The Fall of France: Macron’s election and the Greater Germany

Originally posted 2017-05-08 19:33:38.

Yesterday, the 7th of May 2017, will be long remembered. It is the day of the Fall of France.

This is not the first Fall of France. In 1940, German troops stormed through the Ardennes, completely surprising the French General Staff.

Nobody who has read Chester Wilmot’s ‘The Struggle for Europe’ can fail to recognise the similarities. In 1940, the French Establishment was represented by octogenarian and even nonagenarian generals. Their incompetence was complete. Counter-attacks were so badly organised that battalions engaged on different days or in the wrong place. Communications were by carrier pigeon. The French armour, superior in numbers and quality to the German, was not allowed to operate freely and instead was used as semi-mobile artillery for infantry support.

The result was that France capitulated. That was the first Fall of France. An uneasy truce was declared, in which the Germans gave the French permission to govern themselves in territory not already under a German jackboot, but it didn’t last long; in 1942 the Germans assumed complete control.

Seventy-two years later, the second Fall of France has just occurred. Instead of dottering relics from bygone wars, fought decades before, today the French establishment is represented by a dandified fop called Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron. This poodle sans couilles is now the President-elect of France.

Continue reading “The Fall of France: Macron’s election and the Greater Germany”

Pork, Secularism, and Anarchy

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Originally posted 2013-07-12 16:34:09.

Pork. It’s such a mainstay of French cuisine, that it’s frankly impossible to conceive of French food culture without it.

Every thing from saucisson to saucisses, fried, grilled, cured, dried, you name it, the French have a way of eating pork like that.

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The growing French anti-halal movement has seized on a blatant attempt to destroy French culture

It goes back to the time of the Gauls, you know, Asterix and his lads, roasting wild boar on spits.

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Continue reading “Pork, Secularism, and Anarchy”

Summer at Last

Originally posted 2013-07-26 17:19:10.

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Torrential rainstorms are a feature of life in France Pic: Rod Fleming

Well, summer did finally arrive here in P’tit Moulin and the warm balmy days are back. I must say they are very welcome, and could have been here sooner. The girls are all out in their skimpiest dresses, to show off their golden-tanned skin and the boys…well, who cares about the boys anyway?

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Of course, here in central France the climate is interesting, to say the least. Continue reading “Summer at Last”

Bastille Day!

Originally posted 2013-07-17 22:54:14.

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The parade Pic: Rod Fleming

This Bastille Day was celebrated with the usual style in our village. I have photographs of this going back twenty years now, and it’s amazing to see how people have aged. Children who used to run around the square or sit on the banc outside our house have children of their own now. It’s always the same band, who come from the next town.  And it’s always the same tunes… Continue reading “Bastille Day!”

Flics: Traffic cops in France

Originally posted 2013-07-17 22:13:41.

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A perfect road to speed on–and for flics to hide on. Pic: Rod Fleming

Les Flics: just as you can’t write about life in France without discussing wine, you can’t write about it without discussing that greatest of scourges,  the bugbear and bane of everyone’s lives and a daily topic of conversation all over France, third only to the weather and politics. And what are les flics? The cops, of course.

 Mostly, when the French talk about les flics, they are talking specifically about traffic cops, who are universally regarded with almost unlimited contempt and no respect at all. However, when the occasion merits, they expand the concept to include any other kind of cop who’s been getting in the way of the French being French. Continue reading “Flics: Traffic cops in France”

Napoleon was a Big Guy Really

Originally posted 2013-07-10 16:26:52.

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Napoleon Was a Big Guy Really

Napoleon was actually a tall guy. Did you know that? It’s true. The legend that the great conqueror of Europe was severely vertically challenged is just that—a legend. Maybe not quite an urban myth—I don’t think they had those back then—but nevertheless, a myth.

It illustrates, however, the mismatch between the French and Anglo-Saxon worlds. Continue reading “Napoleon was a Big Guy Really”

Gendarmes, Police and Faulty Speedos

Originally posted 2013-07-08 20:55:47.

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The kind of road the Gendarmes like to catch speeders on. Pic: Rod Fleming

 My friend Antoine the potter had a little incident with the Gendarmes from Bligny not long ago. Now before I begin this tale, I feel I should put to rest a belief that has become, apparently (according to my children,) current in the UK in the last few years.

This is that the Gendarmes in France are not real police. Well, they are, and this is a classic bit of Anglo-Saxon, er, confusion. I believe it has even been aired on that odious arch-slimeball Stephen Fry’s television show; not that that would make it any more the truth.

 So let me explain. Continue reading “Gendarmes, Police and Faulty Speedos”

Finding and buying a House in France

Originally posted 2018-10-21 06:37:51.

There can be no question that actually finding a property is one of the most exciting phases of the whole process of acquiring a house in France.

The doorstep that is two inches too low to prevent the quagmire outside seeping into the house, the drainage system made of two-inch pipe that turns the courtyard into a lake when it blocks, which of course it will do several times every winter, the dripping and split gutters, the multitude of little leaks in the roof, the rising damp and the access road that has turned into a single-lane swamp. All of these delights will provide you and your partner – if you have one – with hours of after-dinner chat.

There are some serious questions to ask, though.

 

Continue reading “Finding and buying a House in France”

Fete de la Revolution in Molinot 2002

Fete de la Revolution

Originally posted 2017-09-06 22:54:12.

La Fete de la Revolution, also called Bastille Day, was a major celebration in Molinot, the village where I live in France. Every fourteenth of July, the village attracted visitors form all over the surrounding areas, because of the lavish entertainment. Today, it is but a ghost of its past self, but in the early years of the century it was a huge affair, and the children from the village school all took part and put on a mime show. As always, willing adults were drafted in to help.

In 2002 the theme was The Wild West — with a very French flavour.

In 2002, only twenty years ago now, La Fete de la Revolution was still a huge event in Molinot. Sadly this is no longer the case as the life of the village has collapsed as the French country side empties. We were lucky to see it when we did, and to experience the rural life of the Arriere Cote. It is gone and will never come back.

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Our memories, however, are happy and something at least of Molinot and our dream life in France  is preserved in these images and my writing. I doubt if I’ll ever see another La Fete de la Revolution there, but the ones I remember were amazing. We saw something really special and if the locals did not quite understand us, they made up for it in kindness and the warmth of their welcome.

You can read about all of this in my hilarious French Onion Soup! series of books. The second, Croutons and Cheese! was launched in September 2017.

Treat yourself to copies, they’re worth it.

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