Sunday, 9 January 2011

Pin Pon off!!!

We finally got a visit from the local pompiers with their calender for 2011 the other night. They turn up, normally early evening and fleece you for a calender that is never very exciting. Adding insult to injury it is never the more 'easy on the eye' members of the local group that call, but a retired guy with a mop of wild looking grey hair and a slightly younger one who would obviously rather be doing something else.

They came into our freezing hallway and looked up towards our practically non existant first floor whilst huddling up together to try to keep warm. It never ceases to amaze me how it can actually be colder inside our house than it seems to be outside it sometimes. I guess they must be pretty used to us stoic Brits living in half renovated hovels around this area but they still seemed pretty shocked at the house. "It's warm in the other room!" I tried to explain but really they just wanted some dosh for their calender (that will go in a drawer until it gets chucked out next january)and to escape back to base.

I did flick through the calender though, and there were some cartoons of a fire engine racing along with the words "Pin Pon Pin Pon" to signify the sirens I am guessing. Pin Pon? What happened to Nee Nah? Are our languages so very different? Look at any french cartoon and a dog doesn't go 'woof' it goes 'ouah', and a cockerel doesn't cock a doodle do - it goes cocorico. I don't think it does though, I've listened. But then I don't think it goes cock a doodle do either. Bizzare. I'll never get this language!!


  1. Well, they're called the bombaderos.....but I don't know what their fire engine noise is...I'll have to ask some kids!
    They don't do calendars either....

    And in what language is a dog supposed to go 'barf, barf'...?
    Don't need encouragement to do that in my experience...normally just when I've washed the floor.

  2. Roz you have company there, I don't think I will ever get the language either :(((( Diane

  3. I totally agree about the temperature of the house often being colder on the inside than outside. Frequently I have ended up outside doing jobs rather than freezing myself silly doing jobs in the house. We try to keep one room warm, though, for when we work on the PC.s. It's healthy, though, being outside keeping warm! Would rather be doing that than being locked in a fully centrally heated house in the UK. Hooray for us stoical Brits!

  4. Not big on onomatopoeia the French eh? Unless they hear things differently, perhaps they do.

    Hope your both well, happy New Year to you all sorry we've not been in touch. Fred and I are over next Thursday to Sunday if you have time for a cuppa?

  5. Did they come calling when you lived in France though Helen? I cant imagine it's just a Limousin thing and I reckon I hear dogs going 'barf' far more than I hear them going 'ouah'!!
    Diane we met a lovely French lady at a party the other day who suggested we visit her at her house and speak (very bad) French with her for some practice - worth a try I guess!
    Vera - Hurrah for us and our toughness!!! We should drink some homemade cider to us and our tenacity (well, I would if it didn't taste so shi***!!!)
    Alan - no worries, we have been terrible communicators of late - we are house sitting at the mo as Jane and Den are sunning themselves - but we are backwards and forwards between houses so give us a bell xxx

  6. Yes, they certainly did and they were very welcome...

    I always lived in obscure corners, so knew most of the chaps involved as they were very local.
    They were volunteers, did their training in their spare time, and were usually active on other local things as well....so it was more like friends arriving than anything else when they did their calendar round.
    The calendars were always a riot...tower blocks in flames, etc., so I suppose some central depot issued them to fire brigades generally and the only local bit of it was the photograph of the massed sapeurs pompiers on the back cover...none of them resembling Adonis as you so rightly say!

    And as for odd words and how they are pronounced..what about what is written as 'hein' and sounds like 'ugh'...well depending on who's speaking...and it took me a long time to fathom
    'be oui' as a greeting...

    Have you ever been to the fire brigade ball? I don't know about the Limousin but everywhere I've lived these were really bacchanalian affairs....fifty or more totally inebriated people dancing the tango is a sight to behold...

  7. Helen, I wish I was as integrated as you were - the language is coming on very slowly but between work and renovating our house we have little time to socialise with our french neighbours. One day.....

  8. It takes time...and also a willingness on the part of your neighbours...I wouldn't worry about it.


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