War documentaries

This month of August, a lot of documentaries and films on French TV have been dedicated to the liberation of France from Germany 62 years ago.

It is very emotional to see hundreds of thousands of civilians and resistance fighters killed in cold blood and beautiful centuries-old architecture just decimated into dust – both by the enemies and the allies (Americans, British, Canadians). If not for that German military officer appointed by Hitler to be the Governor of Paris, Paris would not have been as it is now – it would still be Paris but sans the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Pont Neuf, etc. The Fuhrer’s orders were to burn Paris and turn it into a complete debris. But von Choltitz, like all of us, fell in love with the city and its magnificent monuments and works of arts that he completely disobeyed Hitler (who he admitted has lost his mind…i.e. gone crazy!)
He surrendered to the French who, after learning how von Choltitz actually prevented the destruction of their city, even attended his funeral at his home country. He died of war-related illness.

Airport Inspection

We saw off my old and ill father in-law at Nice airport yesterday morning. A diabetic and has lost much of his physical coordination
after going through loads of surgeries and laser treatment to contain his bladder cancer, he is practically a walking chemist (pharmacy)
because of the number of pills he had to take each day.

As he was flying to London-Gatwick where airport security has been raised ten-fold especially for those passengers going to and from the UK
and the US, nobody – whether you are pregnant, sick or dying – is excused from their ‘No handbags, no pills, no anything allowed,
except passport, money and keys” restrictions.

My husband is so furious about his own country, England, who has become the unofficial 51st state of the US of A, so he is now
determined to apply for a French passport.

It was disgraceful and disheartening to watch my father-in-law, despite his very obvious deteriorating physical condition,
to be stripped off his tablets and asthma spray right before our eyes!

What is happening to the world?

Back in the Var

We are back in the Var.

The Var is the region of France next to the Cote d’Azur which comprises Toulon, St Troupez, Frejus, Draguignan (where we are), etc. It’s a region well-known for its vineyards and rose wine (fruity, light, rose color and best accompaniment for pasta, cheese and fish.

In August, it is really nice to see the vineyards covering the hills and the thousands of hectares of land in the region. These vineyards, heavy with grapes, big, round and dark violet, all ready to harvest!

Last month, we have already harvested our vine plant where we have collected a little more than six kilos of grapes. But for making wine, the grand harvest in the Var starts in September. In this period, the vineyard owners hire people to pick the grapes. In fact, I would like to do it one day! It would be very interesting! Usually, the work takes six hours per day and a big lunch is provided and sometimes even dinner. The money is not really good but it’s mostly the experience…. to meet other people and to spend nice soirées with them! In any case, this experience lasts from one to three weeks according to the size of the vineyard!

Unfortunately, now, several vineyards that we saw 2 or 3 years ago have been replaced by big housing development like villas and apartments! Many vineyard owners, due to bad business, have sold their vineyards to people where nearly half of them are foreigners!

In our town, Draguignan, there is already a big population of Dutch and British. The French are not happy to be invaded by foreigners but, everything became easy since the enlargement of the European Union

To the Puces

Yesterday, it was a lucky day for me! We went to the Puces Provençale (a place which sells antiques and second-hand items) and I found a very old book.

It’s a book on stories of the bible published by Hachette Bookshop in Paris in 1875!

What’s more, I bought it for only Euros 1.50….. or 112 Philippine Pesos!

It’s more of a collector’s item which might cost a fortune someday!

But, the only problem… it’s (the language is) in Latin – French!


Nowhere in Europe people-watching is as an exciting pastime as in France! It has become an institution that even infects the non-French. Why so?France is a giant catwalk, a stage, an outlet where you can freely express yourself (within reason) without the worry of being ridiculed or laughed at.

Who are the players?

1. The Frenchwoman

The French woman seems to always manage how to look like a model without a single speck of imperfection! My own words to describe the french woman – she is unique!

Each one creates her own style of dressing, of donning accessories, of fixing her hair or manipulating a scarf or a belt. It always amazes me to find a different beauty on each French woman. The only few things they have in common are – a slim figure, a nicely done-up pair of eyelashes and an accessory either to emphasize a nice part of her body or to divert attention away from the not-so-nice part.

She only wears clothes that show the silhouette and the curves of her usually slim figure plus a bit of skin to seduce but in a subtle way. She doesn’t wear the micro-mini nor the blouse that shows the cleavage. In fact, it’s usually a long skirt or knee-length dress, but the seduction shows in the slits, in the holes, in half-exposed backs, in mini-tops that show the navel or the lower abdomen, as well as low-waisted trousers that show the upper half of a thong (string monokini) in red, or any colour!

She wears her makeup that you start to wonder how did she do it when you cannot see so much a speck of the rouges and the blushes but only that something is there that made her face looks so perfect!

She wears footwear which tend to enhance her femininity… not what i call sexy because i find the word too vulgar to describe a Frenchwoman… but shall I say elegantly charming.

She speaks and laughs like you wouldn’t hear anything at all, for she is so discreet and always conscious of propriety.

She walks with grace that you might wonder if she learned it in a finishing school or that her mother taught her that way.

That she doesn’t really follow a certain fashion fad but just an expert in mixing and matching colours and accessories.

Her hair, be it looking like she didn’t comb it all or just tied it in a knot, makes her look like a seductress.

2.  The Frenchman

What makes a Frenchman look so stylish?
 He wears perfectly fitting clothes, be they the formal wear, the blue jeans or the panta-court (half-trouser, half-shorts). His shirts , whether formal or the casual tees, have to fitly hug his body.He dresses in style, choosing only good quality clothes and shoes, not necessarily expensive, but certainly not cheap-looking!

He is usually slim, always conscious of his macho-image, and that includes a good pair of biceps and a flat stomach!

He carries a shoulder bag or a sac-a-main (clutch bag)! While his British brother would not be seen with one for fear of ridicule, in France, even little boys, or teen-agers carry them and i really find it cute!

He looks like he just came out from the hairdresser. Even just to go to the Tabac to buy a cigarette, he is handsomely groomed. He makes sure that his hair is well-combed, his nails clean, he is smelling of expensive perfume, his clothes well-ironed and shoes, well-polished. His moustache and beard perfectly contoured and his hair is usually worn short and looking very neat.

He wears jewelry or accessories to boost his image.

He looks at attractive women passing his way, be they your mother or your grandmother…. as long as they are looking very feminine and seductive! Mind you, only few Frenchwomen wear jeans…. they usually wear dainty dresses or skirts with raffles, laces and flowery designs….isn’t that feminine enough?

He flirts with his eyes, he is a master in sending signals by eye contact. A woman should consider it as a compliment. By the way, to smile back to a Frenchman means she is accepting the challenge so expect the eye contact to be followed by sexual advances….

He is very proud of his chic girlfriend, shows her off like a trophy, and nothing would prevent him from turning the world his stage in showing the different ways to caress a woman for all the world to see!

formerly 'A Pinay in Europe'

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