Just occasionally an item crops up on the French news that appears amusing to us. If there are any French readers please do not be offended but these things can only happen in France!
Last year the riot police attended a student demonstration. They had been supplied with packed lunches including beer and wine. Apparently the officials at the interior ministry were enraged when photos appeared of the police drinking cans of beer in public. The union was even more enraged when the ministry decided to ban the riot police from having a drink with their lunch. They said that wine or beer was part of the “conviviality and traditions” of the riot police.
Workers in France are entitled to drink a quarter of a litre of red with their lunches. I don’t know about you but two large glasses of red wine would finish me off for the day.
Now comes the really amusing part - According to French law alcohol is banned while employees are at work – with the exception of “wine, beer, apple cider and pear cider”.
French riot police
So now the riot police are threatening to riot. So who is going to go out and sort them out?
We spent a sunny afternoon at a concours complet at Cuisery, just the other side of Tournus. We went with our neighbours who had a particular interest in one of the horses competing as they had bred him. It was a three day event packed into one with dressage in the morning, and the jumping and cross country in the afternoon. It took place in sandy clearings in the forest.
Son of our Gwendy - he came third overall
We took an hour off to look round Cuisery. It is la ville du livre as it is noted for its bookshops. There is a market on the first Sunday of every month devoted to selling second hand books. Even on such a quiet Sunday afternoon there was a whole street of bookshops open.
Books in Cuisery
We have made a note to visit the Eden Centre when the grandkids are bigger. Here you can learn about the natural environment of Burgundy and visit the planetarium.
We hadn’t realised that last week was the 30th birthday of the TGV until we saw a wonderfully decorated train with swirls of pink and huge ‘30’s painted on the side whoosh by near Mâcon. It had been inaugurated by the President of SCNF to carry an exhibition of the history of the TGV around France between now and July.
The 30th anniversary TGV
Apparently the TGV was the saviour of the French railways. It’s incredibly popular and provides a fast, easy way to get around France.
The first TGV line was between Paris and Lyon and the network soon expanded to connect Paris to cities across Europe and link with their high speed railways. It’s only 2 hours from Paris to Lyon and 3 hours from Paris to Marseille (560 miles) and to Bordeaux (580 miles).
Many of the passengers are commuters. Places as far as Tours are now in the communter belt for Paris. We have several neighbours who work in Lyon, only half an hour from Mâcon.
The UK with its single high speed line to the Channel Tunnel could do with taking note. All we hear about are endless consultations. The Birmingham link by 2032? Well I won’t be here to see it.
This morning we saw this little foal that had just been born at Laizé. You always wonder how there could have possibly been room inside his Mum for those long legs.
New foal at Laizé