat bloggers turn out to be far better balanced and more mentally alert (whilst also being kinder and better looking) than other children.

And the proof of that theorem is right here…

Jaylee the ballet star at Rue Rice

And doesn’t she look like her Mom? Or, at least, what her Mom must have looked like when she was young?

And what about Ma Fille (Aidan’s daughter) at Conjugating Irregular Verbs?

Her guest posting all about The Magic Tree and the Giraffe makes me wonder if she should take over her Mom’s blogging duties?

That way we’d be guranteed a good story and there’d be none of those smutty posts about The Oldest Profession or confessions about Blackboard Nicking Sprees?

Ma Fille, you owe it to your new audience, you know!

Showing exactly how mature and grown up he is for his age, Jacob (who blogs at The Cabes in France) is Rolling Over… Almost

Well done, that boy!

And it’s nice to see that you’ve stopped looking like Winston Churchill!

The Winston Churchill look was, I feel, a mistake. N’est pas?

Now for the rest of the awards….

that was the week  That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThere was a lot of discussion, in the debating chamber at A Taste of Garlic Towers, about just who should win this week’s Rant of the Week Award!

Eventually we managed to narrow the field down to just two contestants and, because we were all so tired of the endless debate, decided to share the award between them!

Needless to say, there were more than a few rants about this but eventually the Awards Committee decided that, as it was closing time and we’d all had enough Ricard anyway (is there such a thing as enough Ricard?), we’d stick with the decision and, if the recipients didn’t like sharing the award… well, they could rant about it in their own time!

So, this week’s highly prized Rant of the Week Award goes to….

Sarah Hague at St. Bloggie de Rivierre for her amazing Crap Rating: Cocktail Scandinave and Mom at American Family in France for her wonderful Pissers and Smokers: The Bane of France!

Sarah’s (St. Bloggie de Rivierre) rant was all about buying a parasol that didn’t fit the hole in the garden table and then not being able to get a refund for it!

You know, I knew it was all going to end badly when Sarah talked about going shopping last week; I wasn’t wrong!

Sarah, take some advice from me….

Start collecting pocket knives and then use the sharpest on in your handbag to either…

(a) Enlarge the hole in your garden table,

(b) Wave around in front of the Cockfail Scandinave manager’s nose or…

(c) Both!

Mom (American Family in France), on the other hand, was having a nice rant all about Smokers and….

Wait for it….


This is what she had to say about the latter…

When I say ‘pissers’ I’m talking about the French men who feel it’s their God-given right to drop trou and whip out their weiners so they can pee any damn place they feel like peeing.

Where have I seen these pissers in action? Well, let’s see…the side of the road (that would be any road in France, regardless of how busy it is); medians in Monaco, right next to the multi-million dollar casinos; in the metro stations, against the wall, as people walk by; on the street/sidewalk, as people walk by; in my apartment stairwell, against the wall so it drips down the stairs and pools in the hallway; on the floor next to the toilet in a public bathroom….really, the list goes on and on. No place is off limits to the pissers.

Who are the pissers? Any man. From 3 years old to 90. From the lowest rung on the social ladder to the highest. I’ve seen ‘em in rags, and I’ve seen in in tuxes with diamond-studded cufflinks. I am not lying.

Wow! Two great rants, two worthy winners of this week’s Rant of the Week Award and I’m sure that you can understand why we had to spend 8 hours in the bar, drinking Ricard, trying to choose between them!

The I’m So Happy I COuld Wet Myself Award goes to Shannon at Je ne sais quoi… for her post asking What is this strange, odd feeling??

Shannon, I think it’s happiness that you’re suffering from?

Either that or Spring Fever?

Just take two Paracetamols and have a nice lie down – I’m sure it’ll go away soon (I too suffered from a bout of happiness once but I got better without any lasting effects!)

And, speaking of Spring Fever….

Le Petit at Parisienne Mais Presque was suffering from it as we found out in Still not the “spring fever” I had in mind

Still, it looks like some Healthy and Delicious! risotto seems to have done the trick?

Now, I didn’t think that we had any Awards for Traumatising Aidan’s Children but, Mrs A Taste of Garlic said she thought we had some on the top shelf of the old wardrobe in the guest bedroom.

And she was right!

So, I’m going to award an Award for Traumatising Aidan’s Children to Kirsty at You had me at bonjour for her post about When we went to Aidan’s house.

Nice photos, Kirsty; nice house Aidan. Aidan’s children, are you OK?

The fantastic Award for Capturing Granny and Granddad Snoozing goes to Jamie at n’oublier pas mon petit pois! for Grandma’s Wall

A well deserved award that’s not often awarded these days!

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

Here are the famous Awards for not Winning an Award!

Top of the list of winners of our Awards for not Winning an Award this Week is Leesa from News from France who seems not to have been giving us much news from France as she has been sunning herself in Costa Rica instead; and having much too much of a good time – as you can see from My boys… at Koki Beach.

We have mentioned this before and an official report is in the process of being drawn up; I’m not sure what upsets us the most….

Whether it is Leesa’s total lack of interest in her day job (providing us with tasty titbits of gossip and pretty photos from Paris) or…

Perhaps we’re just jealous that she’s been lying on a beach and getting a sun tan whilst we’ve been shivering in freezing France?

I suspect that it’s a bit of both, really!

So, Leesa, once again… another Award for not Winning and Award this Week for you!

And Leesa is joined by Rosalyn at An English Rose in France who posted First of the blossom on cherry tree

Now, Rosalyn, you would have been the outright winner of our Award for Spotting the First Cherry Blossom of the Year but…

We’re not running that competition until next week!

So, for sneakily trying to sneak in an entry before anyone else gets a chance you’re disqualified and will have to make do with an Award for not Winning an Award this Week instead!

And speaking of low down cunning…

We did notice the sneaky way that Natalia at Our Life in France snuck in her post asking… Where have I been??? in the forlorn hope that we might not notice that she’d gone a whole month without blogging at all!

As to be expected, there are plenty of excuses but…

They don’t wash with us!

So, Natalia, for not blogging for a whole months, it’s an Award for not Winning an Award this Week for you!

But, before you get too upset, I would like to say that I loved the recioe for Lemon Parmesan Chicken over at your new blog… Ma Nouvelle Mode!

Now, it’s getting to be a bit of a habit, giving out Awards for not Winning an Award! to Delana at Du Jour but, as we can see from Let’s get serious, even her own mother is complaining about her lack of blog posts!

Delana’s excuse is that she’s been to busy worrying about… “all the horrible things going on in the world today!”

Well, Delana, all I can say is….

Forget about all the nasty goings on in Libya and concentrate on getting yourself a boyfriend and having a good time instead!

I’m sure your Mom would agree with me!

In the mean time, it’s yet another Award for not Winning an Award this Week for you!

All the best

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

If you like a Taste of Garlic, why not share it with your friends on Facebook

Links to go here


  • By Sarah Hague, March 29, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    Wow! Best Rant Award shared with Mom – cooooool!

    You should see the letter I’ve penned with my dearly beloved to be sent to head office. It’s a corker. 🙂

    Loved David’s post on scratchy butt jam. Classic!

  • By Aidan, March 29, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    Ma Fille’s Kirsty induced trauma will be alleviated by her big win for her guest post.
    And as far as Sara is concerned, lovely mention. I feel the same way but couldn’t have said it as well as you. We’re a little expat family over here.
    aidan x

  • By Kirsty, March 29, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

    Aidan breeds them tough, they’ll be fine!

  • By Tuula, March 29, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    Thanks for the mention Keith, nice to see myself here!

  • By Mom@americanfamilyinfrance.com, March 30, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    Wow! Thanks for the award and mention Keith. I am truly honored. I’ve just come from a “Café et Conversation” language exchange group that I founded and had oh so much fun. I just love, love, love my French neighbors. If any of them is a pisser, I would never know. 🙂

  • By margaret aka Ubermom, March 31, 2011 @ 1:35 am

    Hey, Keith! Kudos for sending kudos to my baby. If you’re ever in south Florida look me up and I’ll make you some of the best Cassoulet this side of the pond. Had some in Dec. in Carcasonne and became an instant fan.

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Digg button Stumbleupon button