Friday, 28 August 2015

6 things I miss from France

Let's be clear, I can definitely live without baguettes or croissants. I can also manage without French cheese or shutters (even if I complain about them quite a lot). Sometimes I even prefer an Irish breakfast to a French one and I've started drinking tea instead of coffee. But once and again, I feel a bit nostalgic and wish for things that I can't have here in Ireland...

1- Fruit Syrup

Grapefruit, strawberry, lemon, lime, grenadine... I still don't understand why those are not sold in Ireland. Except blackcurrant, you just can't get anything. I'm sure they would be popular with kids, and even adults (a dash of grapefruit syrup with Rosé wine is to die for, trust me).

2- French music

I'm so not up to date with what's going on in the French music scene. I could check it online, but what I actually miss is hearing some random French song on the radio (I know, that's a bit weird). I just miss the variety  and even if the quality is not always there in France, at least you have more choice. Any suggestions are appreciated ;-)

My latest discovery in French music, and yet, that's already a good few months old...

3- Affordable wine

We met an Irish couple who came back from their French holidays a few weeks ago. The highlight of their trip? Being able to bring cheap wine back to Ireland. I'm still very French when it comes to alcohol, and I'd rather drink a nice glass of wine than a pint of beer. Since Tesco has discontinued their cheap but yummy Rosé d'Anjou, I have yet to find a good replacement, because frankly, paying 10 euros for a bottle just breaks my heart.

4- Hot lunch at school

I hate having to make sandwiches for my kids everyday. The reason being I don't think it's very healthy. But there's no canteen in the school and they can't heat food either. There was an article online recently about the Green party wanting to introduce hot lunches in every school in the country.  People who commented were complaining it would be too costly, and wondered why parents would have to pay and so on. Trust me, I wouldn't mind paying 10 euros a week for my child to eat a balanced meal every day instead of a cheese and ham sandwich.

5- Affordable childcare

We are lucky in the sense that we can afford childcare. My husband and I work full time but different hours so the kids never really had to go 8 hours a day to the childminder. In France, you can have tax credits when you pay for childcare, before school and after-school care are common, and within the grounds of the school so you can drop your child at 7:30am and pick him up at 6pm (although I agree that would be a very long day, but at least the option is there). Here, I will have to use a childminder until my kids are old enough to stay home unsupervised, which is not going to happen for many years...

6- Far away friends

I usually go home once a year to see my family and the friends who still live in the area. The thing is,  I have really good friends I haven't seen for years because they live in a different part of France (or even other countries) and the hardest thing is not knowing when I'll see them again. Organising a trip is just too complicated and the other solution would be for them to come to Ireland, but I guess we all have our life and if it's complicated for me, it's the same for them... However, to all those friends (you know who you are), I would just say: "The door is open, you are welcome whenever you want!"

I've realised I can live without many things I had in France. I just have a different life and learned to adapt... What about you, what do you miss from your home country?