by Clare Jones

We have now been in our new home in Oundle, East Northants, for a whole month and all the boxes have at last been unpacked. I was delighted that so many of my students decided to travel a little further to continue attending lessons with me and I have been pleased to take on a few new learners too. I think we will be happy in Oundle!

A week after moving in, we had a little party for friends and family. The French call this la pendaison de crémaillère (literally the hanging of the chimney hook). This comes from medieval times when, on completion of the building of a house, the last thing to be done was to hang within the chimney place a long piece of metal with several notches taken out of one side; it allowed a large stew pot to be placed at varying heights above the fire to cook the meal. Once the hook was in place, guests could be invited to share the first meal.

Une semaine après avoir emménagé, on a pendu la crémaillère. Nos invités nous ont apporté des fleurs et de petits cadeaux pour la maison. On a passé un très bon moment ensemble. Maintenant nous avons l’impression d’être chez nous !

A week after having moved in, we had a housewarming party. Our guests brought us flowers and small gifts for the house. We had a great time. Now we feel at home!

You can see a picture of une crémaillère and read about the expression in French here on Wikipedia.

Next week I’ll write more about the verbs déménager, emménager and aménager so don’t forget to subscribe to this blog if you would like to learn more!

A bientôt!


Share this blog post:

Leave a Reply

About the author

Clare Jones was born in the North of England in 1960. She fell in love with the French language at the age of 11 and went on to study it to degree level at Leicester University, where she also became a qualified teacher. In 2011 Clare collaborated with Tamsin Edwards to produce an iPhone application, “Figure out French, Rouler un patin: to give a French kiss and other French expressions for leisure and health”. Though she now lives in England, Clare always has her nose in a French book and she surrounds herself by all things French. She is currently very busy teaching French as a private tutor and when she has the time, she writes a blog on the subject of the French language (click on the blog tab to read it). Clare enjoys tai-chi, swimming, and cycling in the local country park. She is also an enthusiastic member of her local community choir.

About the illustrator

Tamsin Edwards studied art at both Nene Art College, Northampton, and Derby School of Art during the early 1980s. Though well known for her atmospheric watercolour landscapes, Tamsin also creates quirky pen & wash illustrations, often portraying comic images of people and places. Tamsin has already collaborated with Clare Jones to produce an iPhone application. Past commissioned projects also include the children’s storybook ‘Tales of Two Shires’ and a book of poetic verses. As well as regularly exhibiting work and selling to clients around the world, Tamsin has also had several paintings published in an international magazine. To view further examples of her work or to buy original artwork from this book, please visit Tamsin can be contacted at

Author Photo

Illustrator Tamsin Edwards (left) and author Clare Jones (right)

Go Top