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Vie Française |

Let’s talk French weather – Part 2

But we had to use our kitchen, didn’t we. And the kitchen was the coldest place in the house. It was too low a temperature to mature a good Roquefort cheese in, for Roquefort requires a steady ten degrees to work its magic. Our kitchen, on the other hand, had the steady temperature of +4°C.


Vie Française |

Let’s talk French weather – Part 1

When I mention southern France, what comes to your mind? I know what comes to mine, still, after all these years … turquoise seawater … lavender fields … and above all, embracing warmth. This list comes to mind, to vanish immediately, replaced with other phenomena I’ve become accustomed to recently.


Escapades |

French village people in Aveyron

I can call Villecomtal my village now because I feel integrated, as much as it’s possible for a foreigner. Meaning I work with the locals, befriend the locals, converse easily with the locals. It sure had seemed hard to integrate in France, especially in Paris!


Escapades |

Paris: A Spotter’s Guide

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, the airline messed up and you wound up in this completely strange European city. Is it true? Could this be PARIS? – If you’re still at a complete loss and the airline misplaced your GPS, let me give you a couple of well-tested clues just to make sure.


Vie Française |

Friends will be French

A lot has been written about making friends with the French. Because they’re… ‘special friends’. The kind you spend a long time getting. My crusade to France started out with living in Paris with no friends at all, and as a few more years rolled by, I still had none.


Vie Française |

When the French stole Christmas

Coming from the land of Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Santa’s little helpers, it was hard to imagine true Christmas could be found anywhere else…who knew what the French ate at their Christmas table?


Gastronomie |

Liberté, Egalité, Je Sais Cuisiner

But after settling permanently in the French countryside, I found myself willing to prove myself worthy of having a French kitchen of my own. And what could have been more helpful to a blundering novice of a Finn that I was than the Frenchman’s culinary bible: Je Sais Cuisiner.