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SW France Life Concerns

Katie Gardner is a fully-qualified CBT Counsellor and 10-year expat based on the border of 47/24.  She is here to answer your questions.

John M writes

Does anyone else find that their 6 o’clock curfew on the first drink of the day is becoming earlier?  We go to the bar/cafe twice a week for a coffee, either in the morning or afternoon, but invariably finish up having a beer, a glass of wine or a cognac.  Lots of other people are there doing the same thing so I tell myself it is normal.  But is it?

Hi John

Daily life, particularly in the more rural parts of France, starts a lot earlier than in the UK.  Farmers for instance are often up having already fed their animals and tended the fields by 5am; breakfast by 7am latest.  Therefore, when we walk into a bar at 10am and see them all there with their glass of rosé and a bonne bouche, it is easy to assume that if it’s okay for them to drink alcohol this early, it’s okay for us too.  But this is their lunch, it is generally just the one glass and then they go home to sleep for a couple of hours, emerging again to get back to work until 7pm or later.

As you are asking this question, you already know the answer really – no, it’s not all right; if you would rarely do it in the UK then rarely do it here.  The occasional alcoholic drink in the middle of the day is lovely, of course it is, but perhaps have something watered down like a panaché (shandy) or a white wine spritzer.  However be aware that this is a slippery slope and must be carefully self-monitored.


If you have a life concern that you would like to share, please write to Katie c/o  You can find out more on her website

a life concern answered

Details of other counsellors and therapists throughout Gironde, Dordogne, Lot et Garonne, Lot, Gers, Tarn et Garonne and north Haute Garonne can be found in our website Business Directory under Fitness, Well Being and Beauty

Images:  Katie Gardner and Shutterstock

First published in the September/October 2018 issue of The Local Buzz