Now while many of the locals may disagree, one positive thing that we (my wife and I) noticed immediately about French living was the way in which the local water left our hair so soft, silky smooth and manageable after washing.
This was first noted on a mini-break to Avignon in 2003, then again when we visited Strasbourg in 2005, and is now something we take totally for granted … until we make an excursion back to the UK.
My folks inhabit the Mendip hills down in Somerset, where the water is so hard it takes five minutes for a glass of tap water to clear from the milky-limestone colour it arrives in from the tap. Somerset kettles therefore have to be hardier than a Norwegian fisherman’s top-lip to survive the mountainous scale that builds up after only a few cups.
Just this Christmas I quickly remembered why the locals all leave a few dregs in, rather than finish, their cups of tea – because there’s usually a few lumps of chalk down there hiding in amongst the tea leaves. Hoch – spit.
In London it’s not much better. While cockney water is supposed to be relatively soft, it still has a tendency to leave chunky deposits of tartar here, there and everywhere.
So you can imagine our profound joy when we discovered that dryness, frizziness and unwanted bouffants became a thing of the past.