Tuesday, December 27, 2011

mutual weirdness

Bonjour tout le monde!

Today I'm over here on my friend Alex's blog, Mutual Weirdness. Alex is currently traipsing around Europe and if my memory serves correctly, today she's actually in Dublin which is super cool, and a wonderful coincidink, because my guest post, is all about Dublin (OK, Christmas in Dublin, and Christmas was a few days ago, but amuse me and stay in the spirit, will you? Lovely).

So check it out and tell me what you think...

would you like to spend Christmas in Dublin?


Thursday, December 22, 2011

joyeuses fêtes

Well kids it's that time of the year again... that most wonderful time...

Fifty has been cleaned, the presents wrapped, Christmas cookies made, and five hours of Sherlock Holmes audiobooks downloaded for the car. We're all set to hit the road and head six hours north to beautiful, wintry, Auvergne, and Christmas at French Mommy's (while visions of frog legs danced in their heads...).

Holiday wishes and kisses,

from all of us here in Le Petit Village,

to all of you!

sugarplum bisous

P.S. I believe in Christmas miracles, and sometimes they come in the form of a banana split. God bless us everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Dark Side of Noël

Here were are again, another year gone and Christmas is only a few days away... that means, it's time to dust off my old post about the scariness that is Le Père Fouettard, and reveal the sinister side of Christmas in France...

(originally titled Nothing Says Christmas Like a Flogging and posted 15th December 2009)

OK, this is weird. I was doing a little reading about French Christmas traditions. Figure since I'm here, might as well find out the happenings of the holiday, French style. And there is no use asking The Boyfriend, he is useless at relaying this kind of information.


In France, Santa Clause is Père Noël, nothing strange there, but Père Noël has a partner, and it's not Rudolph. It's an evil man named...dun dun dun.... Le Père Fouettard.

(I think the "dun dun dun" adds a nice dash of scary, don't you?).

According to my sources (the ever reliable Wikipedia),  Le Père Fouettard was a guy who kidnapped three little boys, robbed them, killed them, and then chopped them up and put them in a stew.

Holy Reindeer Droppings! How the Fudge does this guy end up having anything to do with Sugar Plums and Mistletoe? Apparently, Jolly Ol' St. Nick some how discovered the crime (maybe when Le Père Fouettard's name was flashing in red lights all over the naughty list) and magically resurrected the children (nice tie in to J.C. there - it is his birthday after all). Le Père Fouettard ends up feeling bad and becomes St. Nick's partner and goes around with him on Christmas.

But get this, Le Père Fouettard doesn't become all full of holiday cheer like Ebeneezer Scrooge, he's still sinister, so instead of handing out pressies, he punishes all the naughty children instead. Usually with a good old fashioned flogging.

Nothing says Christmas like a flogging.

Safe to say, I'm usually a well behaved girl, but after reading about you know who (don't want to type his name again in case it has some sort of Beetlejuice effect) I'm going to be on my best behavior this holiday season.

Don't want you know who coming to town.


Monday, December 19, 2011

le toilettage de chiens & a winner

The winner of Dog Trots Globe (as picked by random.org) is No.18 Teresa at The Dog Lived (and so will I). Congratulations Teresa!
And in other dog related news... we took Fifty to the dog spa over the weekend. He is now sparkling clean and all set for Christmas. The woman who washed him thinks he is part Labrador. Huh. Interesting. And as she brushed him, she said that she had never seen a dog shed so much.

Uh, yeah. 

Tell me and my vacuum something we don't know.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

my favorite Christmas ornament...

... (besides my ceramic, miniature red Starbucks cup) is this Guinness t-shirt beermat and I'm going to tell you why... it commemorates one of my favorite weekends of all time.

It started on a Friday. I had taken a half day at work and as I left, I picked up some lunch and headed over to see The Husband. You see, back then, The Husband was only The Boyfriend and even though he lived in Dublin, he had just returned from six weeks in France. Being newly together you can only imagine how sucky those six weeks were.
Points of Greatness to note.... 1. half-days off on Friday are awesomesauce. 2. I had gotten my boyfriend back. Oh and 3. (which I failed to mention above) I had gotten my hair beautifully blow dried right after work but before picking up lunch, so I had perfect shiny, bouncy, swinging hair (helps to increase the fabulousity of any weekend).

Afternoon of cuddles and flirting by hair flipping over, I headed off to meet Bibbie for a drink at La Cave. Bibbie is my Scottish cousin who I had shared an apartment with for a couple of years. We also worked together, hung out together, and shared a brain because when you are together with someone as much as we were, that happens - I MISS YOU BIBBIE - . But she had moved back to Scotland leaving me a sad little half-brained person. On this weekend, the weekend of optimum greatness, she had returned for a visit and carafes of wine at our favorite French wine bar in Dublin.
Points of Greatness to note...1. My Bibbie was visiting and 2. we shared some wine at my absolute favorite place to drink wine. Enough said.

We pulled ourselves away from La Cave because we had to go and meet some people for dinner... including Disco Gayle. That's right, you read that correctly, Disco Gayle from Texas was in Dublin too. (I told you, it was a pretty monumental weekend). Not only were we meeting Disco Gayle, The Husband and a bunch of other people (who I will not mention individually for the sake of brevity), but we were eating at Jade, my favorite/ the best Chinese food in Dublin.
Points of Greatness to note... 1. Disco Gayle was in Dublin (Disco Gayle's motto is: Has Passport. Will Travel). 2. Disco Gayle, Bibbie, The Husband, and me all together in the same place at the same time and 3. eating at Jade, which has since closed... we can blame the economic downturn on that one or we can blame it on the fact that Bibbie and I stopped eating there five times a week. Who knows.

On Friday nights, dinner should always be followed by dancing, so naturally, that's what we did. And we did it at Sin è. Sin è was the best place for dancing away Friday nights on the Northside. The best. But guess what... it's also now closed. That damn recession.
Point of Greatness...1. Dancing at Sin è... may it now rest in peace.

And now to the crux of the weekend, the pinnacle, the pièce de résistance if you will; Saturday evening was Ireland's final match in the 2009 Rugby Six Nations. It was against Wales and Ireland was one win away from winning the whole kit and kaboodle, the Grand Slam. All pubs in Dublin were packed, but there we were, me and three of my favorite people, in a pub, together, with prime seats in perfect viewing of the match on the television. Score.

And Ireland won (point of greatness obviously).

It was pandemonium.

I grabbed the beer mat and shoved it in my pocket.

And that my friends is the story of my favorite ornament. 


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

turn the lights off

Lyon hosts a famous Fête des Lumières (festival of lights) every year on the 8th December. And this year, Le Petit Village wanted to get in on the action. Last Friday night (the 9th, not the 8th, but whatever), Honey Jr and Brother-in-Law's party committee (the same zany little committee that brought us, Brazil Day) was due to put on our village's very own Fête des Lumières outside of Le Petit Bar. But naturally, in true Le Petit Village style, it all went Pete Tong (in case you're not familiar with rhyming slang... that means, it all went wrong).

You see, Honey Jr and Brother-in-Law, are not the only members of the party committee, there are two others... The Parisian (total disaster, I know!) and Big Cheese (look at that... a brand new character never blogged about before... I'll let you in on a little secret... I'm not a fan of Big Cheese). Everyone had their own job to do to ensure that Le Petit Village was lit up like Lyon. And Big Cheese had the most important job of the day... he was in charge of the lights. Like putting them up and stuff.

Now I'm not sure if it was the pressure of all those lights and living up to Lyon that got to Big Cheese, or if he just got swept away in the festival spirit, but either way, instead of putting up lights, he spent the day drinking whiskey in the bar. Like ALL DAY. By the time 5 o'clock rolled around, he was hooched.

And that's when the fun started.

Big Cheese went home (across the street from the bar), stripped off all of his clothes, and proceeded to walk in and out of his house, shouting abuse (at who, or about what, I have no idea). Somebody was not having it (I'm pretty sure that someone was his wife) and called the Gendarme (or as I like to call them, le po-po).

And that was that.

So the only Fête des lumières we had in Le Petit Village last Friday night, was the flashing lights of the Gendarme's car, and Big Cheese's full moon.

Please enjoy a short clip of how Lyon does it (i.e., correctly)...

I'm totally going next year.

Who's coming with me?


P.S. If you haven't entered my book giveaway. You really should. Go ahead and click here, and let Fifty tell you all about it. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

a little about everything & nothing

So yesterday, while Fifty was busy blogging about Chula's book giveaway, and updating his Facebook page (I curse the day I taught him to type... now someone wants his very own Macbook for Christmas and well, that's just not going to happen), I was moonlighting over on Jen's blog A Little About Everything and Nothing.

Pop on over and read my moonlighting writing here.

And if you haven't already (and you really, really should) enter to win an autographed copy of Dog Trots Globe here.

over and out.


Monday, December 12, 2011

giveaway: Dog Trots Globe

Bonjour tout le monde!

C'est moi... Fifty!

My mommy is letting me write the post today to tell you all about my Sheltie friend, Chula Wula D’Augue, and a fun giveaway (and Mom... how come I don't have a snazzy name like Chula's?)

Chula's mom is a nice lady named, Sheron Long, and Mrs. Long has written a book called, Dog Trots Globe. It's about France... but through Chula's eyes. So I'm pretty sure Chula helped out a little bit (or a whole lot!).
{pretty girl}

In Dog Trots Globe, Chula explores all over Paris and my lavender, stomping grounds... Provence! It's full of loads of beautiful photos of France (more than 150 beautiful photos of the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, and those Provencal markets my mommy likes so much and loads of other ones too). Plus there are loads of tips in case you want to come to France and bring your dog too (dogs are THE best travelling buddies if you ask me and I'll let you in a little secret... French people love dogs... we're welcome almost anywhere).

If you want to win your very own autographed copy of Chula's beautiful book (that also comes with lots of fun online extras including four videos of France), here's how you do it...  you must be a follower of my mommy's blog and leave a comment to let her know that you are. It's that simple!
For extra entries you can do any or all of the following... but be sure to leave a comment for each!
1. Follow my mommy on twitter
2. Like my mommy's Facebook page
3. Become Chula's friend on Facebook
4. Like my brand new Facebook page (my mommy finally let me on Facebook... WOOHOO!)

And if you want to buy Dog Trots Globe you can here, on Amazon, or the Apple iBookstore

Voila... you have five chances to win.

The winner will be drawn Monday, 19th December. 

Good luck guys! 

See you on Facebook.

À Bientôt!


Free Clipart Picture of an Animal Paw Print. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart Guide.com

Saturday, December 10, 2011

the ultimate

Let's say Santa was being really generous this year... like R E A L L Y freaking generous, like Santa won the euromillions and wanted to spread the joy, well this is what I would ask him for...

Santa my darling... don't you think this Patek Philippe watch would look pretty swanky on my dainty wrist...

Yes, I think it would too. 

Hmmm.... let's see... what time is it?

Oh, it's time to fly all of my family and friends from the US, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, and Australia to get together for one wonderful week long shindig and we would have it here...

Look at that... it's the Hampton's mansion from Revenge.

Do you like it? I do.

I should probably look nice for the big soirée so how about this hair...

While you're at it, feel free to give me Jessica Biel's body too. And since I'll look banging, wrap me up in a Hervé Léger dress for the festivities. B A N G I N G.

Everything OK so far? 


And Santa, since I'm sure we probably would wreck the place anyway, (my Irish family can throw it down), you might as well just hand me the deed and let me keep the house. I'd also like the closets filled with Stella McCartney's latest collection. I'll need some swanky clothes to swan around the manse in.

Since I'm going to be Stateside for at least a couple of months a year Santa, living it up in my new home, I'll need a new car too... this Maserati would do fine...

Now obviously this is not going to fit under the tree, so go ahead and leave it wrapped in a big red bow in front of my new house. And since you'll have the red ribbon out, wrap the mansion in a big red bow too.

That should about do it... until next year anyway. 

But seriously Santa, if you don't happen to win the euromillions, I'd be very happy if you can just spread a little peace and happiness around, maybe sort out this whole pesky eurozone crisis thing, and a Starbucks in Le Petit Village, wouldn't go amiss (I did ask for this before... I'm still waiting. Just saying).


Love ya lots big guy.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

a blogapalooza & a goodbye

Hang in there kids... it's a going to be a long one...

On a very grey and wet Saturday in November, seven expat bloggers braved the rain to meet up for lunch in a tiny Corsican restaurant in Avignon for Blogapalooza, the second (the first one was in Aix last March).

Some of the same faces were there but some new ones as well; Sarah of St Bloggie de Riviere came along with Samantha from Life, Love, and Living in France, Ameena from Mummy in Provence, (and to any Americans reading this... that's Mummy like Mommy, not mummy like scary, dead, Pharaoh), B from Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Cheese, Aidan from Conjugating Irregular Verbs (I don't seem to do much of anything without Aidan nowadays do I? Well I don't, and I don't want to, so there... I may or may not have stuck my tongue out at my laptop right now). Crafty Kirsty from You Had Me at Bonjour and Piglet from Piglet in France came with the two newest additions... babies!

In fairness, the babies were there for the last Blogapalooza but they just weren't out yet. So really, they weren't the newest additions; Sarah, Ameena, and Samantha were. But anyways.

We couldn't have picked a better day if we tried, while the rest of Avignon seemed to have stayed indoors and out of the rain, we had the entire restaurant to ourselves. How cool is that? We got to speak English in our American, Australian and British accents as loud as we wanted without dealing with any stares from other tables. That's pretty much an expats idea of heaven... chatter, gossip, chatter in our native tongue without fear of the French stares.

And after three hours of chattering, laughing, and sharing stories it was time to head back into the rain. Aidan, B and I had some place to be. You see, not only was the weekend in Avignon a happy Blogapalooza occasion, it was a sad one too.

{throw another shrimp on the barbie mate}

(Sidebar: do you see that old map of Ireland hanging behind B & M? My Mom has the same one hanging in her house. No wonder I felt so at home at that pub. Pub = Mom's house. Huh. It all makes sense now.)

It was our goodbye to B and her husband, M. My buddy B. My little Australian koala is headed back to Australia with her husband to have their baby, and start their life fresh again in Melbourne. 

So since we were blogapaloozing for the afternoon, we decided to bring our husbands along and make a weekend out of it. A proper goodbye weekend. 

After lunch we found our husbands in an Irish pub having pints and watching rugby (shocking right?!). There wasn't really anything to do but join them. I mean it was raining outside, and the rugby was on. Pints all around please (except for B... her baby koala didn't want one).

Pints, rugby, chat, laugh, repeat... was followed by dinner at Fou de Fafa. Listen up my little friends... if you find yourself in Avignon, Fou de Fafa is where you want to eat. Holy schnikeys it was good! But you have to make reservations, they are always booked solid, because yeah, it's that good.

Moving on.

Of course we couldn't just say goodnight and bid adieu after dinner... no no no... it was a goodbye weekend after all, so what to do to but return to the Irish pub where someone had this clever idea...

{you never learn, do you}

And that someone was not me.

And then the next thing you know, after you've been hand-jiving to songs from Grease (in a pub... so embarrassing), and it's the wrong side of midnight and you think that we all really should be saying goodnight, but then someone (not me again) has the maybe-not-so-brilliant idea to beg the night watchmen at the hotel for a bottle of wine from the bar so that we can keep on saying goodbye... so we did. 

Then morning comes and that same person who was looking for wine on the wrong side of midnight isn't feeling so hot (and again... not me). 

But then we really had to say goodbye because unfortunately, crazy fun weekends saying goodbye to friends in Avignon don't last forever. 

To B & M... 
wishing you both 
much love, luck, and happiness 
back in Australia. 
Le Petit Village will miss you.

gros bisous
P.S. Happy Birthday Miss Minnesota! I hope your year is full of silver dollar pancakes.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cheesy Miss France

The first weekend of December, Papa's Wife usually hosts a Raclette party to usher in the holiday season (I love her for this by the way... and if you served me melted cheese all night I'd love you too). She did it last year, and she did it the year before (and I could have sworn that I posted about that but I can't find it so I guess I didn't. Apologies).

The usual suspects were there last night... Papa, his wife (duh), Brother-in-Law, Child Bride, La Petite, The Husband, and me (and I forgot my camera, hence no photos... lame I know). But last night, besides the normal cheesey goodness, Miss France was on television, so of course we had to watch it. And let me tell you, watching beautiful, 20 year old, French women strut around in heels and bathing suits to the theme song from Wonder Woman, while stuffing myself with melted cheese has to be my favorite new past time.

Sure she won a crown, but did she get to eat her own weight in cheese?

I doubt it.

P.S. And check this out, we were drinking Alsace wine with our Raclette and Miss Alsace won. Coincidence? I don't think so. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011


You have to see it to believe it....


...and here it is, Le Petit Village's very own traffic light!

Sure it was only there for a few hours as some roadworks were being done but we had one. And of course The Husband and I got stuck at that red light. No other cars or people in sight, but we got stuck there, and waited. But before we could see it turn green, one of the road workers drove up, waved us on, and took the light away.
And that was that.

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