Monthly Archives: August 2009


Joséphine, Ratings Guardian

By |2017-01-06T11:16:43+01:00August 19th, 2009|Strasbourg|

I'm sorry to say that the 2009 summer seasons of Intervilles and La carte aux Trésors are not quite as spectacular as expected. The root cause appears to be budgetary constraints, with the dancing girls, roadshow element, DJ and A-list celebrity presenters all axed from Intervilles, and helicopter flight-time restricted to half of the show on La carte aux Trésors, most likely slashing costs by 30% in both cases. Even Nathalie Simon's airtime seems to have taken a hit. Oh how I miss the dancing girls! There is one 'small' ray of hope though for trashy summer TV: Joséphine, ange gardien. This feature-length family show, now in it's 13th season, is effectively a modern French variation on Mary Poppins, and plays to massive audiences across France whenever it hits the airwaves. The key to the shows success is not it's repetitive schmaltzy story-lines, nor the occasional injection of cheap special effects (when Joséphine clicks her fingers), it is Joséphine herself, played by the diminutive but brilliant comic actress Mimie Mathy. If the commercial breaks are anything to go by [...]

What’s that smell? – 2

By |2009-08-02T20:02:31+01:00August 2nd, 2009|Strasbourg|

If you passed through Northern Alsace today you may have noticed a strange, discomforting odour wafting westward across the Rhine valley? Happily for you, if it smelt like something across between a cow's arse and a rotting corpse, I may be able to help identify the source: the Munster cheese festival in Rosheim. Munster is Alsace's only 'appellation' cheese, and famous for it's incredible odour when left to mature. An odour that becomes odious if by accident you leave it on a window-sill in summertime (although that is said to improve the flavour). While the smell of Munster may be enough to convince your nose to tell your brain "don't eat this stuff" it is usually not enough to convince most French people to avoid it; and rightly so, because if you can fight past that incredible stench, you will discover that it is in fact an astoundingly tasty cheese. (Right up there with Stinking Bishop) Although no-one is quite sure, it is said that the recipe for the cheese was introduced to Alsace by Munster-Irish monks in the [...]

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