Posted by Big John on June 28, 2008
I always enjoy visiting France and, on the whole, I find the French pleasant and friendly people, although the odd waiter does seem to look on me with disdain when I attempt to speak his language.
One thing that always amazes me when travelling in France is that I do not see more road accidents (only two on my latest 800 mile trip), because the French are seriously bad drivers who tend to ignore most traffic signs: and speaking of traffic signs … How about this ? …
Instead of separating cyclists from pedestrians, it seems to indicate that if you stick to your side of the pavement (sidewalk) you stand a very good chance of being hit by ‘un vélo’ !
Another thing that really pisses me off is their dog shit, it’s everywhere, despite the little dog ‘poo’ plastic bag dispensers with their very clear signs …
Here is a picture of a bloke kicking sand over his dog’s doings as the animal wanders off along the beach …
… The sign warns that … ‘dogs must be on a leash’ !
Do you suppose that the French’s confusion over signs has anything to do with …
… drinking too much of this stuff ? .
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Posted by Big John on June 27, 2008
Today is Veterans’ Day (something new in this country), and although I have been awarded my Veteran’s Badge I do feel a bit of a fraud, for I was a reluctant conscript back in the 1950′s who never saw any action, and in fact never left these shores.
I served during ‘The Cold War’ and spent most of my time ‘as safe as houses’ working in an underground ‘bomb proof’ bunker.
So as one who had a ‘cushy’ time in the RAF I would like to salute my fellow veterans who did not have it so easy and who saw action and faced death in many far off places.
Today we are very aware of what it means to ‘join the colours’ as the reality of war is shown every night on the TV news, where we see so many pictures of the flag draped coffins of those young people who were never destined …
… to become ‘veterans’.
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Posted by Big John on June 24, 2008
I did enjoy my trip to the ‘jolly old’ French Riviera, where I spent a good deal of time doing what I do best: that is leaning against something with a glass in my hand. :-)
In this case (see left), I am on the balcony of our rented apartment, and if you look over my right shoulder you can just about see the Bay of Saint Tropez. Not exactly a great sea view, but with the £ Sterling @ 1.20 € it’s all I could afford after a 400 mile drive with petrol (gas) costing nearly £1.25 per litre (around $10.50 per gallon).
I stayed in the very pleasant little town of Sainte Maxime, just across the bay from Saint Tropez, which ‘she who must be obeyed’ and I first found by ‘accident’ twentyfive years ago, and I’m pleased to say that although there have been some changes in that time much has remained the same, although I could have done without the bloody ‘RAP’ music which now seems to be popular in many cafés and bars.
When I last visited the town a couple of years ago I noticed that loud American voices were to be heard in every café and restaurant as were those bloody awful ‘Sloane Ranger’ British accents. This year they seemed to be missing: so I suppose that the results of the ‘credit crunch’ are not all bad :-)
The missing Yanks and posh Brits seemed to be having little effect on the bar and restaurants which always seemed to be doing good business …
… I now know why so many French women are so skinny. Their meals seem to consist of a plate of lettuce for a starter, followed by another plate of lettuce as a main course. Now many of these ladies are of course very ‘chic’ and attractive, but a few are of the … “Didn’t you used to be Brigitte Bardot” … variety, with long bleached blond hair framing fifty years of sun tanned wrinkles. Their favoured dress seemed to be white lace underwear and cowboy boots. Not a pretty sight, but ‘c’est la vie’.
I’ll be back soon with some more observations on our French cousins, but in the meantime here’s a couple of photos to wet you appetite …
…. Now that’s what I call a take-away.
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Posted by Big John on June 22, 2008
… just about.
Well all good things must come to an end, and my visit to France ended with me being laid low due to my determination to do too much ‘serious eating and drinking’, and my inability to resist the seafood buffet at the hotel on the final night of my holiday; which resulted in a very unpleasant dose of shell fish poisoning.
I’ll be back on line soon with some more interesting and amusing memories of my vacation, but at the moment I am not thinking too clearly due to lack of sleep.
Every time I nod off …
… I fall off the toilet seat. :-(
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