Quel temps de Merde – The Sunshine Deficit.

Call this one a “flash lesson” – a weather related article in this morning’s paper has inspired me to teach you a new “merde” phrase.

“Quel temps de merde” (kell ton de mair’d) which roughly translated means what crappy or shitty weather. I say this, because it is. The last couple of months have been the grimmest, weather wise since 1950.

Apart from recurring an annoying snowfalls we’ve had grey mornings of mourning grey since well before Christmas. There is a definite sunshine deficit (along with the nation’s financial deficit). In January, Paris was almost 50% down in the usual sunshine stakes – just  over 33 hours compared to the 62 hour January average. Worst hit was the central eastern town of Auxerre – just 11 hours of sunshine in January compared to the usual 64.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain about the weather. The Russians, Americans and Canadians have had it far worse, but then this is France where we grumble about everything. In fact if you ever do meet a French person with nothing to grumble about, you should be worried.

As for these sunshine statistics … wel it always amazes me that there are people whose job it is to collect and collate this stuff. What a sad job that must be.

To end this lesson, I will leave you with a typical French grumbling term.

On meting a French person, you might ask “comment ça va?” (kom on sar var?) – meaning basically “how are things?” or even “Whassup?”. In true gallic grumbly terms, your acquaintance or colleague might shrug his shoulders and answer “bof” (pronounced as it is written.) The term “bof” basically means “could be better” or even “mustn’t grumble”, even though the person is grumbling. I’ve spent well over twenty years in my accidental land of exile. I’m not sure if I’l ever undertstand the French.