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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Marly-Gomont's footballing team spirit after 20-0 loss

Until recently the village of Marly-Gomont (population, just over 400) in the département of Aisne in northern France was probably best known for being featured in the 2006 hit of the same name by French rapper Kamini Zantoko.

It's where "Kamini", as he's professionally known, grew up, and the song was a humourous recounting of everyday life and being the only black family living in such a small community.

Well, Marly-Gomont is back in the news for the performance of its local football team, ASMG.

It wasn't just the 20-0 defeat it suffered at the hands...or perhaps that should be feet...of opponents Tupigny, but the manner in which the team lost.

And to be honest, it's refreshing proof (if it were really needed) that the so-called beautiful game is at its most authentic at the amateur level rather than that of the multi-million euro exploits of the overpaid professionals.

Proof that even (or probably) at its most amateur level, the so-called Beautiful Game.

(screenshot from Kamini's video "Marly-Gomont")

 ASMG were already 5-0 down when, after 25 minutes into the match, their goalkeeper had to leave the pitch...because he had been called away to tend to one of his cows who was about to give birth.

On the bench, there wasn't really anyone suitable to replace him, as the club's president, Alain Braghéri,  explained to the local newspaper L'Aisne nouvelle.

"Fourteen of our players were absent through injury or for other reasons," he said.

"Only 12 of us had made the (20km) trip to Tupigny and of those, four weren't even 17 and didn't have senior team experience."

So with nobody around to keep goal, you've probably guessed what happened next.

It was 61-year-old Braghéri who "stepped into the breach"

And he didn't seem to be making too bad a job of things under the circumstances, letting in "just" another five goals by the end of the first half.

But when play resumed, things quickly went pear-shaped.

"Tupigny continued playing their game: short, precise passes and the 'red wave' always seemed to be surging towards me," Braghéri said.

"We suffered, that's for sure. But we tried to limit the damage and we continued playing right up until the end of the match. Tupigny even congratulated us afterwards. We could have abandoned. But what's better? To 'swallow the bitter pill' and get on with it and learn? Or to give up?"

Monday, 24 November 2014

The French male chauvinist's ideal Christmas present for his "other half"?

With Christmas (it's no good groaning, it's that time of year again) just over one month away, it's time perhaps to begin thinking about what you're going to buy your nearest and dearest.

And for the male chauvinists among you who might be looking for ideas as to what to offer your better/other half, her indoors, swmbo or whatever suitably clichéd term you might wish to use, Rowenta has come up with what could well be the "perfect" gift.

After all, it's clearly something only women use.

A vacuum cleaner.

Yes - it's THE thing made for HER!

At least if you're reading through the diagrammatic instructions that accompany the "made in France" Rowenta x-trem power aspirateur (that's your French word for the day. Try dropping it into a conversation. You'll definitely impress).

Now, neither the country of production (France) nor of the manufacturer (Germany) might seem particularly relevant until you cast an eye over (and this is admittedly a somewhat shaky and definitely laboured link to give this piece a semblance of up-to-date newsworthiness) the recent annual report from the World Economic Forum on the global gender gap.

It looks at gender quality worldwide in terms of education, work and health and ranks countries accordingly. As you might expect Germany at 12th position and France 16th rate reasonably well.

After all both are countries in which women's rights and gender equality are promoted - albeit with varying degrees of success.

Somehow though housekeeping and cleaning in this case (as far as Rowenta is concerned), are still apparently very much the domain of women.

How can you tell?

Well, it's back to those diagrammatic instructions - so handy as the written ones only come in nine different languages.

Because although the hand in the illustrations might well be considered to be androgynous enough to give the appearance that the instructions were for both men and women, those featuring the foot (figures 10 and 14) clearly give the game away.

Yep - that's definitely a woman's foot - or at least one clad in a woman's shoe.

So there you have it. A product aimed at, and to be used by, women.

Surely the ideal Christmas present "just for her".

So Messieurs, try stuffing that in the stocking or placing it wrapped at the foot of the Christmas tree and wait for the "squeals of joy and delight".

It'll be a Christmas you'll never forget.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday's French music break - Brigitte, "À bouche que veux-tu"

Friday's French music break this week is sheer delight and a real treat.

It's the title track "À bouche que veux-tu" of the the new album released this week from the duo Brigitte.

Brigitte (screenshot from official video of "À bouche que veux-tu")

The group are the "indie folk musical duo" of Aurelie Saada and Sylvie Hoarau and, it quickly becomes clear that "indie" label is highly appropriate in the sense that their music is hard to categorise.

Their Myspace bio - yes some artists still seem to be using it - describes them as "A throwback to the flower power era, '60s revivalists...combining lounge-pop, retro folk, and French cabaret to produce an authentic hippie-chic sound."

And that, if anything, seems a pretty accurate description.

Their music (and their videos) is (are) highly stylised, melodic and yes, retro without a doubt.

But the duo are also very "modern"...if that makes any sense (and when did you last read a musical review that did?)...offering a distinctive sound that won't leave you indifferent (in a very positive way).

Take a listen for example to two of their best-known past singles, "Battez vous" and "Oh la la" and you'll quickly become hooked.

Brigitte already have one Victoire de la musique award under their belts for Group or Artist Stage Révélation of the Year in 2012 - and this album, and the accompanying tour should ensure they'll be in the running once again next year - perhaps for one of the major gongs..

You can catch the pair on tour throughout France, including two dates at Olympia in Paris in May 2015.

So without further ado, here's a taste of what you can expect...Brigitte with "À bouche que veux-tu".

And as a bonus, the official version followed by an acoustic one.


You most definitely will!

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