Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Father-daughter writing team!

So, I've been working on all kinds of writing, but one project is now finished! My father, Roy, and I wrote a YA book together that was recently published by Tundra Books. It's part of a series about a Canadian hockey team called the Screech Owls -- it's a series that he's been writing since I was a teenager. The kids play hockey, but they also solve mysteries. And Nish, one of the series' main characters, is a very entertaining, loud-mouthed, trouble-seeking, mostly uncontrollable brat! (He was the most fun to write!)

Here's an interview with the two of us on CBC Radio, discussing Reality Check in Detroit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

France's topless beaches -- on the demise? really?

Many of my recent posts have been about stories other people have written about France. I know! And I just can't stop!

I realize I can't live in all parts of the country at once, but I'm still always surprised at how much some of the reporting in the North American media differs from my own experience. There are regional differences, yes, but I think there's more to it than that.

The National Post just published a story from AP about how the trend of toplessness is on the demise on France's beaches. The story started with a poll done by Elle magazine, but I'm not sure where in the country they asked their questions. And now the Huffington Post has it, too.

I've seen much fewer topless bathers on the beaches in the north of the country, yes, but here on the French Riviera, the trend is still huge. HUGE. Maybe it was never as big in the north where the weather is cooler. Down here, however, there are both young and older women lying out, bare-breasted on almost all of the beaches and many of the outdoor pools. It doesn't seem to be so much of a feminist thing, even if those are the roots, as it is just a very widely accepted part of the culture.

When I first moved to France, I found the views French women had about their bodies to be fascinating. They don't have the same divide as North Americans do of good girls and bad girls. Strange for a North American to experience (it did take me some time to get used to it), but in a lot of ways, I've found that lack of barrier can be very, very good.

I'd post a picture to show just how much the trend is still present, at least around here, but even though I've grown used to the half-naked sunbathers, I still think posting pictures of them is probably rude!

Friday, April 11, 2014

More "French bashing," the French say

I wrote a story in the Citizen a few months ago about how France's rebuttals to the English media are sometimes lost because they only argue back in French, through their own media. (It's in the post below this one.) There's another rebuttal today about whether the French are being FORCED to stop working after 6 pm.

The English story in The Guardian.
Another English story in NYMag, written with info from The Guardian one.

The French rebuttal in Le Figaro.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The perils of reporting from abroad

My op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen today about the "Fall of France," the price of milk, and reporting from overseas.