Category Archives: IT

Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Overalls for women now legal in France – Great party trick

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This week’s Blogger Round-Up is a spin-off from my post on the disappearance of père de famille. Bellanda from Bellanda in Paris tweeted a post explaining that women are now legally allowed to wear overalls in France, while Tim from Invisible Bordeaux responded with a famous example of an exception to the rule – Rosa Bonheur. On another fun note, Chrissie from The Riviera Grapevine shares a great party trick that involves bubbly. Enjoy!

It’s no longer a joke! My overalls were not only illegal in Paris … they were illegal in all of France!

by Bellanda from Bellandainparis, a New York presently living in Paris, doing what she loves: writing/screenwriting, painting, photography & social media managing.

pants-become-legal-for-womenThe last several months, I have been joking that wearing my overalls in Paris might be considered illegal. Little did I know how right I was!

Ever since that very first day I ventured out into the streets of Paris wearing overalls, there has been ongoing banter on Twitter and Facebook about the fact that this could possibly be illegal.  There were some of you who gasped with laughter saying, “No, you didn’t?”  There were others who said things like, “Good for you!  Be yourself and be proud.”

In my defense, and yes, I somehow think wearing overalls… more exactly wearing paint stained overalls in a city where people only wear jogging/sports attire if they are actually running, does indeed need defending.  Read more


by Tim Pike, an Englishman in France who, when not writing Invisible Paris can often be spotted riding a vintage yellow bicycle or strumming a guitar. He has also conceived a set of self-guided walking tours around Bordeaux which are available for iDevices.

rosa_overallsOne of the most illustrious of Bordeaux’s daughters is Rosa Bonheur who, throughout her life which spanned much of the 19th century, became a world-renowned “animalière” and is regarded by many as the most famous female painter of her time.

Rosa Bonheur was born Marie Rosalie Bonheur on March 16th 1822 at 29, Rue Saint-Jean-Saint-Seurin (now  55, Rue Duranteau) in Bordeaux. Her father, Oscar-Raymond Bonheur, was a landscape and portrait painter and frequented Spanish artist Francisco Goya during the four years the latter spent in Bordeaux up until his death. Read more

The Party Trick I Wish I Had (And a recommendation for a fantastic wine bar in Piedmonte)

by Chrissie from Riviera Grapevine, a Sydney girl living in Nice with an insatiable thirst for the wines of the Var, Alpes Maritimes and Liguria. She happily sells, drinks and blogs about wine.

SerralungaRecently, whilst indulging in a spot of social media browsing, I came across this gem of a YouTube clip shared via LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter or some other format which all us members of the bloggersphere should apparently be mastering for self promotion!

Now, this is one party trick that I think would seriously impress. Opening a bottle of bubbly with the glass that you’ll serve the liquid in! Class. Especially with a certain nonchalance as conveyed by the guy in this clip. Surely this is a more realistic skill to master than learning how to saber a Champagne bottle with a sword?

Yet I know I could never pull it off. I’d shatter the delicate glass on impact, like a magician who fluffs his tricks. Read more

Blois Daily Photo

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The first time I saw a “daily photo” site, I didn’t understand that it was part of a worldwide community called CDP (City Daily Photo), but I have seen several since then which have inspired me, and in particular Stuart’s Amboise Daily Photo site. I thought, too, that it would provide the occasion for Jean Michel, who’s also interested in photography, to publish some of his photos.


I especially liked Korean photographer Ahae‘s idea of taking photos all year round from the same window. You obviously need a better camera than an iPhone 4 to do so, but Jean Michel will be able to use his telephoto lens to get some better close-ups, of nature in particular. We have deer in our little wood and in the vacant land between Closerie Falaiseau and the Loire River. We also have lots of different birds and plants.


So I bought the domain name from Go Daddy, which cost me 21 US dollars for 2 years and while Leonardo, my son and IT expert was here last week, I got him to set up the WordPress site and host it on his server, along with my other websites (Aussie in France, Closerie Falaiseau and my professional website Kneipp Traduction).

Go Daddy also offers hosting and you can have free hosting with WordPress. Stuart uses Blogspot which offers the same services. The only real advantage to having a domain name is that you can choose the extension e.g. .com or .fr or whatever without having blogspot or wordpress in the URL address. It also makes your site independant.

I chose WordPress and not Blogspot simply because I already use it for Aussie in France and Closerie Falaiseau but I don’t think there’s really much difference.

With WordPress (and I assume Blogspot), you get a choice of different formats (templates) which you can change once you’ve set up the site. You’re not restricted to the template you initially downloaded so you can play around with a few and see what you prefer. Once you really get going though, it’s better not to change or you might have to spent time re-organising the layout.

After that, it’s fairly self-explanatory. The section up the top (Aussie in France and the photo on this blog) is called the header. The bits and pieces on the right are called Widgits and can be changed more or less at will (although I had to get Leonardo to tidy up the Facebook, RSS and Tweet buttons for me).

You also have things called plug-ins which can be used to add various functions. Some of them become widgits (LinkWithin, popular post, Loire Valley Accommodation, Sign up for the latest posts) while others remain behind the scenes such as Akismet which protects your blog from comment and trackback spam. You can find and download them easily most of the time. I simply avoid the more complicated ones!

Jean Michel and I will gradually improve the layout, colours, graphics, etc. on Blois Daily Photo, but for the moment, we’re just trying to put up a photo every day. As we’re not in Blois at the moment, we’re drawing on our stock from the last 18 months. We haven’t made any comments on the photos either yet, but that will come. We also thought it would be a good idea to make it bilingual but that requires a little more time and organisation.

So why don’t you come over to Blois Daily Photo and tell us what you think!

A Portable Office and Temporary Residence in Blois

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Relationnel and I are on our way back to Blois. It’s 11 pm and it’s raining. We have another 1 ½ hours to go. I’ve now mastered the art of using a laptop in the car and the train. I never thought I would. I used to be allergic to laptops – I couldn’t handle the little mouse pad in the middle – but I bought a Dell Vostro (this is not an ad!) and got used to it surprisingly quickly.

My portable office

I know that someone who’s addicted to an iPhone should really have a Mac but my first computer 30 years ago was a PC (with the antiquated DOS and not Windows of course and not a mouse in sight) and for many years, a lot of the software for translators was not developed for Macs.  So I’ve stuck to my PC. When I arrive in Paris or in Blois, converting my laptop into a regular computer is easy  – I just have to insert three plugs: the power supply,  the screen and one USB plug which is connected to a hub to which my keyboard, mouse, printer and earphones are all permantly connected. That gives me two screens, which is wonderful for using reference documents and copying from one screen to the other, for example.

Our wood in autumn

I always use wifi rather than a permanent Internet connection which makes it even easier. I’ve now installed a router in the garage so that I can use wifi in the garden as well – not that I’ll be able to do so for a while. Autumn is well and truly on its way and the leaves are turning a lovely gold in our little wood. We’ve even had our first frost. We’re very pleased with the heating in the Closerie. Because of the thick walls, the temperature remains very even. It’s a bit cooler than I’m used to in our Paris apartment which is overheated through no fault of our own, but in Blois we can maintain a steady 19°C (the regulation temperature for heating in France) without any problem.

Sadly, the renovations on our balcony in Paris are proving more complicated than expected and instead of ten weeks, it looks like there are going to last 18 weeks. Banging, drilling, shouting and radio music are certainly not conducive to translating!  I thought I could set up a temporary office on the other side of the apartment but it turns out that the drilling and banging can still be heard there as well. I also find it very difficult to live in an apartment with no daylight in either my office or in the living room.

Our Renaissance fireplace

So by the look of things, I’ll be in Blois until the beginning of January, just returning to Paris for the occasional weekend when Relationnel can’t come down because of work. I’m delighted to be in Blois, but Relationnel and I are not happy to be separated during the week for such a long period of time. But this week we’ll both be in Blois as Relationnel is beginning the BIG FIREPLACE OPERATION, whose aim is to get our original Renaissance fireplace working, a tough challenge as the previous owners renovated everything except the four fireplaces.

The bedroom fireplace after cleaning

You may remember that Relationnel cleaned the one in our bedroom the first week we spent in the Closerie, but not with the intention of actually using it. This is a much more complicated affair, particularly with that big sag in the middle, but I have every confidence he will do a good job – his favourite bedtime reading for some time now has been books on chimneys and fireplaces !

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