Fiona Alderman’s blog. One September in Rural France
“Le Peste seller”
I did predict it on this very page. The ex First lady of France, Valerie Trierweiler, has written a best seller of a book, denouncing her partner Francois Hollande. She calls it “Merci pour ce moment” a slightly sarcastic title. It was advertised as” le peste seller” as she is being taken for the wronged and vengeful woman.She claims never to have found her place within the mad world of politics and was humiliated over many years by Hollande. She has chosen to write about it and certainly she will make a lot of money, estimated at nearly a million euros!
It describes him as weak and unable to be truthful and she expected him to formalise their union with marriage. All alleged of course. He will not say anything to the contrary but his private life does seem rather chaotic. His political life too is at it’s lowest , with him being the most unpopular prime minister in over a hundred years. Now Nicholas Sarkozy is rising to the bait with a comeback in 2017. He has just been through the courts for extortion so we really have some unsettling times ahead? The polls however are not confident that he will succeed. He says he has no choice but to return though as the ever increasing Front National is becoming a real threat.
We woke up on the Friday morning the 19th of September to the news that Scotland was saying NO to Independence. I for one was sorry and it had been a long and arduous campaign, with many questions raised and furiously debated on both sides. A lot of French people here, who know us, have been asking why did we want to be come independent? It has lead me to say that it was for many reasons and not just for the nostalgic Scots history although I am a patriotic person. We are the 6th richest country in the world, and we have sufficient oil, gas , fishing and tourism so what went wrong? I am not a politician and for all their fancy words I really hope things can change now. The French have a view that to become independent would be a folly. However, I spoke a Breton who totally understood our need for independence as he is a fellow Celt and for him Brittany would be the same as Scotland. There are a lot of ex pats in the Dordogne naming it sometimes “Dordogneshire”! We weren’t allowed to vote for instance and I wonder if that was a good idea or not? However it is done now and we will await further complications for the whole of the Union now .
Have been thinking what I like about living in France and what I don’t like
Three things for yes and three things for no:
1. The weather and the style of life is much better than in the UK. A bit more relaxed too living in a small village to a town.The friendliness and help from neighbours is very appealing.
2. Learning a new language and immersing myself in a new culture and traditions, whilst not losing my Scottish identity, has given me more confidence. It is enriching.
3. The very good wine, baguettes, patisseries, and the fresh local produce in the markets. My cooking has vastly improved whilst here and I now follow French recipes and ask French friends how to cook something!
1. DON’T like the very complicated administration and the high level of civil servants. (the highest in the world apparently) Rudeness and arrogance, and sometimes thinking we don’t know the language.
2. Often on strike? But maybe this is not so negative as they do get results.
3. Feelings of never being able to be fully “at home” with people who have known each other since birth! – no matter how well you know the language etc.
Ready for Expo
We were involved recently in the “Jours de Patrimoine” here in France. A worldwide event where buildings are open to the public , from churches to castles to beautiful private houses.Barry had an exhibition of his photos in a 14th century church. Called L’eglise de St Remy and he himself apparently was credited with doing a few miracles! Well, we set it up and we waited for the adulation. It was a good experience as it is another way of meeting people and to show his work . Someone said it was “ profonde et paisible” meaning deep and peaceful. The subject was nature and Barry had also taken photos of the local residents, the beautiful old buildings and the little odd moments that he sees in terms of his journalistic eye. The picture in this paragraph is one he took himself of him framed in the doorway and his reflection on the stone floor. Amazing! He was written about in the local papers too, so he is quite a celebrity. Oooh la la la!
Well, that’s all folks for now. Vive L’Ecosse et Vive La France.
Fifi’s story from rural France . September 2014.
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