Welcome to our Brittany Blog
Tuesday, 14th January 2020
The Old Ivy restaurant in Reminiac reopens next week ....
The good news is that the Old Ivy is re-opening on the 20th of January 2020 after being closed a while due to the previous owners ill health
A local family is taking it over and intend to offer all sorts of local Breton produce both lunchtime and some evenings
There will also be a bar plus café and fresh bread will be on sale daily..........
As soon as we have tried it out we'll let you know
Sunday 12th January 2020
Brexit and Travelling to France in 2020
At last some sort of resolution to Brexit is on the horizon so here's the latest we have as far as travelling to France goes for 2020. The good news is nothing should change this year- plus, assuming the details get sorted out not a lot should be different for 2021 onwards either
The UK is leaving the EU on the 31st January 2020 but there will be a transition period until the 31st December 2020. During that time nothing will change as far as UK citizens rights in Europe are concerned. No extra paperwork, visas etc will be required to travel to France. The European Health card will still be valid during this eleven month period
Brittany Ferries have said on their website ......"Whether you have already booked or are thinking of travelling with us, deal or no deal, Brittany Ferries will continue to operate all routes after the UK has withdrawn from the European Union. The fundamentals of travel by sea will not change regardless of the post-Brexit landscape, so please continue to book with confidence"
Passports: The Goverment advises that you should ensure that there are at least six months duration reminiang on your passport from your date of arrival abroad. For the latest information, visit the government’s webpage on passports
So book with confidence and come and visit sunny France !
Friday, 10th January 2020
Bonne Année !!
The year is only ten days old and I have just received an email from my bank alerting me of a potential scam for 2020.
When writing the date many people in France and I am sure in the UK just use two numbers for the year. Yep, I do that, so for today I would write 10/01/20.
My bank has just warned me that unscrupulous companies or individuals could easily alter the date to future date document or contract 10/01/20 could easily become 10/01/2006.
I must be so naive, I had even thought about that!. Hence, the advice is to write the date in full.
Wednesday 16th October 2019
Nutella Unites France
If there is anything that French families all put in their shopping trolley, it is Nutella.
Nutella was created by an Italian baker, Pietro Ferrero, during World War II when he came up with the spread because of a shortage of cocoa, so he supplemented the cocoa with hazelnuts and sugar. By 1964 it had gone through its second iteration and began to gain widespread appeal and now sells 365 million kilograms in over 160 countries. However, it is in France that the Ferrero family business sells the most—it is reported that France eats a quarter of all Nutella pots produced, often at the 4 p.m. “gouter,” which is a sweet snack to tide people over to dinner.
The French are very passionate about Nutella.
In January 2018, there were riots in French supermarket, Intermarché, when it reduced the price of Nutella by over 70%, meaning a 950g pot that normally costs €4,50 was only €1,41. Many people were hurt in the scuffles which took place around the country.
In January 2015, a French court ruled that a family could not legally name their daughter Nutella, after the brand. Since 1993, parents have been free to choose their baby’s name unless it is thought to not be in the best interests of the child. Her name was later changed to Ella.
Since May 27, 160 workers–of a 400-strong workforce–at the Nutella factory in northern France have been on strike demanding a pay increase of 4.5% and a bonus of €900. Management are trying to negotiate just a 0.4% raise, which has not gone down well and strikers are blockading lorries in and out of the plant. Since June 3, striking workers have been subjected to severe fines but so far the strike is still ongoing. It means that of the four production lines, only one is working and only at one-fifth capacity. This is very very bad news for the Nutella consuming French population.
Monday, 7th October 2019
Brittany to start using radar cars
Just a little warning for those travelling to Brittany this autumn
A total of 60 vehicles will be deployed in Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire and Pays de la Loire in the new year after the government deemed a year-long trial in Normandy a success.
Cars, which are operated by private companies, became operational in Normandy in April 2018. They recorded more than 12,000 speed violations in a year.
Plans for the vehicles were unveiled in February 2017. At the time, it was said they were intended to free up police and gendarmes. Drivers’ groups say that the extra fines revenue could be worth €2.2billion.
The private unmarked speed cars operate a least six hours a day, compared to the average of 1hr 15mins for police-driven vehicles. Officials deny motorists' associations claims that the increase in hours is intended solely to drive up revenue for the State.
Authorities have previously said that the speed control unit, camera and software in the privatised vehicles is automated and the driver will not be able to affect its operation. Nor are companies paid by the number of tickets that are issued.
Friday, 27th September 2019
Mooing of cows to be a French national heritage treasure
The mayor of a French village has called for the noises of the countryside to be declared a national heritage treasure in a bid to prevent farmers from being taken to court over the cockerel’s crow, the mooing of cows or the chiming of bells.
Bruno Dionis du Séjour, mayor of Gajac, population 387, in southwestern France, said he had been spurred into action after a string of complaints from “selfish” neo-rurals over the noise of rural life.
In an open letter to French MPs, Mr du Séjour said that such noises were part of “the rhythm of the countryside and things that make it what it is, which are as dear as they are simple”.
“Let the crowing of the cockerel, the familiar bark of the dog, the church bell, the mooing of cows, the braying of the donkey and the chirruping of birds be inscribed into national heritage,” he wrote.
The mayor said he had been shocked by “the selfishness of new fellow citizens, most of the time of urban origin, who discover the countryside like the idiot who discovers that eggs don’t grow in trees”.
This month, a group of six new villagers from Occoches, in the Somme, filed a legal complaint against a farmer over plans to place 80 cows in a field and stable near their property.
Their lawyer, Chloé Peyres, said: “That means no more summer barbecues.”
“The smell, the noise, the flies are real nuisances,” she argued.
Just a thought... but maybe her clients should have stayed in the city!..
Wedesday, 18th September 2019
Intergenerational Living is becoming increasingly popular in major French cities.
Intergenerational living is when senior citizens share their homes with young people. This offers a solution to two persistent social problems: caring for the elderly and affordable housing for young people.
Former social worker Véronique Estival, 56, first began thinking about taking in a young person around four years ago, after seeing a news report on the intergenerational homesharing agency Pari Solidaire. The idea appealed to her, but she still lived with her daughter in the apartment they shared in the southeastern Paris suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine.
More than a year later, Estival’s daughter moved out, and she found herself living alone and with a spare room. “The thought resurfaced that I didn’t want my apartment to be inhabited by just one person, especially in the Paris area where the housing market is tight,” she told FRANCE 24.
The idea took on a sudden sense of urgency late last year, when Estival was forced to take leave from her job in November due to health reasons. She was experiencing chronic loss of balance, which made it difficult for her to do simple chores like shopping for groceries.
“My entire family lives elsewhere in France, I’m the only one who lives in the Paris area ... I was alone,” she said. “With my health issues, I told myself it was getting complicated.”
Estival’s family harboured similar concerns. They wondered what would happen if she were one day unable to leave the apartment, and none of her neighbours noticed. She had friends, but they were busy with their own lives.
Estival contacted Pari Solidaire, which introduced her to Claire Garnett, a 25-year-old British woman. Garnett had recently moved to France from Cardiff, Wales, where she worked in the hotel industry. Unhappy with her job, she decided to leave everything behind to study French abroad.
Despite the language barrier and the 31-year age difference, the two women felt an immediate affinity for each other.
“My first impression of her was that she was someone who smiles a lot. For me, Claire is all smiles and fits of laughter,” Estival said.
A week after their first meeting, Garnett moved into Estival’s spare room on April 1. Under the terms of their homesharing agreement, Garnett pays a reduced rent of €240 per month, plus €10 for the WiFi they had installed after her arrival. Although Estival does not need the money, she said it helps make up some of the income she lost by being on sick leave. She and her family also find Garnett a reassuring presence in the apartment in the event of an emergency.
“It was like it was meant to be,” Garnett said.