Welcome to our Brittany Blog
Wednesday, 9th May 2018
Cutii, the cure for loneliness
Loneliness is a growing problem amongst the elderly.
A new startup company may have found the answer, Cutii.
Cutii is a wheeled robot. It has a screen for video chats and responds to simple commands. Cutii, the robot companion is being tested in France, and for a monthly €70 subscription Cutii will help the elderly stay in touch with family and friends and will encourage them to stay active with Yoga and relaxation exercises and even Alpine walks (by video!)
Thursday, 4th May 2018
Young adults prefer organic wine.
Organic wine sales have tripled in seven years. Organic wine sales reached €1.2 billion in 2017 and sales are increasing due to the popularity of organic wines with the 18-25 year olds.
Organic wine is made without chemical fertilisers or synthetic pestisides and the use of sulfites are limited.
The success of these wines is now causing a problem as supply has outstripped demand which could pose a real problem this year as the 2017 harvest was 25% down on the projected harvest.
Monday, 30th April 2018
Cycling to be taught in schools
A French government statement has recommended that all primary school children be taught cycling. It says that children must learn how to ride safely in urban conditions so parents feel comfortable for them to cycle to collège (age 12-15)
Sedentary lifestyles mean that the average collège pupil has 40% of the cardio-vasular capacity of schoolchildren 40 years ago.
Bordeaux is cited as a great example of a metropolitan area which is encouraging bike use. In 2017 the amount of people using bikes to get around Bordeaux was up 12%. Bordeaux has set itselkf a target of increasing the proportion of daily journeys taken by bike fron 7.7% to 15%
Wednesday, 25th April 2018
There are a few things that every household in Brittany must have. One of the essential items that every household must own is a chainsaw. I have no idea why, but ask any Breton family if they own a chainsaw and the answer will be yes. I think that it is probably because a large percentage of households still heat their homes using wood and chainsaws are pretty useful for chopping the wood to ‘wood burning stove lengths’.
The law is about to change, and anyone with a chainsaw will soon need to get training on how to safely chop wood and will also need a licence.
Some of the farmers and old men in our village have been felling trees and chopping wood for over 40 years, I can’t see them being too impressed on having to attend a course on how to use a chainsaw!
Saturday, 21st April 2018
The French discriminate against women!... surely not!
Sadly it is true!, A report by the French National Centre for Scientific Research has found that French Guest houses are more likely to accept bookings from a 40 year old men with a traditional French surname!
However, do not despair!, we accept bookings from men and women!.. whatever your age and you don’t even need a traditional French surname! We have six gites sleeping 2-8, all with wifi from only £225 per week. See our website .....Frenchgites.com
Wednesday, 18th April 2018
Drones and Caterpillars
There has been much debate over drones. They can be very effective in gathering information but they can invade privacy. I am sure this debate will contine but in the meantime researchers in Cannes have found a very good use for drones.
An experiment is due to start over a 20 hectare area near the Mediterranean resort of Cannes. Drones are being used to identify the nests of the very toxic chenilles processionnaires (processionary caterpillars) and to destroy them using a natural insecticide.
The aim is to stop these dangerous caterpillars from spreading across France.
Friday, 13th April 2018
French school dinners.
School dinners are a whole lot different in France.
Packed lunches aren’t an option.
Primary school children have a choice, they can either eat in the school canteen or the children can come home for lunch. Either way, there will be no sandwiches!
At 11 years old, children move to collège which is usually a bus journey away so it is not practical to come home, so all students eat at the 'Self'
Even when they move on to lycée at 15, there still is no possibility of bringing in your own lunch.
Lunch typically consists of a starter, main course, cheese and a dessert.
There is no choice of main course. Everyone eats the same. If your child is fussy, he or she will be hungry!
I have often wondered about vegetarians. Iona knows of just one vegetarian in her lycee and she has the same as everyone else, just no meat. There are no different meals provided, if you don't want the meat, or the vegetables you can decline this part of the meal.
However, this may be changing slightly. The French Environment Minister has said that it is ' a matter of education' for schools to have at least one meat free menu a week.
This is going to be controversial, particularly in rural areas, as meat is regarded as the main part of the meal.