Posts Tagged ‘france’

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.

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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.



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.

Where have I been

April 28, 2008

Well, believe it or not, I thought I would spend a few says in the south west of France at my little house.

The weather was really hot, the people and surroundings were lovely.

I had a few bits of fun on the way back which I will list each in turn as I think they all have valid reasons for me either being happy or sad.

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Smoking in Cars – I need to be careful

April 23, 2008

i’m off to France today.

French laws and the way they enforce them are unusual to say the least.  One of the most annoying is smoking in cars.

If you travel along any French autotoute, you will see French drivers puffing away on  cigarettes.  I even smoke when I am driving.  however, when I reach a little town call St Juliene, in the south west, about 35 miles from my house, the French Police hold a mini roadblock.

A single police car sits beside a roundabout just before the high street and watches the cars driving into town.  If you are a car driver and smoking they will stop you.

Luckily I have learnt the easy way, with watching others get pulled over, and have never been stopped myself.  But it now means I am very cautious when smoking in my car at all, no matter whether it is near my house or not.  What makes it worse is the language barrier, whereas I can only speak a little French, imagine trying to explain to a French copper that you did not know the law!!

Oh well, I am just happy to be getting away so no more moaning.