Category Archives: News

Do they strike in France ?

Well yes, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for no reason at all.

In French strike is “GRÈVE”.

The French do have a bad reputation for striking and at lightning speed. The Métro in Paris and the SNCF (the trains) are good examples. A strike may be launched for next to no reason and the whole country comes to a total stand-still.

Workers unions retain a strong position of power, not only in the civil service but also the private sectors such as the farmers and truck drivers. Roads can be blocked, tonnes of grapes can be dumped on the road and Mayors can be walled into the town hall from the outside.

I’ve seen people having to leave home at 4 am to get to work at 9am because there are no trains, buses or taxi’s, with freezing temperatures.

I’ve seen workers ready to blow blow-up factories trying to save their jobs as the investors run off with government grants (tax money ).

I’ve seen nurses receiving no salary as they fight for hospital beds to heal the sick.

I’ve seen fishermen blocking harbors because they can no longer earn a living because of a decision by person in the EEC who has never been to the seaside.

I’ve seen the Police and Firemen hitting other Policemen as they fight for better conditions.

I’ve seen university students, school students and teachers pleading for more classrooms.

I’ve seen manifestations of retired people who can no longer pay heating bills.

Have you every seen homeless people asking for a bit of food, and shelter ? Who live in a tent to stop the rain, as they camp along the banks of the river Seine.

There are also other ways to strike, some strike for gold in the Olympics, many of these people are own know to us all and practice a sport only pleasure (and of course ambition) with very little financial benefit.

In football there are two methods in striking, we all know about striking as in shooting, striking for goal. This week we have learned about another method.

Strike and not play but get payed.

These are difficult times for many people throughout the world. The least we can expect from the French football team is to “STRIKE HOME”, and with the money most of these top players earn, pay back some of those who are in need and stricken out by our modern way of life.

Let’s hope for a different way of thinking in 2014.

Well, at least they tried !

Question : How do you say Football in French ?

Answer : Easy you say “Football”.

But how do you say : Lose, disaster, useless, sack the boss, losers, goalless.

Or

How do you say : Win, no luck, bad draw, that’s life, goal, attack, score.

I’m actually writing this article a few minutes before the match between Mexico and France. I have a bet with a friend that Mexico will win 2-1. With nearly 2 hours to go, we’ll see who wins and perhaps I owe a bottle of wine ! Even if I do lose the bet, my friend will share the bottle of wine.

Anyhow, this is a good time to learn some French vocabulary about winning and losing.

A big discussion in France is about yesterday’s “Bac de Philosophie”, which is the Philosophy Baccalaureate exam. The subject is one of the most complicated and stressful for students, and quite a few people will fail in this exam.

Perhaps the theme could have been “Will you have a winning team, when you have the best players ?”.

Sporting Weekend

So we know have the final outcome of the football season ! Many will be happy, whilst others do not really care of course.
So Marseilles are the champions and they have been having a great party at the port in the city center. There is also Auxerre and Lyon who have qualified for the European stages. The big loser is Bordeaux who failed to qualify.

We also have been told that Laurent Blanc (currently the manager of Bordeaux), will become the manager of the French national football team no matter what happens at the world cup, he will be replacing the controversial Raymond Domenech.

For motor racing fans, there was the Grandprix at Monaco and the Rugby season is almost finished but undecided. Tennis fans will have a great time in a few days with the start of the French open at Roland Garos. The French basketball star Tony Parker will not be playing in the world cup at Turkey, which is a huge blow to the team.

Culture

Apart from the sport there is also the room for culture and the rendezvous for many stars with the Cannes film festival. Just before the start of the film festival, a storm with very high waves created much damage to the sea front. However the repairs and red carpet where put back in place with speed and talent.
The opinions of the films being shown in the competition are diverse and arguments always rage. We’ll see who win the awards in a few more days.

Le Printemps

In France we are still waiting for the real spring time (Printemps) to arrive. The temperatures are low and some of the ski stations have had snow falls ! However the flowers and blossoms are here, the gardeners trying to sow the seeds at the right moment.

We have had a few days of great sunshine and have been able to take advantage of the beaches, a few moments to think of something else and not the “La Crises”. We all know we will have to work even more years to pay the huge costs of the pensions “La Retraite”, so taking advantage of great weather is a way to escape the thought of more working years.

French people are already amongst the most taxed in the world but the government are not talking about increasing taxes. Instead there are rumors of removing certain advantages, which are given to the lower tax payers. There is now a fear of “la Rigueur”.

This is also a long weekend for many people, as Thursday is “Ascension” a holiday which many will take. Now as most schools do not open on Wednesday, people will take a day off work on Friday. This means they have from Wednesday evening to Sunday night. A great short holiday!
We may as well rest now as we know will will have to work more in the future! That’s the French way of thinking.

So, spring is almost here, a sign of change, but what will the price be?