Showing posts from June, 2024

The election

As the UK swings to the left, many countries in Europe have swung to the right. In the recent European Parliament Elections in France the far-right Rassemblement National (erstwhile Front National)did exceptionally well. Following that M Macron dissolved the National Assembly and called elections for the National Assembly on 30 June and 7 July. France has several levels of election. 1) Presidential elections. The President is directly elected and it is he who puts forward a programme of legislation. He has immense power and prestige. 2) Legislative elections. Députés are elected to the Assemblée Nationale. These represent their constituencies or circonscriptions. I have no idea who our député is, and I can't imagine a situation where I might write to them. French friends don't know, either. The National Assemblée is a control on the president's power. The French Parliament has a second chamber, the Sénat. Senators are elected by an electoral college made up of députés, memb

Perhaps the last time

I got back Monday from one of our two-week three-weekend visits to the UK to report to churches on the work here in Bordeaux. I didn't hire a car, but I travelled everywhere by train and, once, by bus. My travels began with a flight to Bristol Airport, where our friends from Bath were waiting to meet me and take me to their home for the weekend. I flew on the Saturday - there was no direct flight that day - via Marseille.  Flying via Marseille was a pain in the neck. It meant a LONG journey, a LONG wait in Marseille AND getting the nice bottle of wine confiscated because I bought it in Bordeaux, to in Marseille. I could have had it sealed in a duty-free bag had I realised that at Marseille you have to pass through security again.  Oh well. Honestly, that was the worst snag I experienced. Otherwise trains were on time, acceptably clean, reasonably priced (£14 for Newtown Powys to Leicester) and comfortable. I do these visits alone. Pat used to accompany me but they got too gruelling