Burgundy Dry Spell
As was the case in 2003, summer 2015 has been hot with little rain. This marked a contrast with early May, when heavy rain brought flooding in some locations. Rivers that just a few months ago overflowed with water are now running dry. The situation is so severe, that over 40 French departments now have water restrictions. The forecast for the next few weeks looks to be wetter, but parts of France, like the southwest are still very dry. Here's some photos of Burgundy from a few weeks ago. Fields have turned golden brown but on the bright side the grapes look fine and the harvest should be at the beginning of September.
Same Country Exemption
The ACA (American Citizens Abroad) has been hard at work trying to make those Americans (like me) who live outside the US lives easier in the age of FATCA. Making our lives better includes the 'Same Country Exemption', in short financial accounts of Americans overseas would be exempt from FATCA reporting if the account was in the country in which the U.S. citizen is a bona fide resident. The ACA is asking that those concerned contact and educate their representative on 'Same Country Exemption' for FATCA reporting. FATCA will still be law but maybe we can tame the beast a little!
See this ACA newsletter for more info.
How about visiting Airbus and seeing how the A380 is made? Or trying out a TGV (high speed train) simulator? You can also visit parts of the Paris metro or Gare de l'Est train station. It's called Tourisme Industriel - industrial tourism and there's a web site for that, with a directory and other relevant information. For now the site is only in French but hopefully there will be an English version soon!
I remember years ago visiting the Fallot Mustard Mill in Beaune. At the time, after our tour included a small museum and the working mill. We made our own mustard and did a tasting.
In June along with visiting the D-Day Beaches and attending the Band of Brothers reunion I saw the Bayeux Tapestry and took some Then & Now photos of Arromanches and Carentan.
The Bayeux Tapestry is truly amazing, as it's almost a 1,000 years old and has survived countless wars and two fires to the Bayeux Cathedral, once its home. Story goes that it was about to be used to cover a wagon during the French Revolution, but was saved from that fate. At 230 feet long the tapestry tells of the Norman conquest of England. No one knows who made it but I like the legend that is was Queen Matilda, William the Conqueror's wife, who believed she would die once the tapestry was finished. This might explain the tapestry's length.
Jan & Jeff
It's been another busy month for Jan & Jeff:
La Roche Bluegrass - #24
Cowboys in the Alps & French Scrabble Champ - #23
TGV Tickets, Tour de France, €1 Homes & more! - #22
Bastille Day, Festivals & VAT Refund - #21
Heatwave, Rafting & Speedos! - #20
Don't miss the next exciting episode of Jan & Jeff, subscribe to the Americans in France YouTube channel!
What's in a Date
This will come in handy the next time you visit Père Lachaise or another French cemetery. You might come across a date with the month (remember they come in the middle) listed as either 7bre, 8bre, 9bre, 10bre or Xbre. This has its roots in the old Roman year that had ten months. September was the seventh month, October the eighth and so on. September comes from septem, Latin for seven), October from octo (eight), November from novem (nine) and December decem (ten). You can see examples here.
Paris Plage: There's a 'beach' in Paris for a month during the summer. This year Paris Plage runs until August 18th.
Summer Reading & Learning + App
Read and buy French books online at Ebookez-vous. U.S. residents are able to access and download French-language works and pay for them in US currency. A large catalog offering books in every category, from the classics to the newest best-sellers. French translations of English-speaking authors and, English translations of French authors mapped to the original French works.
Learn French With Stories
Reading has long been proven to be one of the most effective ways of learning a foreign language. By studying in this way, you should be able to improve your French without the monotonous chore of memorising grammar. These eBooks cover a diverse range of grammatical structures (description, casual conversation, useful vocabulary).
Lessons From France: Eating, Fitness, Family
Collectively, the three American authors have clocked more than 60 years in France, became much fitter in their 40s than they were in their 20s and increased the pleasure in their lives - all without deprivation! As professional journalists and writers, their articles on well-being, health, style, fashion, and women's lifestyles have been read by millions across the globe! And now they bring their experience to you!
Other Cats to Whip : The Book of French Idioms
Brings you a plethora of these bizarre French idioms, which form part of everyday life in the land of liberté, égalité, fraternité. Each idiom is supported by a drawing to help you learn, love and laugh at these expressions, and to help you fit it with the locals! The book is a great resource for learning these French expressions and even better for a good hearty chuckle.
In a French Kitchen
Even before Susan Herrmann Loomis wrote her now-classic memoir, On Rue Tatin, American readers have been compelled by books about the French's ease with cooking. With In a French Kitchen, Loomis-an expat who long ago traded her American grocery store for a bustling French farmer's market-demystifies in lively prose the seemingly effortless je ne sais quoi behind a simple French meal.
Queen Bee in Paris
Come explore France with Queen Bee, on her journey, across the country. You will buzz past must-see attractions and points of interest, discover amazing art, culture, food, history, geography and learn many interesting and educational facts along the way!
With increased protections and restrictions being put on the transfer of the US dollar, many companies are unable to help American clients transfer their funds. Currencies Direct is proud to be one of the few companies which has acquired a license to trade American clients and their funds safely and quickly; the only condition is that the funds must come from and go to the client's own account. We are happy to put the comfort back into currency for American clients and have an office in France with a team who is always there to help answer any questions.
Click here for more info.