Joined: 17 Dec 2004 Posts: 34 Location: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:08 pm Post subject: Houseflies in France?
While shooing flies away from our outdoor dining table last evening, the topic of flies in France arose. I have spent many evenings at cafés, or at the home of friends, eating outdoors, and don't remember being bothered by them. Other guests at the table just returned from a week in Provence, and swore they never once saw a fly hanging around either their outdoor dining tables, nor at the open air markets. What's the story? _________________ "Cooking, like love, should be entered into with abandon, or not at all." Harriet Van Horne
Gosh Madame M. I hadn't given it any thought but really, I can't recall being bothered by flies in Europe at all! Surely they must exist, especially in the wetter places---but last year we spent a couple weeks in Limousin, a very damp area of France and don't recall seeing a fly at all, even when sweeping up the house at the end of the sojourn. We certainly have them here during the summer months (Central Canada) and not just houseflies, but black flies and horse flies and deer flies. And then in our house, stone flies, a weird type who live in old stone houses and emerge in the spring in vast numbers then die off!
Here's to a housefly free Europe! _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Joined: 27 Dec 2004 Posts: 200 Location: cambridge, ma.
Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 3:23 pm Post subject:
We recently returned from France and I asked my friend in Fourges(near Giverny) why I never see flies. He clains it's because of the flowers he grows, especially a strain of Geranium. I go to Provence every year and never saw them there. The one time I did was a fly who hoverered over my plate at a chateau in Lorraine. _________________ Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly
Joined: 18 Oct 2004 Posts: 1654 Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound
Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:29 pm Post subject:
I plant french marigolds for the purpose of keeping bugs away from my garden and house. I must say it works very well. Also lavender is a natural bug repellent, before I go out in the evenings I use a lotion that I have added lavender essential oil to.
So glad you are back!!! _________________ "It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."
Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 31 Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:59 pm Post subject:
I've noticed the lack of flies in France too. This probably explains why they don't need screens on their windows. I can't recall seeing any other kinds of bugs either though I'm sure they are there somewhere. There are cicadas in the south. In the USA, I've noticed that are lots more flies in areas with cattle and other farm animals. In California, I've rarely had problems with flies especially in any city. I don't own a fly swatter. The rural area where my mother lives has tons of them. Maybe it's all the concrete in the cities that keeps the flies away but I really don't know.
While I have never visited France I did spend the month of August in Portugal a few years back and...oh, yes...I had many encounters with flies! Big, Black, #@$!*&%'s. We had to keep the food covered when dining alfresco and were constantly shooing them out of the house.
What amazed me most was that there were no screens ANYWHERE. Whenever I brought it up, I was met with looks that kinda reminded me of my dog, when I tell him that he needs a Tic-Tac. Their solution, it seemed, was to hang curtains in open doorways made of long, vinyl slats (think *vertical blinds meet hippie beaded curtain*) And if your taste went beyond the usual solid colors, there were options...laser-printed, full color Mona Lisa's, Van Gogh's, National Flags, and... yes, even...printed hippie beaded curtains.
Another thing that amazed me was that in those 30+ days, we had covered most of the country, and in all of our travels, we only came upon ONE restaurant that served pizza, not very good pizza, either. My husband and I started planning the wonderful, successful lives that we would live there. I, as the chef of my very own pizza parlour, and he, as the proud owner of a custom-screen business.
Just before we left, we received an invitation to a friends house-warming party. Although he lived and worked in Paris, he had just finished building his "weekend" home in Lousa and was eager to show it to us. We met him the next day in front of his spectacular new house. While he escorted us from the marble driveway and up the marble stairs (as decadent to us as an all-wood house would be to him), he spoke excitedly about a brand new feature of his house that was so unusual that he had to bring in craftsmen from Lisbon to produce!
Like a proud father showing his new baby to the world, he pointed to his door and windows...every one of them fitted with screens _________________ carpe crustum!
Yes, you do get flies here. Just not in the quantities that I am used to from Australia.
You seem to have been lucky in not having a single fly try to share your food at an outdoor cafe. They are not in swarms, but you do see flies buzzing around the cafes in summer. Winter of course, it is far too cold and they die off.
A few times last summer we cursed the lack of flyscreens on the windows. Especially when we were eaten alive by mosquitoes and had flies in the appartement. If we closed the windows we suffocated, if we opened them we shared our lives with all the insects in Paris. Tried to buy some in the hardware stores.... only to be greeted by blank stares... no concept of fly screens and why they are good to have...
Oh well, different courses etc _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Well we live in the Charente region of France, I think I know why nobody has seen flies elsewhere in france, its because they are all here in the Charente, we have a terrrible problem with them.
Nina _________________ sunfleurs
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum