Recent travels – part one: France

France, Photo Essays

    A long time since my last post so, in an effort to get up to date and make space for the many pieces I want to write now I am back in Asia, a selection of short photo collections for your delectation, from my recent travels around France, Croatia, Switzerland and Germany.  I […]

Are the French stupid?

Evergreen, France, Opinion

    From time to time I come to think that the French aren’t a very intelligent people. I am not one to stereotype, but here it is just too easy. Take today – after spending the afternoon battling for my sanity with vacant-headed pupils who don’t (or refuse to) understand the simplest of instructions, […]

The road to Saint-Nazaire


Between 35 and 50 minutes by train from Nantes, Saint-Nazaire makes for a pleasant coastal getaway from the city, and is definitely worth a drop-in on any visit to the area. While not immediately striking as being overflowing with character or the usual charm of French seaside towns, it has its appeal in a long, […]

Across the river: Trentmoult, Nantes

Evergreen, France

Taking a trip to Trentmoult doesn’t make you feel as though you’re going very far. And in truth, you’re not – it’s just across the Loire from the centre of Nantes. A ten-minute ride on the ‘Navibus’ ferry (included in my monthly tram pass, which also gets me bus and train travel – bargain!) dumps […]

Paris – times two

Evergreen, Food, France

  I am no longer a Paris virgin; the city of romance is the latest to be knocked off my ‘yet to get to’ list. In fact, while a month ago I had still not been, I’ve now already made two short visits. And, stereotypically, I have fallen in love with the place. Visit one […]

The language of Eurostar

Evergreen, France, Opinion

    I am beginning to feel like St Pancras is my second home, such is the frequency with which I am seem to be travelling by train from Nantes to London of late. But there is one part of a Eurostar journey that is still very bizarre – the not knowing whether the woman […]

Photo Essay: Beautiful Nantes

France, Photo Essays

    It looks a lot less like this at the moment, what with a snowy grey sky (yet no snow) that, together with a truckload of fog a few mornings ago, didn’t look dissimilar to a post-nuclear scene. But I wanted to share a few pictures from the blue-skied sunniness of a few weekends […]

The terrorists have won

England, Evergreen, France, Opinion

    Dear oh interested one, I write from the battlefield of several personal and professional crises. Hapless ex-employees, broken cash cards, impossible-to-access bank accounts; I have been afflicted by all of these and more over the past few weeks. But it isn’t these problems themselves which bother me – it’s the fact that, everywhere […]

Public urination and handshakes

Evergreen, France, Opinion

    About time for some more thoughts on the French, now I’ve been here five weeks. First up, pee. Yes, pee. What is it about the French that makes them think it is okay to pee up walls, into shrubs and so on? I can forgive the occasional widdle at the side of the […]

Culture rage

Evergreen, France, Opinion

    The French must have some of the silliest opening hours in the world. I’ve just got back from an attempted trip to do some washing, having watched the clothes pile up for weeks – I must have more clothes than I think, because it’s the first load I’ve done in my three and […]

A morning at Talensac

Evergreen, Food, France

    I did try to get to work this morning, honestly. Not like yesterday, when strike-caused disruption to the buses was in truth only part of the reason I got to school more than half an hour late (the other half being the fact that I couldn’t quite pull myself out of bed on […]

My Big Fat French Life

Evergreen, France

    It’s been a funny couple of weeks since I arrived in Nantes. Having extended my stay in Thailand, I had arrived back in the UK with only a week before I needed to leave again – meaning that, by the time I went, I was still reeling from having left behind my beloved […]