Imagine no religion

November 17, 2015

When I was about 13 years old our high-school English teacher asked us to write about something that we thought needed changing. As inspiration he gave us an example: Should First Division football clubs be allowed to replace the grass pitches with plastic/synthetic ones? The objective of the exercise was to express an opinion while […]

Cooking evasion

August 18, 2015

cuisineevasionIf you’ve lived in France for any length of time you will be familiar with the frozen-foods store PICARD. If you’ve never heard of it – imagine something across between Marks and Spencer’s and Iceland: rows of chest freezers brimming with top-quality, petrified nosh.

To help customers identify what’s in each freezer…

Beware of Taxmen bearing gifts

August 10, 2015

If my time as a freelancer in France has taught me anything – it’s not to trust the French state when it comes to handling anything to do with, er, anything. This rule should be applied even when things appear to be going your way. Today, I’m faced with one of those situations which at […]

You call that a coffee?

August 3, 2015

I guess you might call it a case of mild reverse culture shock. Although I’ve returned to the UK regularly since emigrating, nearly ten years ago, each time I come back there is usually something about British Culture that feels somewhat alien to me. For example, this time around it’s coffee. I’m amazed at how […]

Missing the music

July 26, 2015

We’re on hols in the UK at the moment, our country of origin. As ever we’ve been soaking up the British weather (literally) and the culture (metaphorically). The kids were surprised and somewhat disappointed to learn, this time around, that NRJ Hit Music Radio is not actually available in England. Moreover that none of the […]

O yea of little nous

June 25, 2015

There is a small red Smart car that has been parked down at the end of our road for the past two weeks. Emblazoned across it’s side is the old English word for ‘moreover’ : Yea! (pronounced yay). Normally anyone who forgets to move their car from this particular spot, in less then three hours, would find themselves with a parking ticket; but this one seems to be immune…

Freelance in France 2015

March 6, 2015

When I moved to France in 2006 there was almost no advice or support for people who wanted to work as freelancers in La République. There seemed to be books aplenty for people wanting to convert a barn into a gite, run a ski chalet or retire to the Dordogne; but nothing, rien, for those […]

A bunch of Charlies

January 13, 2015

150114chSo satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo lives-on. It’s mission to raise a chuckle from the absurdities of life and poke fun at hypocrites will continue unabated – and for this I am glad. No-one should be considered above criticism. Religions, politicians, businessmen, celebrities all deserve to have their words and influence deconstructed.
And this is where the whole “Je suis Charlie” campaign falls down…

Pope Frank

November 26, 2014

Frank was in town yesterday to nag the bureaucrats about their lack of enthusiasm for encouraging peace and cooperation between the peoples of Europe. He came, he spoke, he left. The only difference between him and the elected officials in the audience, as far as I can tell, is that he wasn’t required to sign-in […]

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