Celebrations… in the snow

The last week in January is our week for celebrating. There’s a wedding anniversary, 28 years already! The boys’ birthday four days later and Franci just the next day. All nicely fitted into one week. We spread the parties over two weeks, just so we can take a breathe between all this celebrating. : )
This year we had some nice snow to add to the celebrations. Very different from the swimming parties we were used to in Cape Town.
Where we live in France it doesn’t snow that often, which is nice. Its not only us South-Africans that are excited about the snow, the locals enjoy it as well. Everybody is outside, the children are playing in the snow and you see all kinds of things that are used to slide with. : )

early morning…
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Franci’s party… if you don’t understand the cake, it is ok, it just shows that you don’t play minecraft. Ok, if you don’t know what minecraft is… ok, you don’t play computer games… it’s fine… : )

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Franci and Manon…

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family fun!!

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The neighbours told us that the place to go is the hill behind the station.

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The friendly Brigitte and Jacques borrowed us their wooden sledge that he still built for his kids 20 years ago…

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even more fun…

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The boys still have the same birthday parties as they had in South Africa. You invite a bunch of guys. Eat sausage rolls… ok, this was different. Any boy in Cape Town will just without thinking cut his roll and add the sausage in the middle. Here we had to do a bit of explaning….

Boerewors rolls, french style…

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and waffles… which needed less explaning, although its not a french thing either : ) 

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Now we need to take a good break to be ready to celebrate Danie’s 50th in June… Boerewors rolls… no maybe that should be something bigger.  : )

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Paperwork… in Rambouillet.

Our ‘titre de séjour’ (resident permits) with our new address are ready to be picked up and for some reason we now have to fetch it at the préfecture in Rambouillet and not in Versailles. I don’t really mind, just a good excuse to see another place. For Danie it is a bit more difficult, because Versailles is on his way to work and Rambouillet is exactly in the opposite direction.
Yesterday I went to fetch mine and tried to get Danie’s as well, but this little card is too important to be given to somebody else. : ) He has to go himself… in person. : )

Rambouillet is about 30km South-West from us, so with the help of my GPS I drove to the address of the Hotel de Ville as there is a parking area. What I didn’t know was that Wednesday is market day in Rambouillet, and the parking was filled with vegetables, chickens, books and more. Not really a problem, I found a parking spot close by and could also browse through the market.

Hotel de Ville of Rambouillet

market day

I walked down Rue du Général de Gaulle

This street is filled with stree cafés , chocolatiers, boulangeries and boucheries…

all the way down to the préfécture at the bottom of the road

A quick stroll in the park where you can see that autumn is here…

and then to the beautiful Château de Rambouillet, which is the summer residence of the president of France.

The president’s backyard and garden…

The guards were not on duty, so I don’t think Monsieur Hollande is in Rambouillet at the moment… : )

7 Reasons to move to France… or not

I received the Versatile blogger award from VinylEraser a while back… and now again from Chaumierelesiris. : ) Thank you to both of them!  The awards are just a friendly gesture among bloggers to encourage and acknowledge each other.
VinylEraser is an art blog. Go and have a look at his lovely art here on his blog. Chaumierelesiris is written by a lady who lives in London and now owns a house in Normandy, where she spends holidays with her family. You can read about their visits to this lovely cottage here on her blog.

For the award you are then asked to tell seven things about yourself and send the reward on to other bloggers. I will send it on later.

As this blog is about our move to France, I will give you seven reasons to move to France… or maybe not to move… : )
(Just a friendly warning: These reasons might not all make sense to you if you don’t live in South-Africa.)

Reason 1: Move here for Nutella crêpes, or don’t move and still enjoy cinnamon pancakes… 

Cheaper Nutella could be a good reason. It’s half the price we payed in Cape Town. With Nutella you have to mention crêpes of course. Crêpes Nutella
Or maybe don’t come for Nutella… You know that crêpes is just the fancy French word for nice South-African pancakes. Because Nutella is so sweet, I always order the Crêpe Sucre. A pancake with white sugar. It would be so much better if they knew to add a little  cinnamon.

Reason 2: Move here for self-help tills, or don’t move and enjoy the friendly talkative packers at Pick a Pay…

Supermarkets here have tills where you can scan your items yourself… really. This is now if you buy less than ten items. You go to your till, pick up the scanner, beep, beep, insert your card and off you go after the voice told you that you can now remove your items.
Or maybe don’t move for self-help tills, because on the day that you buy a trolley full of groceries, you have to pack it yourself. Normally you are not able to do it fast enough and you have to pay in between and the next client is waiting for you. Then you miss the friendly Pick a Pay woman who used to pack it for you and might also have said: ‘Mevrou, hoekom gaan kry jy nie liewer die 750g boks nie, hulle is op special vandag!’

Reason 3: Move here because France is a beautiful country, or don’t move because you will never see a brown countryside…

That could make a good reason, because it is just so green, even flowers don’t need any encouragement to grow. In the past year I did not have to water the garden once. Everywhere is beautiful with so many trees and green as far as you can see.
Or maybe don’t move here for green, because you might just want to see some brown some day and you won’t! If you come from the drier regions of South Africa, you might just miss the brown…

Reason 4: Move here for the beautiful language, or don’t move for the language… they conjugate, you know…

When we told people we are moving to France and have to learn French, many people reacted with: ‘it’s such a beautiful language’. Well, you can move here to learn to speak French, because you will for sure. The French really only speak French. It’s a small miracle if you come across someone who can speak English. : )
Or maybe don’t move for the language… as I said… they conjugate! Nouns are also either male or female. How is one suppose to remember a table is female and a carpet is male. Do you say le or la, une or un… And conjugation… this means that for each pronoun the verb has a different form!  And just as you know the rules, you hear about all the exceptions. : )

Reason 5: Move here for the cheese, or don’t move for the cheese, you might not find Gouda…

Yes, the French are known for their fromages. Even the packaging is so pretty. I sometimes buy it just for the little wooden box. : ) You can try a new kind every day and can be busy with that for a long time.
Or maybe don’t move here for the cheese…  you might walk up and down the two aisles filled with cheese and you can’t find normal Gouda. In Pick a Pay Gouda had it’s own aisle! You know… we have to make a braaibroodjie sometimes. : )

Reason 6: Move here for the bread, or don’t move for the bread, you might need gewone blokbrood

A Frenchman with a baquette under his arm… that picture that you sometimes see is really true. French people buy baquettes from their local Boulangerie. And yes, the bread is really nice and they bake all day, so mostly your baquette is still warm. Then you have to add to this the croissants and pain au chocolat, and more. Not a bad idea to move for the bread…
Or maybe don’t move for the bread, because normal sliced bread is not popular at all. The sliced bread you find here can last for a month.  You can work out how much preservatives that takes. Its still the thing of being able to make braaibroodjies… : )

Reason 7: Move here for PARIS… 

Yes, this Paris, not the Freestate one… The one with la Tour Eiffel, la Seine, les Champs-Élysées… So what can one say against this… Let’s not say anything more…

Or maybe if you don’t want to move here, just come visit! : )