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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Happy birthday M. President

So the French president, François Hollande, turns 60 on August 12.

No big bash planned, which is a bit of a shame really as the nation could do with a little glamour and glitz at the moment (especially as the weather ain't doin' what it's supposed to be).

All right, so all those economic indicators are far from being fine and dandy. But hasn't a party always proven a good way of, at least for just a moment, lifting the spirits and enabling people to focus on something other than their own plight.

Or is that war?

Although Hollande is indeed thinking about military involvement (for purely humanitarian reasons, you understand) in Iraq, or at least supporting US air strikes, he's much more reticent and indeed "pudique" when it comes to personal matters.

All part of his oxymoronic "President Normal" concept perhaps, whereby as a head of state he tries to appear to be like any other "regular" citizen both in terms of behaviour and image...except, well he clearly isn't because he's...er...head of state.

Anyway, apparently Hollande will be blowing out the candles  on Tuesday at an "undisclosed location" somewhere in the southeast of France - and not even one of the official presidential residences such as the much-disliked (by him) Fort de Brégançon in the département of Var (which instead is open to the public throughout the whole of the summer)

He'll reportedly be surrounded by Thomas, Clémence, Julien and Flora, his four children from his 30 plus year partnership (remember the president who reluctantly saw through legislation for "Mariage pour tous" has never actually tied the knot himself) to Ségolène Royal.

That's all.

Not even his closest political allies and long-time friends Michel Sapin (the current finance minister who was also a classmate during Hollande's - and Royal's - days at École nationale d'administration) or Stéphane Le Foll (the minister of agriculture and government spokesperson) have been asked along.

Now, you can bet your bottom centime that had You Know Who been re-elected back in 2012, there would have been a suitably Bling Bling affair in January next year when the nation could have joined in the festivities - or not, as it saw fit.

Ah well. Tant pis.

As the French haven't been able to offer up their esteemed current leader a collective birthday wish and as nobody in the media seems about to come forward and do the necessary tra-la-la.

And because neither Seggers, Valérie nor Julie have uttered a public "joyeux anniversaire" for their (respectively) former, former, future (???) other half,  here's a borrowed present from the past to wish Hollande all the very best.

It's how a certain Hollywood icon interpreted the song "Happy birthday" for "her" president back in 1962, when he turned 45.



Come to think of it, maybe Hollande's oldest son, Thomas, will drag his girlfriend along, French singer Joyce Jonathan, for a bit of celebratory warbling.

Jonathan might not be nearly as sultry as Marylin, but she sure has a pretty enough voice.

Now, how do you do those irritating smiley-face emoticons?

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