Archive for the ‘france’ Category

Strange but true – Tour de France

November 12, 2008

Take a look at the photo below, and see if you can spot something strange.

First Corner

First Corner

Whilst stopping for a meal down near my house in France, I was a bit confused when the local police started stopping traffic.

Although my French is very poor, I was able to find out that the Tour de France was passing through the village, and all cars had to move or pull away from the main road. Also, any damage would be the owners fault if a bike rider hit the car. well, that’s enough warning for me, so the car was pulled right in behind the building.

Well we waited and waited, after about half an hour a tractor came round the corner and dropped a couple if bails of hay, plus a police car dropped two policemen. The hay was put next to a shop window and the two policemen stood in the street fingering their guns. This was the preparation for the arrival of the riders.

A police car came round sounding it siren, this was to warn us that the cyclists were within 10 minutes of us.

Next, with about 5 minutes to go, a small Renault car came round to the 30 watchers from this village, and threw some leaflets out the window. Expecting this to be interesting, I grabbed one, only to find it was the local tupperware salesperson, doing some marketing. (that’s french tupperware, not sure if we do it anymore)

Finally, we were treated to 5 minutes of bikes whizzing past the restaurant (no crashes) then another 5 minutes of support vehicles. Does this sound right? Not in my books. Heres another picture, there is an even greater clue in this one.

Can you spot it?

Can you spot it?

Have you guessed? Actually it turns out this was not the main Tour de France, it was actually the Tour de Limousin. On top of this it was actually the ladies race. When the men race there is usually thousands of people watching.

Oh well, thats something else i’ve learnt down in France.

Andy
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I’m back and already upset

June 2, 2008

It’s a shame, i’ve only been back a day from my trip to France and have had some upsetting news already.

Firstly, we did not win the Eurovision song contest (lol)

Secondly, my neighbours have built a huge barn in their garden and put a Dove cote on the roof taking the whole structure up to about 14ft.

Now, i’m out to get even.

Andy

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M20 and Operation stack

May 22, 2008

Well, i’ve had to scoot around a load of lorries today, especially the ones sneaking off at junction 11 to try and sneak into Dover via the back roads.

However, I’ve spoken to Seafrance today, regarding my early Saturday morning crossing and they believe that after todays workers strike and the fishermen gradually returning to their nets, the crossing on Saturday should be ok and running as per timetable.

Well, if that’s the French bit sorted, let’s hope mother nature decides to hold in the rain and storms till after I have crossed the channel eh!!

A note on the sour side though, the French fishermen were on strike about the cost of diesel and how if affects their livelihood.  Now on first look, you would accept that times are hard, and our fishermen should go for some sort of assistance and not blame them at all.

However, when you look more closely and you find that the fishermen had already received a economic grant to be spread over three years,  and in fact they are striking because they want it sooner.  You really begin to get annoyed, especially when it’s usually European money (i.e our money) that is given to the French fishermen, to keep them in a job and undermine the British fishermen, with the money we contribute.!! Now that is wrong.

Our Government should fight to get our fishermen discounts on fuel, or we should seal our borders from French and Spanish fishermen, scooping up our managed stocks whereas for years, they took all the fish, even the baby ones, and said they were cultural national dishes.
Andy
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M20 get’s operation Stack again

May 21, 2008

Well, what can I say.  The sun is out Summer is appraoching, there’s a Bank Holiday coming up, so what’s missing.

Well, there’s two things.

Firstly, the rain.  Well thats planned for the weekend and the Bank Holiday, so that’s normal.

Secondly, French fishermen on strike and Operation Stack being put in place on the M20, ruining my day.

Well, funny enough, it’s been annouced that the Port of Dover is closed due to French fishermen.  It’s only a matter of time until the M20 becomes a car park.

What makes matters worse is that I am due to go to my little house in France.

The Irony of this is that I was planning to go to France a month or so ago and SeaFrance went on strike, causing chaos.

I’m thinking that maybe we need to somehow buy the French side of the channel to avoid all these problems or re-open the Folkestone – Bolougne route.

Andy
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It must be a Concorde Day

May 9, 2008

With the Vulcan from Bruntingthorpe almost there, with its flight certificate, more and more attention is turning to The Concorde and trying to obtain her for flying display only, and not as a passenger plane or as a supersonic plane.

As the debate gets closer, and hopefully some demands will be made, lets reflect back on one of the best designs and ideas formed between the English and French.

Ironically, the Concorde was funded by British and French taxpayers. but sold for £1 per plane to Air France and British Airways.  British Airways, made the decision to ground her (albeit it through a subsidiary part manufacturer).   Many people are still of the opinion that someone like Sir Richard Branson should be allowed to save this plane for flying exhibitions, like he has assisted the saving of other great british icons.

Anyhow, lets look back on this beauty of the skies, thanks to more Youtube users.  And yes, its that song again, but it so suits the clips.  Watch for the noise of the engines part way through when the plane first went into service.

Andy
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Would Harry Potter live here?

April 29, 2008

Rochechouart Chateau near our house

So lets forget all the troubles with my car and focus on some of the positive points of my little break away to France.

In the picture above, you will see Rochechouart Chatteau.  It is beautiful and has been turned into a modern art gallery (not my bag unfortunately).  Whenever we have brought friends over, especially those with kids, they have always looked up in awe and shouted “Its Hogwarts”.

From a distance, you can see where they get the idea from.  This is just one of the photos from my trip over to France.  I thought I would share it with you.

Andy
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