La dame de fromage

I was never a great learner when it came to French although I did eventually scrape through ‘O’ level. My wife, on the other hand, is a language graduate and (she’ll argue about this) speaks French pretty well. We have spent a lot of holidays in France, particularly from the time both our children were at university in Canterbury – so close to Dover and so easy just to nip across the channel. It would be all too easy for me to be a bit like the Duke of Edinburgh – walking along a few paces behind my wife and letting her do all the talking.

But I am determined to communicate and equally determined to try to use my French – which did improve enormously as a result. So from time we go our separate ways and I have to talk. And I’ll do things that would embarrass my wife were she with me. I blag freebies. And that’s how we came to have the cheese woman.


This little lady stood atop a cheese on a deli counter in a French hypermarket. I happened to watch the last of the cheese being sold and wondered what might happen to the little figure. In my best French I managed to convey the idea that I rather liked the little model and wondered what might happen to it.

Soon, it was mine – my trophy to prove I had been talking French

André Collet is a cheese brand in France. I know nothing more about them but I think there are a range of these figures and maybe people collect them.

They are of course totally modern and just as they might be in the UK, they are made in Asia. The base has a paper label.


So there we are ‘not suitable for children under three and made in China.

I still think she’s rather sweet.




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