14 reasons why life in France is fabulous for July 14

Ahead of the 2019 Fête nationale celebrations, Samantha David takes time to remember a few things that make living in France just a little bit special - from the food, to the rules on buying a house...

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Let's celebrate July 14 with 14 reasons why living in France is fabulous!

1) GPs never say you're wasting their time; even if a cut you thought needed stitches turns out to need nothing more than a plaster, they always says you were right to consult them.

2) Wine is available in EuroDisney. While public drunkenness in France is not tolerated, the French take it for granted that adults can have a glass of rouge with lunch - and they are certainly not expected to endure the rigours of Mickey Mouse pizzas without suitable fortifications.

3) The "plans d'eau" which have sprung up everywhere in France, offering leisure facilities, beaches and swimming beside lakes, reservoirs and rivers all over France.

4) The cheese selection in supermarkets. In fact, the whole dairy section is a marvel...

5) You can't get gazumped when buying property. Once the price is fixed and the 'compromis de vente' is signed, the deal is done.

6) French people might be slow to accept you as a fully-fledged family friend, but once they have, it's for life.

7) In French cafés, once you have ordered something you can stay as long as you like. You're expected to linger, especially if you are a regular. That's the whole point.

8) You're never far from a fresh baguette! And in the unlikely event you become bored with baguettes, there’s pain aux céréales.

9) Holidays are not frowned upon, taking time off isn't a sign of being lazy or lacking commitment to your job. French people consider that everyone needs a proper holiday, every year. And they don't spend it re-papering the spare bedroom, either.

10) French children know how to behave in restaurants. They don't shout, don't demand chips with ketchup, they don't run around bothering other diners. They sit up looking beautiful, and eat the same food as their parents.

11) Whatever you fancy doing, from joining a jazz band to learning to ice skate, there's an association for that. And if by any chance there isn't, it's easy to start one and relatively simple to get grants to set it up.

12) The French aren't shocked by romantic shenanigans. They might not approve, but they aren't going to pretend to be outraged. Even when former President François Hollande was caught sneaking around with actress Julie Gayet, behind the back of his then-bidey-in, the French mainly just shrugged.

13) The Gallic pout and shrug when faced with certain food options. Baked bean pizza anyone? Tinned cauliflour cheese? Frozen meat pie? "Non, ça ne se mange pas!" I sometimes offer French people porridge or corn on the cob just to see them do it!

14) Mairies across the Hexagon offer free apéros on Bank Holidays like November 11 and July 14. It's a chance to meet local councillors, chat with the neighbours, and meet newcomers to the area. What's not to like?

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