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Our schoolday Bertillons on Bastille Day

And today we’re flying the flag with our favourite French family, no, not the Macrons… it’s all about our schoolday Bertillons on Bastille Day.

Qui sont Les Bertillons?

Well, for Fiftysomethings they were the French family from the cartoon school textbook Le Francais d’Aujourd’hui.

The French of that day were very different from the multicultural Gauls of today.

Les Bertillons

La Famille: Les Bertillons

Papa (Jean) smoked a pipe and Mamon (Annette) stayed at home and crashed the car while he was at the rugby with Philippe.

Et Papa worked as a customs officer at Orly Airport…

C’est vrai that Papa is well out of the airports now where he worked as a customs officer.

Hero: Papa Bertillon

And where his shining hour was catching a thief for which he was awarded a bonus (c’est quoi).

For any Catholic lad though attending the all-boys Jesuit-taught St Aloysius College in Glasgow, Marie-Claude was the only Bertillon worth getting to know.

Ma cherie M-C

Wrong gear: Mamon

While M-C had posters of Johnny Halliday, the French Elvis, on her walls we dreamt of her and Mamon.

I can’t recall if we were invited into the Bertillons’ house for Bastille Day but I was there at the rugby with Jean et Philippe.

I was clearly distracted enough by the Bertillon women too to manage only a mere pass in my ‘O’ Grade French.

And when it came to chatting up French women on the French Riviera in my post-school holiday my best one-liner was…

‘Aimez-vous les temps?’ or do you like the weather?

Villages people

Hang in there: Villages living

The best way to improve your French (or any language) is to live among them.

And France enjoys a deserved reputation for family vacations with Les Villages Nature Paris a stand-out.

Save £120 on an eco-friendly family summer trip to Les Villages Nature Paris in France

Les Villages Nature is 32 km from Paris (and just over three hours from Calais)

It boasts five immersive worlds, the BelleVie Farm, the Extraordinary Gardens, the Forest of Legends and the picturesque Lakeside Promenade.

The fifth world, the Aqualagon, is the biggest water park in Europe to be heated entirely with geothermal energy.

L’eau mon Dieu

Slide rule: Water park fun

Home to eight slides, a wave pool, a climbing wall and a giant water tree it’s easy for families to spend hours splashing around.

Les Villages Nature Paris offers a multitude of workshops across the park too.

From bee keeping, bread baking and chocolate making to building a den in the woods and a treasure hunt.

A seven-night self-catered stay, from 5-12 August 2022, in a Comfort Cottage, sleeping up to four people, costs from €2,469 / £2,128 total.

And it was €2,609/ £2,248 total, saving £120, Eurostar offers travel from £39 pp each way.

Joyeux Bastille

No more Miserables: Bastille Day

Mais oui, whisper it around Monsieur Bertillon but France is linked to England by a tunnel though the UK has removed itself in politics.

All of which for us in Travel means that there are more ways to bypass Monsieur Bertillon’s airports.

Mind you to all the French around la monde Joyeux and especially our schoolday Bertillons on Bastille Day.

Et merci!





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