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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Smile - It's just another December day in France

Prising oneself out of bed - even when one has the benefit of the pre-dawn chorus of howling hounds - is no easy matter.

But it's made all the more difficult at the moment by the fact that it's still pitch black at 6;30am outside, and will remain so for the next couple of months.

Anyway the dogs had been fed and potted, yours truly was slouched over the kitchen table, traditional cuppa (with just a nuage of milk) in hand, gawping bleary-eyed at the small screen in the corner.

Yes decadent perhaps but habit-forming, and informative in terms of getting a head start with the day's news (that's my side of the story) watching the excellent Maïtena Biraben present La Matinale on Canal +.

There was an interview with Dominique Paillé, a spokesman for the governing Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (Union for a Popular Movement, UMP) party.

The issue at hand - why the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy had backtracked on two reforms apparently so dear to his heart - Sunday shop opening hours and the reform of secondary school education.

Paillé helpfully and spinningly told viewers that there had been no "backtracking" just a consensus of opinion within the (UMP) party that it was better to introduce Sunday opening gradually (10 days a year to be determined by the mayors).

Then he informed us that the delay by the education minister, Xavier Darcos, of reforms to the secondary school system had nothing to do with fears that French youth - rather notorious for revolting - might follow the violent lead of those in Greece.

Instead the government would now have the chance to explain "properly" what was behind the proposed changes to the syllabus and loss of teaching jobs - one year exactly because they now apparently won't come into effect until September 2010

So you see, "no backtracking" by Sarkozy, even if the presenters and most of the front pages of the French newspapers say so.

Then the news headlines. Snow (how unusual for December), the danger of avalanches in the French Alps and 90,000 households still without power.

By all accounts the French utility, EDF, was working overtime to restore electricity - well let's hope they're all being paid healthy bonuses - remember Sarkozy's mantra "work more to earn more"?

Another day of delays on the trains as the after-effects of Monday's strikes by some drivers are still felt by those trying to make their way to work. Just another strike as far as most French are probably concerned - c'est la vie.

More on that crazy, single-handed, round the world sailing race, Le Vendée Globe. It seems the competitors are in iceberg waters still, and a Briton, Mike Golding has just taken the lead. Hurrah. Mad!

The sad news that German actor, Horst Tappert, had died at the age of 85.

He was the star of the long-running detective drama "Derrick" which, although it stopped being made around a decade ago, is still watched by over one million people each day here on France 3 and has been sold around the world.

Then that moment at the end of many a news bulletin, when the world seems to stand still and greet you with a massive hug, a great big silly grin and a loud "hello" with the "and finally" story.

So.......and finally. No story, no earth-shattering news, no words. Just a video to brighten up the start of your day as it did mine.

Go on. Sit back, take a break from the rest of the day, and enjoy - pretend it's Sunday morning, evening if it's actually Tuesday.

Go on - smile

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very enlightening and beneficial to someone whose been out of the circuit for a long time.

- Kris

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