Monthly Archives: April 2010

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Giant office building open day

By | 2017-01-06T11:16:40+00:00 April 29th, 2010|Strasbourg|

If you've ever been curious enough to wonder what the insides of that giant glass-fronted office building up at Wacken look like, then rejoice! For on the 9th of May the security guards will open this normally empty building to allow the public in to fill it's echoing halls and marvel at ... well not much. The building in question is actually known around the world as The European Parliament building, for it is said to be home to hundreds of representatives from twenty seven countries across the continent. You wouldn't believe this though if you'd ever walked by the windswept front gates - as signs of activity are rare. It remains near-empty for three weeks out of every month, and then is entirely empty for the summer. This though is the home of European democracy, and while the MEPs - whose responsibility it is to be here - whine about it's location, it has always been here and most likely always will be. So, seeing as your taxes paid for it - you should go and take a [...]

Calling Stephen Godfrey

By | 2017-01-06T11:16:41+00:00 April 20th, 2010|Life in France|

The worst of all possible things happened when I visited the Doctor's last week. No, I wasn't diagnosed with a horribly contagious form of the H1N1 flu virus, it was worse than that - my Carte Vitale was actually sicker than I. "Oh, erm. Who is Stephen Godfrey?" asked the Doctor as he attempted to process my prescription. "I have no idea. Why?" "Because that's the name on your Carte Vitale." "Shome mishtake shurely?" I was invited to see the evidence for myself, and sure enough the name of Stephen Godfrey (who by coincidence sounds remarkably like the name of another Englishman in France) flickered on the screen, right about where my name should have been. Now, this worried me greatly, knowing that when my wife 'lost' her Carte Vitale (she blames the baby for emptying her handbag one day) the authorities were, and have yet to provide her with a new one eighteen months later. Due, they say, to the fact that they are in the process of switching systems and so losing it at that particular moment [...]