Sunday, May 27, 2007

The toaster

Grille-painSadly, I have to announce the retirement of my old-fashioned French toaster. Le grille-pain, a simple metal device that can be heated on a gas ring, enables slices of bread to be scorched at high speed.

Inevitably, a briefly forgotten toasting causes clouds of smoke in the kitchen. Recently, my grille-pain has buckled and flakes of oxidised metal are now shed during every use, covering the stove with black crumbs. Traditional grille-pains are hard to find these days and cost more than basic electric toasters. Requiescat.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Although the majority of French departments voted for Nicolas Sarkozy, the South West overwhelmingly voted for Ségolène Royal. The Lot voted 56:44 for the socialist; in the capital city, Cahors, the tally was 59:41.

Fortunately, we didn't have riots and car burnings here after Sarko's victory, but there was considerable unrest in Toulouse, just South of here. The relatively prosperous Lot et Garonne and Tarn et Garonne were the only departments in the region to follow the national pattern. Geographical splits in national elections are hardly uncommon, but the astonishingly high turnout of 85% highlights the depth of feelings. It's not only the blighted suburbs of Paris that can look forward to five more years of dissent.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ségo and Sarko

Sego and Sarko

These two foals were born on the weekend of 21st April, when the first round of the French Presidential election was held.   No surprise that they were named Ségo and Sarko.   They are actually both males, but Ségo has the better legs.