La Vie à Lyon

Living, learning and loving in Lyon !

Archive for the category “Lyon”

Getting ready to say goodbye

I’m home alone, enjoying the silence of no football on TV, putting the finishing touches on my school reports, watching a storm roll in from the west and making the most of my final month in Francheville.

No no, I’m not moving back to Australia (sorry Mum and Dad). I’m moving into Lyon proper – Sim and I have bought a flat in the 5th arrondissement. It’s a good time to buy in France. The interest rate is quite low at the moment – not low enough to be worried, but low enough so that housing is quite affordable for us. It’s the main reason we decided to buy. Mortgage payments are not much dearer than the rent we’re paying now – why not spend that money on something that’s ours ?

We’ve had a good couple of years here in Francheville. Our flat is in the centre ville of Francheville le Bas. It’s close to everything – bus, school, bakery, patisserie, hairdresser, vet, pizza shop, bar, markets, kebab shop, French style 7-11, supermarket, countryside…I’m going to miss it.

Our new flat isn’t far from Francheville. Like Francheville borders with Oullins, Francheville borders with the 5th. It’s 10 minutes away from here; 10 minutes closer to the city. I’ll be able to walk or bike to school (I can technically do that now, but my school is on top of a big hill and I dislike arriving at work one big sweaty betty).

Our new neighbourhood is on the border of le Point-du-Jour and Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon. It’s a great area, and should be easy enough to sell when the time comes (as much as I frowned upon the idea of buying to sell but hey – we’ll need to finance our farm-house-with-swimming-pool somehow, right ?!).

Here :-)

Here 🙂


See you when you come to visit !

Bisous !



What to write ?

Life in Lyon has been pretty, well, life-y ! We’ve just been cruising along –métro, boulot, dodo, as they say here – meaning commute, work, sleep ! For me, school’s cool (I’m already on autumn holidays…) and Sim’s been working like a crazy man in his new-ish job at Intersport. There hasn’t really been that much to write about – things aren’t so new anymore and the adventures are less frequent.

We’ve had a couple of misadventures, however – let me tell you about those !

It’s préfecture time again. Until 2016, I have to renew my titre de séjour anually. That means getting the birth certificate translated, getting some new mugshots, photocopying any letters even slightly official-looking (especially if they’re addressed to both of us) and hoping that the list of required documents hasn’t changed since last year. Once that’s done, it’s time to gear up for an early start and a few hours of waiting in the queue.

We usually arrive around 7 for an 8:30 opening time. We shuffle through the queue, get our ticket, take our seat, wait a few hours for a 10 minute meeting, get our receipt and go, grateful that we only have to do this once a year.

Turns out, 7 is no longer early enough. Nowhere near early enough. At 8:40, sill far from the door, we were greeted by a booming police officer with :

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen ! There are no more tickets for today ! There are no more tickets ! You’ll all have to come back another day ! Thank you !”


So we did – what else can we do ? Only we went a bit earlier, arrived at 6:30 – and gained about 2 metres in the queue ! We were greeted by the same police officer a few hours later, her speech word for word.


We're at the traffic light section of the queue. No chance !

We’re at the traffic light section of the queue. No chance !

We’re trying for the third time tomorrow. Aiming for an hour earlier; lining up at 5:30.

Third time lucky, right ?

Bisous !


Update: Turned out it was fourth time lucky. We arrived at 3:30. Yes, you read that right…

Quack quack !

Remember this post ? Well, I spotto-ed a little exhibition by this artist, and took a look last week.


It’s small and bright, with pieces ranging from a collage to a two-metre high totem pole. The graffiti nature of the ducks is evident, with road signs and small slabs of concrete used as bases for a few of the works. If you want to grab a piece of Lyonnais street art, or just a few photos, t-shirts or badges, the exhibition in on until March 23 at U and I Gallery in the 2eme.

Bisous !

Sun is Shining…

Here’s what we got up to one sunny day last week. Thanks for letting me reblog your post Courtney.

Bisous !

Pardon My French

The weather is sweet, makes you want to move your dancing feet or in my case go have a picnic in the park with some of my friends. The last two days in Lyon have been gorgeous and everyone has been out enjoying it, including me.

The Girls

Jayde, me, Juliette and Asami (Denitza is taking the picture, but she’s seated below with Asami)

Picnic Fun

After we feasted on all sorts of yummy food including my friend Juliette’s apple, salmon and red onion spread; fresh grapes; Jade’s quiche, Asami’s spring rolls and Denitza’s adorable ham and cheese sandwiches we played a few games of Uno and then attempted to play Scrabble in French (I opted out on that one). Then, it was time for dessert – I made individual sized low-fat chocolate banana bread. Our bellies full and our spirit nourished we decided the next time would be on my terrace. Now, we…

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Bon moment, bon endroit

J’ai trouvé du boulot. Un vrai CDI ! Je serai enseignante de CE1 dans une école bilingue dans le 5ème, à partir de mi-mars.

C’est marrant comment les choses fonctionnent. Après les vacances de Noël, j’ai envoyé un email à une dizaine d’écoles internationales/bilingues sur Lyon pour demander si ils avaient une liste d’enseignantes remplaçantes sur laquelle je pourrais ajouter mon nom. Je savais, comme c’était au milieu d’année scolaire, que ce n’était pas le bon moment pour chercher un poste permanent. Je savais aussi, comme c’est la France, que ce serait un miracle d’avoir une réponse rapide !

J’ai reçu une réponse rapide par contre, de la part d’une directrice d’une école à Gerland (une américaine), qui disait qu’ils n’avaient rien pour l’instant, mais de regarder dans quelques mois, quand ils commencent leur recrutement pour septembre.

Ensuite, j’ai reçu une appelle d’un autre directeur (un anglais – c’est les anglo-saxons qui répondent !), qui disait qu’il avait bien reçu mon mail, un de ses enseignants a démissionné ce jour là et : « Pouvez-vous venir pour un entretien ? » Donc j’y suis allée, et pendant la semaine j’ai passé une journée avec l’enseignant et ses (mes !) élèves, surveillé la cantine, surveillé la récréation sous la neige, fait connaissance aves les autre profs, enseigné pendant une après-midi et, pour couronner le tout, reçu une poignée de main et un ‘Bienvenue dans l’équipe’ de la part du directeur ! Youpi !

Mlle Clements est de retour !

Bisous !

Curiosities, Treasures and other Marvels of Lyon

I got a great book for Christmas, called Curiosités, Trésors et autre Merveilles de Lyon. As the title suggests, it’s full of the particularities  that make Lyon Lyon – the pink praline and green cushions, the painted walls, the personalities, the church on the hill, the Festival of Lights, the traboules, Guignol, the history of the silkworkers and, of course, the food.

My latest guide book !

My latest guide book !

It’s given me lots of ideas – new places to explore, landmarks to find and food to try. All good fodder for La Vie à Lyon, so stay tuned !

Except for Guignol, sorry. He’s one of the creepiest puppets I’ve ever seen; you’ll have to find out about him yourself !

Bisous !

Collaboration and resistance

Sim and I visited the Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation, a museum that we’ve been wanting to visit for a while now but which has been closed for renovations. I must admit, I was worried. The cruelty with which humans can treat each other upsets me very quickly, and visiting a museum dedicated to one of the bleakest moments in 20th century wartime France was nerve wracking.

PicMonkey Collage CHRD

An unprepared France fell very quickly to Nazi Germany in WW2. When Paris was invaded, the government fled to Bordeaux and fluffed around flapping their hands, having no idea what to do. They called on WW1 hero, Marshal Philippe Pétain for help, and within days had surrendered to Germany. Marshal Pétain became the head of the puppet government, and was based in the town of Vichy.

Occupied France in 1940 and Lyon's town hall.

Occupied France in 1940 and Lyon’s town hall.

Of course, not all the Frenchies were happy with this turn of events. The day after Marshal Pétain announced the armistice with Germany, General Charles de Gaulle, who had been exiled to London, called on the French people to resist. To keep fighting. To not give up. Vive la France ! And La Résistance was born.

De Gaulle calling for the French people to resist, Vive la France, and Pétain overlooking the wireless playing de Gaulle's speech.

De Gaulle calling for the French people to resist, Vive la France, and Pétain overlooking the wireless playing de Gaulle’s speech.

I can’t imagine just how horrible Vichy France must’ve been. People who were into the Vichy regime, including the government, were called collaborators. They had their own secret police, la Milice, as well as the Gestapo. Collaborator citizens happily dobbed in their Jewish neighbours for deportation to concentration and death camps.

As disgusting as the collaborators were, the resistants were the opposite. They hid their Jewish neighbours in their own homes, forged new identities for them and sabotaged as much of the Vichy infrastructure as they could. They were the Secret Army. Jean Moulin is perhaps the most well known Résistance fighter; he had the job of unifying all the different Résistance groups. Caught and tourtured in Lyon by Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, Moulin died in 1943. The face of the secret movement; his ashes lie in the Panthéon.

Jean Moulin. One of the most well-known images in France.

Jean Moulin. One of the most well-known images in France.

These days, the names Charles de Gaulle and Jean Moulin are scattered about everywhere (Université Jean Moulin -Lyon 3, Aéroport Charles de Gaulle, to name just two), and all around Lyon (and France, I’m sure) there are little memorial plaques and statues for those killed either during their deportation or fighting for the Résistance. The deputy mayor of Oullins died during his deportation, and is remembered with a bust statue and a garden down the street. People want to remember and honour the resistants and the deportees rather than Vichy France and the names associated with it, and this is the sense we left the museum with.

I do wonder what Sim’s grandparents did, St Sym being a drop point for Secret Army supplies in 1944, but I don’t really know how to ask them.

Bisous !

Halle Tony Garnier

The Halle Tony Garnier has been on my mind all week ! For our Wednesday art class, Angela and I had to give an ‘artist or engineer’ presentation on Tony Garnier , and on Friday night Stef and I saw The Black Keys there !


Halle Tony Garnier was built in the early 1900s, as a stable / abattoir / meat market in the quartier of La Mouche, which is now known as Gerland. It has been recognised and protected as an historical monument since 1975, and today it’s the third largest concert and exhibition hall in France. It is immense and amazing, especially with the interior metallic frame all lit up !

Bisous !

Excursion time

Our subject La Vie Artistiqe has become a whole lot better (and easier to stay awake in !) since our topic changed from analysing 19th century artworks to typograpy and advertising throughout the 20th century. We went on a little excursion last week, to the Musée de l’Imprimarie to check out how printing has evolved over the centuries.

Some of the younger students were excited about the old Macintosh Classics (I just felt like I was back in Year 9 computer class) but the highlight for me was the page from the Gutenberg Bible – I’ve never seen one !

Well worth a sticky beak if you’re in the area !

Bisous !

Les Enfoirés – nicer than they sound

There’s a charity in France called Les Restaurants du Coeur. It was started in the mid-eighties by a comedien called Coluche and it feeds the needy.

Coluche and his charity.

Each year, there’s huge concerts put on by a mix of celebrities – singers, comediens, groups, athletes and our very own Tina Arena. Collectively, they’re known as ‘Les Enfoirés’ or ‘The Bas***ds.’ All funds raised from the concerts and associated merchandise go to the charity. This year, the concerts are in Lyon and there’s 7 of them.

This song is #3 on the charts at the moment. Have a listen – you’ll know it – and see how many people you recognise. Spotto Tina, and the coach of the French football team playing conductor!

Tickets aren’t numbered for the concerts. Seats are first in, best dressed so les Lyonnaises can be seen lining up outside Halle Tony Garnier from early in the morning for an 8pm show (it’s true – Sim and I saw the line en route to the physio). It’s -6° today, and only getting colder!

Perhaps it’s to give a little taste of life for the less fortunate on days like today.


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