Monday, 14 July 2014

Happy Bastille Day!

Monet Montorgueil

Today is Bastille day, aka French National day. Obviously everybody has to work this side of the Channel, but that's not the case in France. In my home country there was a huge military parade on the Champs Elysees, and everybody was watching it, just like any other 14th of July. If I were in France, I would probably be at the village ball by now, dancing the night away. I always thought that the 14th of July was the real start of the summer holidays. Ah, memories...

But no, instead, I spent the day working, like any other day. I couldn't go out in the evening because I hadn't booked a babysitter. Maybe I should have. Going out when you have kids is a bit like planning an expedition : you have to do it a lot in advance, and I couldn't be bothered. In short, it was just a regular day. Nothing more, nothing less.

Does it mean that I have become British? Well, I wouldn't be so sure. I am starting to miss the Mediterranean like mad. It's something about the light and the cicadas, and I badly need it right now. And for some reason, I remain the French expert. I often get questions about 'the French' -if there is such a thing!-. A friend of mine called me today: she was all excited because after a few days her brand new French boyfriend had told her that he loved her. I had to explain that he doesn't really mean it. He just means that he kind of likes her. I was as diplomatic as I could, but I think that she couldn't help being a bit disappointed. She thought that he was going to ask her to marry him soon. Well, the average French guy probably says 'Je t'aime' more than the number of times he brushes his teeth -and French guys usually have good teeth. So much for cultural differences. Or maybe I have just become too cynical. That's just me, I suppose. I hope I didn't ruin her day. I might have, actually. I will never get it right. Sigh. So much for trying to help. 

On this note, I hope that you enjoyed Bastille day! And I will go to sleep listening for French music to put me in the right mood!



10 comments:

  1. Vive la Difference- and you SHOULD have taken the day off!!!

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    1. Next year maybe...that's what I keep telling myself at least!

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  2. I was in France for Bastille day, but it's not really celebrated in my town because it clashes with a big traditional music and dance festival. Fabrice asked my parents and all my friends if they watched the President's speech and the military parade on TV, but nobody did. In this small part of Western France, we definitely are Breton first!

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    1. Ah, la Bretagne! Always doing things in a different way...Why am I not surprised?

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  3. I didn't watch the parade on tele or anything, but I did read that the prez was booed as he went past. Not being French, I have no cultural ties to this particular celebration (Bastille Day, not booing the prez) and was happy to be on holiday for the weekend around Mont Aigoual and ignore the whole thing (which I successfully did for the world cup final too!).

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    1. Good for you. The odd thing is that I still feel some ties with France. As much as I deny it, I still feel it...

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  4. I understand your longing for a more Mediterranean surrounding as August approaches. London may be good at some things but it's terrible at summer holidays - nothing stops, the weather is either disappointing or suffocating, and one never really gets to enjoy it that much. That said, I'm off to Provence next week, so hopefully I will get to enjoy a summer there!

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    1. Enjoy Provence, Flora. Maybe I bumped into you there...

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  5. Honesty may hurt in the short term hurt, but is a necessity for long term happiness.

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    1. Totally agree. But it's not always easy, right?

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