Showing posts from July, 2023

and what is happening in terms of the riots in Bordeaux ?

I received an anonymous comment asking the above question.  I never publish anonymous comments, but the question may be in people's minds. In 2005, when we first arrived in France, a couple of months later there were riots following the death in Paris of two young men who were being pursued by the police and who hid in an electricity substation and were electrocuted.  The riots lasted about three weeks and spread to many cities of France, including Bordeaux. This year the riots followed the death by shooting of a young man, again in Paris, by a policeman. The case is under investigation. These riots lasted about 6 days but were more violent with more shops being looted. Bordeaux was affected by the riots. For some four days all public transport was stopped, first at 9pm, then at 10pm. People are studying the causes of the riots, and the differences between the two episodes, pointing up rising levels of poverty in certain neighbourhoods, as well as the influence of social media.

The Tour de France

Normally Pat and I spend all day on Fridays at A Coeur Ouvert, but the arrival of the Tour de France meant that public transport was severely disrupted again.Essentially the trams that run between our flat and the café were to be out of action. Perfectly reasonable since they run directly along the route the cyclists were to take. High-level discussions ensued and eventually the decision was taken to close the café for the day of the tour. Thus it was that Pat and I were able to take ourselves down to the "fan zone" just before lunchtime to inspect the city's preparations for the tour. We saw people queuing to play the supermarket LeClerc's wheel of fortune to win a t-shirt or a cap. A lady from the buralistes (tobacconists) allied with the sapeurs-pompiers (firemen) came and gave us each a pocket ashtray - they're distributing them in a campaign to prevent forest fires. We took a quiz about cycling in the city and were rewarded with a reflective tag for your bag.

We've started packing

In France you "do your boxes". We asked our splendid neighbours if anyone had boxes to pass on to us, and someone did. Then on a visit to the new flat we bumped into our new neighbour with armful of boxes ready to be passed on. We had already agreed to buy some small boxes suitable for books. So we might conceivably be OK for boxes. I have four oak bookshelves that belonged to my uncle Cyril that have travelled around with me over the years. The time has come to pass them on, so they're going to Froim and Catrin, along with the American swivel and rock armchair which everyone loves but me, and in which I regularly sit, to my great discomfort. (You can't lock the rock) So this evening they are going to Talence in a big seven-seat Berlingo which I have reserved for the occasion.  Meanwhile the most important contents of the bookshelves have been packed into boxes. We accumulate books at alarming speed. When we move we try to pass them on, but with great difficulty. When