Monthly Archives: November 2014

//November

Pope Frank

By | 2014-11-26T08:46:09+00:00 November 26th, 2014|Life in France, Strasbourg|

A bloke in a chasuble 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 to claim his parliamentary attendance allowance. They came, they signed in, they sat, they politely applauded. It is unlikely however that a single MEP actually thought anything Frank said was going to make an iota of difference.  Still, it was nice seeing his chasuble pass through town. His what? His chasuble - you know the thing football players wear on the training pitch? Now I'm confused - the Pope plays footie? Er, I doubt it. No - the word chasuble (which exists in French and English and means exactly the same thing: the outermost liturgical vestment) is used in sport to refer to the bib players wear when training.  Why the French use the same word as [...]

Farts de ski and New Beaujolais

By | 2014-11-21T10:25:48+00:00 November 21st, 2014|Life in France|

A juvenile observation for you today: the wax you put on your skis is known as "fart" ... ;-)  Sorry. I was genuinely pleased to see New Beaujolais on the shelves of my local corner store yesterday.  What's not to love about a young, fruity wine eh? Best of all - it's only 12% proof, so you can drink it without passing out after two glasses (which is the effect most 14-15% wines have on me).

Paying by card from abroad

By | 2017-01-06T11:16:31+00:00 November 20th, 2014|Life in France|

So how exactly am I supposed to pay for anything online if TSB consistently block me from making online payments? You'd think things like click-safe, double-password protected cards would get processed without much ado by your bank - seeing as the secondary "clicksafe" password is there to ensure you are who you say you are when you attempt to pay for something? Alas, it seems that many banks have a safety algorithm programmed into their systems that says something along the lines of: If this payment is taking place from outside the UK - there must be a Nigerian/Bulgarian gangster holding our client at gunpoint and therefore approving this sale would not be a safe thing to do. Reject. Reject. Reject! Why a Bulgarian gangster would want to buy a TFL oyster card or a music CD worth 12.99GBP is neither here nor there, obviously. Gone are the days when I used to get a call from the bank saying "Someone just tried to use your card from France!" - to which I almost always answered "Yes it was [...]

Sturp sturp sturp

By | 2017-01-06T11:16:31+00:00 November 19th, 2014|Life in France|

There are many Anglicisms that have made their way into the French vernacular. I have already mentioned the 'F' word - which the French seem to think is no more offensive than saying 'bottom'.  My latest find in this regard is a digital radio station self-baptised "Fuckin' Good Radio" or Radio FG for short on which they play "Fuckin' Good Music" - apparently.  But if you ask me, the only time the F-word should feature in the same sentence as this music station is in the word "fuckwit" - which no doubt epitomises the individual who came up with the name. On NRJ a few weeks back we heard an advert for a new party service called "Myfuckingbirzday" - who, one presumes, organise club-nights for fuckwits. Anyway, the word I wanted to bring to your attention is actually far less offensive: stop. Yes, the verb "to stop". In French this means precisely what it means in English. I stop, you stop, they stop, we stop, he/she stops.  In it's infinitive form it is written "stopper" (pronounced stoeppay). The French [...]