Posted by: kathandroger | September 2, 2018

The French can’t count!

I never really liked doing my sums at school, but there was an exactness about the subject that could not be denied. It all seemed simple really, and numbers meant something definite. Not so in France. Elsewhere in the world, a week is seven days, and therefore two weeks is fourteen days. Not so in France! Here two weeks is “quinze jours” which is fifteen days. So if a holiday is for a fortnight, here you have an extra day somehow. I guess it is related to being able to “faire le pont”(making the bridge), whereby a Public Holiday which is close to the weekend means that the days in between are also taken as days off.
Anyway, it is not only in days that the French can’t count. I love my vegetable garden, and try always to keep it neat and regular. I rarely succeed, but when I buy plants by the dozen, I used to make a dozen holes to put them in.IMG_4041 Now it says very clearly on the box that there are twelve plants. So having made twelve holes, what do I do with the three plants that are remaining? Cuss a bit, then move all the holes, or make another row unequal to the rest? There are always fifteen plants in a box of twelve! Having bought many plants I am now used to the discrepancy, and it is much nicer to have more rather than less of a product than advertised. The French can’t count.
And our dog is French too. And she can’t count. Kath was amused by a video showing a dog solving the treat under a cup trick. Our Polly is a clever girl, and so we thought it would be simple for her to emulate the video star.IMG_4042
I am sorry to report that our cunning canine can’t count. She failed the test.

Autumn seems to have arrived with the month of September. The mornings are chilly although the days soon warm up nicely. Our swallows are still around, and one nest in the workshop has a couple of chicks still being fed and it will be another week or so until they will be fit to fly.IMG_4040 The swallows can’t count either; I fear that these last two will be too immature to make the long flight back to Africa in a few weeks time. But we must console ourselves that we have had dozens and dozens of the beautiful birds this year and we hope to welcome them back after the winter. Whereas most birds seem to tweet, the swallows really do seem to chat to one another, and the sight of them swooping to deter the wandering cat, shreiking their warning cry, is one of my favourite summer sights.
But one time the French can count is when we order cakes or bread. I have never been given fifteen croissants when ordering a dozen. Who needs to order a dozen croissants though, when we can have lovely big loaves like this “Boule”.IMG_4043.
To be fair, this was bought for the eight guests in our smaller gite, but it was a good reminder of what is wonderful in France. I love the place.


  1. They can’t read the speed limit signs either!

    • Helen, in my opinion the Brits are the second worse for speeding, after the Luxembourgers!

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