All the stuff you never knew you needed to know about life in rural France.....and all the stuff the books and magazines won't tell you.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Hard choices...

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26:  In this photo ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Ah, Maurice!

Clement. Comment ca va?

What a week! It makes you wonder why you bother...
Yes, a glass would be nice....Albert's white turned out well last year...
That's better...

Well, make the most of it.
He's discovered esca in his vines....going to have to grub up a lot of them.

What!  Him  too?
Mark my words, this is going to be worse than phylloxera!
And now they won't let you buy the stuff to treat it it will run wild!

Old Benoit reckons it's all down to using Roundup. He reckons you never saw it before.

Well, he's still using his old horse to plough between the rows.....these young guys won't have that...they want it easy, sitting in their tractors spraying stuff...
The only place...apart from'll see a vineyard plough these days is in a museum!

I remember the Dad.....out in the autumn ploughing to cover the vine roots for the winter....out in the spring, uncovering them again....Benoit might have a point, the soil certainly got more aeration when you worked it rather than poisoning it.

Well, if you can't depend on getting a decent drop of wine in the future you wonder what the country has come don't fancy drinking town water with all that chlorine in it and before we know it they'll be recycling the sewage plants for drinking water.

Have to build them first, and by the way things are going there won't be much money about to do anything.
Look at Benitierville....the council took out one of these toxic loans and are up to their ears in debt.

Ho! Up go the local taxes again!

Oh, hello,Victor! Join us?

That' Albert's? Better make the most of it...

Yes, Maurice told me.
Miserable situation all round...and what have you got on the box to cheer you up?
Dominique Strauss Kahn having sex with a chambermaid!

Oh, did they film it then? I didn't know that!

No, Victor, they didn't film it...he was just talking about it.

Typical socialist....all mouth.....

That's enough about mouths, Victor. Anyway, he's innocent.

No he isn't, Maurice...they just didn't have enough proof to go for him...

Then he's innocent, isn't he? You're the expert, Clement, you work for the tell us.

Well, from what Maitre Plouc says, Strauss Kahn is innocent in France but not in America.

Well, he's in France so he's innocent. That's what I said.

It's a pity they didn't film it though...they film everything else!
Look at those speed traps they've set up all over the place...just another money machine, nothing to do with safety at all.
Just like the drink driving...and now they want you to buy a breathalyser to carry in your car to test yourself!  And who's got the contract for that, I'd like to know.
Pure magouille, all of it!
As if I need a breathalyser to know when I'm drunk!

It might have been helpful to you when you decided to race the gendarmerie in your tractor....

That was sheer bad luck! I was nearly home when the bastards crept up on me...

Everything comes down to money!
Even Maitre Plouc is feeling the pinch.

What, him? With all his property dealings? You have to be joking.

Oh, yes.
First it was when they forced notaires to use a central account for their client accounts.
No more nipping round to see Jean Paul at Credit Agricole when he wanted a bit of extra to do a deal.
But at least he got the interest.
Now, with all these English selling, he's got another problem.

Well, he gets his money, doesn't he? What's the problem?

Oh , he gets his fees all right, but they're buying and selling in sterling, between themselves, so he doesn't get his hands on any of the money....nothing in the client interest.

I bet that speeds up transactions....he kept my neice's money for four months...

But how do they get away with it? This is France! And aren't they worried the seller will run off with the money?

Not so worried as they are about Maitre Plouc sitting on it for months...
And you should hear them crowing about the euro!

They've got a nerve! I remember when England fell out of the Money Snake....that sent a pile of them home with their tails between their legs.....
And look at what happened when their pound dropped against the euro...another lot running for home....

Yes, well now they reckon they won't do any transactions in the euro and they don't trust French banks!

I suppose they've got a point, there. Who but an imbecile would buy up Greek debt? You can't trust a Greek.

Too right. Antoine's dad used to sell cattle there, back before Europe, if you see what I mean. Selling was one thing...getting paid was another.

Well, they've put us all in a right mess, and it leaves me with a big problem.

What's that, Clement?

Well, you know my mother in law....
She wasn't happy about going into the euro, didn't trust she kept her stash of francs and refused to change them.

In the mattress?

Where else? If it was good enough in the know the sort of thing...


Well, the Banque de France has just announced that the last date for changing them into euros is at the end of next month....
And she says that the way things are going the euro will be down the tubes by then.....
So she's hanging on to her francs.

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  1. Life is a farce. And, unlike your blog post, not particularly well written. ;-)

  2. Hello:
    Well, if it was a plot in a novel one might think it rather far-fetched!!

    However, we are hanging on to the Forint here in Budapest for longer we are sure than anyone felt would be the case when the European Union flags went out.

    Now, as long as that nice Mr Putin keeps the gas turned on this winter......!!!!

  3. Steve, if only you could be writing the script!

    Jane and Lance Hattatt, and trust Europe to sign up to 25 years of Russian be paid for at 80 per cent whether bought or not...just when Poland is developing its alternative...

  4. Enjoyed that, especially the bit about Strauss K.

    And a bed full of franks - reminds me of Jane's granddad who had a stash of ten bob notes hidden in a cupboard that we found when he had died.

  5. Mark, to think the so and so had the cheek to appear on the box and say that the lack of prosecution meant he was innocent!
    And he's meddling with politics already...angling for a job...

    As to the ten bob notes I nearly had a fit when I saw how much dosh my mother was harbouring in her wardrobe.
    It's for emergencies.
    What, rescuing Bangladesh from flooding singlehanded?

  6. Very amusing post, Fly. I enjoyed that.

    I had to turn DSK off before I threw something at the tele and broke it.

    My great great aunt hoarded things, unfortunately it wasn't ten bob notes but things like old Easter egg boxes (empty, natch). Just a load of worthless junk.

  7. Love this post, husband only said to me yesterday perhaps we should move our €'s out of the bank and put them under the mattress. Who is going to bail out Credit Agricole with all the €'s they have loaned to Greece????

  8. Sarah, I had to turn off...can't afford to rash the box.

    Diane, I've cleared out all but the funds for the bills....but, no doubt, the magicians will perform one more stunt...and then another...just until the politicians have got their dosh out...
    Just wait for the Italy debacle!

  9. It scares me to death.

    I teeter along a fine financial line and am just waiting for the next bombshell to drop.

    This is France, anything can happen, and generally does.


  10. SP and we can guarantee that it'll be us poor suckers paying for the greed and stupidity of our masters...

    Like the middle ages...king gets captured...people pay the ransom.

  11. Staying out of the euro is one of the few sensible things that the UK have done.

  12. cheshire wife, I agree. when they were fiddling the criteria to admit Greece and Italy you just knew it would turn sour.

  13. Someone here (Australia) said it wont affect us! I bet it will!

  14. had dam well better not..I've shifted my boodle in to the aussie dollar...

  15. Time to re introduce a local community inter trading system of fair exchange and bartering once again. At least cover all the food and drink essentials. Milk for bread. Eggs for bacon. Chickens for cheese. Butter for wine and so on. And if a bespoke currency system becomes absolutely necessary, use monopoly money and call it something like the ‘Beano’. All you’ll need to do then is make sure any future attempts at inflationary risking price hikes within your community, become subject to a rigorous tax rate of say…100 percent. That way, if the bloody wine grower ends up with all the Beanos one day, he’ll be forced to either just give em all back again or start begging away bottles of free plonk for his omelette kit. The concept worked extremely well once upon a way back in time, till some bright spark came up with the idea of a bank. Duhhh.

  16. Bish Bosh Bash, I can see two economies in action already...the false one of derivative trading and margin trades and the real one of people's actual needs.
    The problem is that the co ercive forces of society force the participation of people into the false economy, by giving it total control of the means of exchange.

    So, yes, up with bartering!
    I'd like to see some smart young trickster from Barclays calculate the likelihood of Jules defaulting on a swap of leeks for eggs and setting up a market in that!