But I'm almost missing Sarkozy!
We both laughed, as Sarkozy hadn't been high in our popularity stakes though he might have done better if he had succeeded in pushing through his reforms of the French economy in the teeth of opposition from his own party.
Then it came back to me...from when I was first in France, at some point the incoming President would be judged in the light of his predecessor....and found wanting. It was just happening a little sooner than usual for Hollande.
That sinister man Mitterand was President when I moved to France and some of the veils were beginning to shift from his past...his service in the Vichy regime....the protection of top collaborators...the suicide of colleagues.....although the bombshell that he had been keeping a second family at the expense of the taxpayer would not be revealed until much later when both families turned up to his funeral.
Then came Chirac, mired in corruption from his time at the Mairie of Paris....and the faces were long.
What a man to follow Mitterand who, be he what he was, could at least use the French language properly!
Chirac was a rustic...fit only to stroke rumps at the Paris Agricultural Show!
He could stroke a few other rumps too....his boon companion and chauffeur would collect him in an unofficial car at eight o'clock and they were off on the town.
No one knew where he was - probably least of all himself - so on the night that Princess Diana was killed in Paris his Interior Minister had to wait until the President rolled in from his night on the tiles before making decisions on how to handle the affair.
Mme. Chirac was unforgiving. The chauffeur was 'translated' to the post of inspector in the cemetery service.
And after Chirac, Sarkozy...the outsider. The man who was going to shake up France....once he had solved the problem of acquiring a wife to replace the one who had bolted....once he had finished holidaying on the mega yacht of a mega rich friend....once he had dined with his supporters at Fouquets in the Champs Elysees...
Mitterand had had a sombre dignity, Chirac had had charm.....Sarkozy had temper.
He showed emotion...if he was annoyed, everyone knew about it: no waiting a year to send someone to a cupboard in Limoges 'in the interests of the service' for not ensuring that only short arses surrounded the President on televised appearances - the official concerned would be on his bike in very short order.
His appearance at the Paris Agricultural Show was not the regal procession of Chirac either....
To a man who refused to shake his hand he replied
'Casse toi, alors, pauvre con!' which might be roughly translated as 'Bugger off then, idiot.'
For clarity it couldn't be beaten.....but it was felt to be lacking in class.
And now we have Hollande....the man in the baggy Bermudas.
The man who announced that change was to happen now.
Except that now was then, when he was campaigning.
Returning from his holidays this week he announces that change will happen in the fullness of time........
So, while we wait for the reappearance of les neiges d'antan - the snows of yesteryear - let's take a look at the irrepressible Chirac doing what he did best....enjoying the company of les girls.
Here he is on holiday at Dinan this summer, posing for photographs....note the left hand.
And here he is accompanying his grim wife Bernadette to one of her fund raising events...
And getting into trouble....as he says to his delightful companion 'You have to watch out for women...'
And for the man sitting on Chirac's right hand....Francois Hollande, the great white hope of France.