Remarkable trees in France

France is remarkable in many ways, including in trees. We recently published an article about the remarkable trees in Paris and now below you'll find some for the rest of France. We were out on a bike ride a few kilometers from home the other day and came across a tree planted in 1556! It was huge! And in great shape. The tree is called the Platane de Diane because it was planted by Diane de Poitiers, favorite of Henri II when she received the hunting property at les Clayes. A beautiful plantain tree that has seen not only Diane, but certainly Louis XIV walk beneath during a hunting trip, saw a first chateau built under Henri III, destroyed partially during the Revolution and another chateau built in the 19th century, burned by the Germans as they retreated at the Liberation, the telegraph line running past up on the hill, the writer Tristan Bernard and the artist Edouard Vuillard and who knows how many other famous people and events. All that in the Paris suburbs Les Clayes…
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Bicycle visibility – Darkness is coming

Darkness is coming - Bicycle visibility (for joggers too)! When daylight savings time ends and you have daylight from only 8 am to 4 pm there's a lot of bike riding to be done in the dark. How can you put the odds of being seen on your side? Bicycle visibility! Some things are pretty obvious: florescent shirt or jacket, reflective vest, headlights and tail lights. That's the minimum. But you can do more and with more panache too! I ride with multiple forms of light and reflectors and for that matter I use all of my visibility techniques during broad daylight too. The way I see it you can never be too visible. http://www.saintgermainenlaye.eu/en/pages-speciales/detail-decouvrir0/article/security-of-cyclists-well-seen-well-protected/ Fashion? Yes you can! Ugly yellow construction vets? OUT! OUT! OUT! Put on something with style like a well-fitted multicolored vest from Rayon Jaune.

Who is Rayon Jaune? Béatrice: Ingénieuse ès produit. Béatrice worked i…

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A tongue-in-cheek look at the French Education System

If you have children in France, there’s a good chance that you might possess at least the stirrings of the beginnings of a stab at understanding it. Then again, you might not. If you don’t have children in France, there’s a mega-chance that your quest for grasping it will prove even more futile than your search for a short line at La Poste. No, we refer not to The Meaning of Life. We refer to…..the French education-system. So, here is a very incomplete (in the interest of space), extremely simplified (in the battle against cerebral overload) exploration of pedagogy as known and--sometimes not--loved in France and beyond. Which brings us to our first point: the “beyond” part. The French system of elementary, middle and high schools not only graces Gallic soil but also extends throughout the world in what is recognized as a unique offering that accommodates the needs of French expats and follows the same curricula, administers the same tests and delivers the same degrees as …
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Discover 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French This cute little book that fits in your hand was inspired from the original article 20 Ways You Know You're Becoming French The article got such good response from our readers that author Shari Leslie Segall had the great idea to make it into a book. We teamed up with an artist  for watercolor illustrations and thought up more than 90+ points that are ways you know you are becoming French. Such as: would never conceive of a holiday menu without foie gras, oysters and glazed chestnuts ask everyone you know about their recent/upcoming vacances know who Marianne is Judith, an American in Paris since the 1990s, had this to say after reading the book 90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French:

"This is really funny--I actually improved my quality of life from "Becoming French". The one about saying bonjour to the bus driver and not your neighbor? I realized I didn't often greet the bus driver so …

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FUSAC in the press – By Inspirelle

FUSAC Packs 28 Years of Paris Know How into Books for Expats For years, newcomers to Paris have known that the acronym FUSAC is one of the first words to learn when adapting to their new environment. Transferring to Paris? Seek out FUSAC’s ads for apartment rentals or find great used furniture sales. Leaving? Sell off your household goods quickly by posting an ad. Job searches, advice, it’s all been there for the past 28 years. And, what’s so incredibly impressive about FUSAC is that it is founded and entirely run by a devoted couple, Lisa and John Vanden Bos, with their assistant Caroline. Many of us at INSPIRELLE can remember picking up our free copy of the FUSAC magazine at one of the English-speaking bookstores or shops in Paris. Today, FUSAC is available exclusively online, and its owners have packed all their knowledge and experience with expats into three books: 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, Speak Easy Puzzles (volume 3) and, most recently, the FUSAC Free G…
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Interview with Nancy Ing Duclos from Inspirelle

Interview with the founder of Inspirelle : Nancy Ing Duclos first came to France in 1988 to learn French in the hopes of obtaining a foreign post for her budding TV news career. When fate intervened, she quickly dropped out of her immersion classes to learn French the best way—from  her new Parisian boyfriend. She then stunned her Canadian family in Toronto by quitting her job as a reporter/producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to move to Paris. Today, Nancy lives in the French capital with her dashing photographer husband and son, and works actively as a freelance news producer for major television networks. She continues to be fascinated by French attitudes and lifestyle, and never to turn down a new challenge, is learning new skills in the digital world with the creation of  www.INSPIRELLE.com, an online lifestyle magazine for women living in and traveling to France.   When, where and how did you find your first FUSAC? Who hasn’t heard of FUSAC? I…
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Useful telephone numbers

Useful telephone numbers for France: English speaking, emergency and helpful services. Vocal Spam: Had enough? Make a complaint. Have you ever received an SMS from someone you don't know who invites you to call them back urgently at a number that is costly to call (it might start with 08 or it might be a 4 digit number) or to click a link or respond by SMS to a 5 digit number? You might be alerted that you have a package or that you won something, etc. It is likely to be spam and expensive if you respond. UNlike the spam on your email you can actually report a spam sms. First transfer the message to 33700, they will respond and ask you to then sms the phone number that sent you the sms. Voilà, easy as that to report and if there are enough complaint they spammers will have their phone number cut off! CPAM / Assurance Malade, or “Ameli” which is the French administrative body that manages healthcare has English-speaking service numbers: 36 46 or 08.11.36.3…
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Recycle Please don’t just throw everything in the garbage

Zero waste

There's a Zero waste boutique in Paris, 3 rue Charles Nodier 75018, which proposes ateliers, information, products and ideas for moving your day to day towards zero waste. The association Zero waste France which runs the boutique has all kinds of different campaigns to reduce waste most of them are initiatives to not use containers or distribute flyers in the first place. The association is also a great place to volunteer or make monetary a contribution.

But sometimes we have waste, we have to get rid of things no longer useful to us. So here's some ideas as to how to clean up and clean out by sending things you are don't with to either proper disposal facilities or recycle and pass them on to others who just might find your garage to be just what they need.

Please don’t just throw everything in the garbage - recycle

Some items need a few minutes reflection for proper waster disposal and to recycle. For example according…

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Hints and Hindsights – FFFFFF. F to the sixth power.

Hints and Hindsights. FFFFFF. F to the sixth power.

The six Fs. Fascinating, Fun Facts and Figures about France and French.

They come in handy more often than you’d think: during lulls in parties, as intros or outros to speeches, when you need to prove to some arrogant twit that at least some foreigners know there’s a world beyond Main Street and a timeline that precedes 1776. But let’s not get too arrogant ourselves - even for the most cultivated among us, some of these are real jaw-droppers:

-> When was the last guillotining in France? No, it was not during the 1793 Reign of Terror. It took place in Marseille on September 10, 1977 (that’s nineteen seventy-seven!) to end the life of Tunisian immigrant Hamida Djandoubi, convicted of having tortured and murdered his 21-year-old his former girlfriend, Elisabeth Bousquet. (France abolished the death penalty in 1981.)…

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