• Ed

     


  • France is known for its 300 sorts of cheese, and I must admit that every time I travel in the country I like tasting a new type of cheese. This time I have discovered the "Banon", a medium-sized goat cheese, wrapped in chestnut-tree's leaves. It's delicious, and I've been told it would taste even better with fig-bread and walnuts. Not to mention a glass of red wine. That's the kind of cheese I always feel lucky to eat, as I know that globalisation and its drastic standards of so-called modernization and hygiene are dangerous enemies for these regional products. Let's hope we'll be allowed to eat Banon for many years still !

    You can even buy it on the internet !!!

     


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  • A nice little town, supposed to be quiet, but when I happen to be there it's always noisy and crowded, in a very friendly way. Indeed every third weekend of July (from Thursday to Sunday included), there is a street arts festival called "Chalon dans la Rue". The streets, squares, parks are full of jugglers, clowns, acrobats, actors, dancers, puppeteers, in other words, full of surprises. Chalon is on your way to the south (I know lots of English people go to the Riviera or the Dordogne, well as far as the Dordogne is concerned, Chalon is a slight detour) and while calling there you can also buy some delicious wine in Givry or Jambles not far from there and in the town itself there are wonderful restaurants. 

    I hope it makes you feel like going there next summer. I have been a fervent spectator for 16 years and have never been disappointed.


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  • Don't try to find any logical orders in this list. Besides I'm sure I've forgotten many things that would come to my mind in a conversation. So, please comment and I'm sure I'll find lots of things to answer. 

     

    I like

     

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p>The beer. It's much more subtle than our rough French beer, or the Belgian and German beers. Moreover, I like the atmosphere in English pubs. People mix more and people my age can go and spend time at the pub without being labelled "alcohol addict". My neighbours, who already have a lot to say about me, would undoubtedly pass a judgement if they happened to catch the sight of me inside a local "Café".
    <o:p> </o:p>As a matter of fact I like the way I did not feel "judged" when I lived in England. Honestly people tend to be more open-minded, and less prompt to put you in a definite category and forget you there, than in France.
    <o:p> </o:p>I like your sandwiches. A snack in France is always awfully expensive, boring, unimaginative and tasteless. I suppose this explains why we have a proper cooked lunch and dinner. This has been changing in cities though. People getting a shorter break at lunchtime have to eat out. And our wages don't allow us to eat at the restaurant every day !
    <o:p> </o:p>I like your shops and the way customers seem to be respected as such. In France you've always got to be aware that someone is trying to make you pay more than you should, or sell you something that doesn't work, or that's damaged... And then it's a real battle to get refunded. All the same, French customers are all the more satisfied than they have managed to pay less than they should have.
    <o:p> </o:p>I like the way people are helpful and naturally friendly. Of course you have exceptions. But in France the exception is the other way round. It strikes my students every time I take some to England. 
    <o:p> </o:p>I like your idea of comfort and the way you make it more important than your looks. 
    <o:p> </o:p>I like your countryside. It's beautiful everywhere, even where in France there would be nothing to see : no hedges, no sheep, boring, overused for wheat and beetroots' fields.
    <o:p> </o:p>I like your humour.
    <o:p> </o:p>I like my English friends.
    <o:p> </o:p>

    I don't like

     

    The fake fires in  your living-rooms.

    I'm not fond of having carpet all over the place in the house even in the bathroom.

    I don't like some rules in schools, and the way religion is so mixed with education.

    I don't like marmite.


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  • On the motorway this morning I saw quite a large number of British cars. Considering the direction they were heading for I guess these people had already finished their holidays, poor things ! I hope they were carrying good memories back to England. I wonder what attracts people from Britain to France. I can admit the weather is better, which is only true in the south though. In the northern half of France the weather is slightly the same as in England. Rainier even ! In England, being never far from the coast, the weather keeps changing, whereas where I live, once it has begun to rain, and the sky is grey, it remains that way all day...

    So what is better in France than in England ? Try to find aspects that are not mentioned every time the question is asked ! Once you've answered, I'll tell you why I like England and would even like to move and live there once I have retired. Which means 15 years from now, and only if another Margaret Thatcher has not come to power. (She was the Prime Minister when I lived in England.)


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