Thursday, 30 October 2008

Lawsuits you, sir

Voodoo doll update... A judge has let common sense prevail and allowed production of the Sarkozy and Royal dolls to continue. Who says the French have no sense of humour?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Cistern addict

Is there a story whose headline more perfectly "does what it says on the tin"? I doubt it.

While I feel for the hapless passenger, one cannot help but marvel at the sheer suction power of a French train loo. Way ahead of us, as usual.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Do you do voodoo?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is fuming at news that some wag has produced 20,000 voodoo kits in his image, complete with instructions on how to stick pins in it. Of course, in France people own absolute copyright to their own image, so it's not surprising that Sarkozy plans to sue if the dolls are not withdrawn from sale.

Either the President is actually afraid of the dark art bringing him bad fortune or the thought of pins going in his thigh makes him wince. But as my doctor tells me, Benny Hill-style, when I go for a jab, "Don't worry, you'll just feel a little prick".

In the interests of fairness, the doll makers have also made one of oppostion leader Ségolène Royal.

* The image above is not of either of the aforementioned dolls

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

French cuddle crisis

Daniel Johnson, the very amicable marketing chap at Siblu , whom I know from knocking about at various industry do's, just pointed me to this bizarre survey on the GMTW website. It's the kind of thing that editors get sent all the time by PRs scrambling for attention – and, of course, the financial crisis is the current angle for all stories, no matter how tenuous the link.

Apparently the French aren't as handy as us saucy Brits at cuddling up in bed on a cold winter's night in their efforts to stave off ever-growing heating bills.

And they, the French, would do well, say the sponsors of the survey, to put aside ten minutes each week to do something 'green'. Fair enough, we all can do our bit and I'm as partial to credit crunch cuddle as anybody. But read further down, to the second bullet-pointed section "And in Europe", and among a list of things that some people are wasting ten precious minutes on each week, you find this:

"Twenty-one per cent of Frenchmen and women spend more than 10 minutes a week waiting for their food to arrive in a restaurant."

Quelle surprise! I would suggest that any restaurant where you don't have to wait ten minutes for your food to arrive is called Burger King. And how, one wonders, is something that takes longer than ten minutes to cook from scratch, supposed to be cooked in less than ten minutes?

In future I will order salade niçoise every time I eat out, thereby giving me ten more minutes to put my recycling out. If only steak tartare had been on the menu at Kyoto Agreement meetings...

Thursday, 16 October 2008

His Heineken Cup runneth over

A rather disingenuously teasing email came through from Toulouse Tourist Office's ever so charming press officer Fanny, with whom I dined heartily and happily on my most recent visit to the Pink City (as featured in the latest issue of French).

She was ribbing me about how her local rugby team had beaten mine over the weekend in a pulsating Heineken Cup tie. I replied, naturellement, with double the sarcasm, which I hope didn't upset her too much. Anyone who says the French have no sense of humour is quite wrong.

Anyone who says Toulouse deserved to win is also quite wrong, but c'est la vie. The winning kick was delivered by the talented, though inconsistent, David Skrela (pictured), who seems to be French rugby's latest poster boy.

The return fixture in Bath, on the weekend of January 23rd, promises to be a humdinger. What Entente Cordiale?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Monet's too tight to mention

No, this is not a post about Charlie Drake-alike warbler Mick Hucknall selling off his impressionist art collection to ward off the credit crunch, but a crafty way of introducing a fantastic offer to all new subscribers this month to French Magazine, the Giverny-bedecked issue of which is out now.
Ring the hotline on 01225 786 850 to subscribe and you will recieve a lovely 2009 Monet Pocket Diary for 2009 AND a stylish teneues Paris 2009 Wall Calendar. These two fabulous gifts are worth £29.50.
Oh, and of course you get 12 issues of the UK's best magazine about France and the French lifestyle delivered straight to your door before everyone else.