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Wednesday, 22nd May 2019

Crossing the Atlantic in a wine barrel!

On May 2, French adventurer Jean-Jacques Savin became the first (known) person to cross the Atlantic without the aid of sail, motor, or human power. His vessel of choice? A giant, three-meter long “wine” barrel.

The 72-year-old set off from the Canary Islands on December 26, 2018, and spent 127 days crossing the ocean in his craft Le Vagabond. The 3,125-nautical-mile voyage took slightly longer than expected after strong winds delayed his progress.

For the final leg of his journey, Savin was aided by a Dutch oil tanker, which took him to the island of Saint Eustatius. Following two days’ rest, a tug boat then towed him to the shore of the French Carribean island Martinique, where Savin was met by his partner Josyane, and Dr. Pierre Galzot, the man who helped him organize the voyage.

During calm days, Savin passed the time reading, fishing, and playing the mandolin. He also enjoyed the occasional glass of Sauternes.

In January, to celebrate his birthday, the Frenchman savored a special meal that would make many of his compatriots proud: foie gras washed down with a bottle of St. Emilion.


wine barrel




Saturday, 18th May 2019

La Maison Rose – Works complete, I hope!

Mark has never been happy about the access to La Maison Rose.

Last autumn a JCB crreated a new larger parking space, but still Mark wasn’t happy. It was like an itch that he couldn’t scratch.
But, now after two weeks work at La Maison Rose, I hope that he can finally let it go!



Now we have new planting and new steps!




Thursday, 9th May 2019

A nice 'feel good' story!

A man living in the French department of Morbihan has received a real gold ingot as a thank you for his honesty, after he returned a wrongly-delivered parcel that was filled with gold worth up to €20,000.

The man, known as Julien C., was at home in the Breton town of Vannes when a small parcel was delivered normally. He signed for it without checking the contents, believing it to contain a swimming costume for his wife.
It was only later that Mr C discovered the package was actually full of coins and ingots, made of real gold, weighing 20-50 grams each, and dating from around 1900.
Upon discovering the error, the man sought out the real owner of the parcel, whose address was found on the packaging. But when Mr C arrived at the address, no-one was home.

In a last-ditch attempt, Mr C took the parcel to the police station in Vannes. The real owner was eventually found, and the parcel returned to them. He is thought to be a collector of historical gold.

This week it was confirmed that national gold broker Le Comptoir National de l’Or plans to send Mr C a gold ingot of an unspecified size, to say thank you for his honesty in returning the original package.

However, Mr C’s wife is still waiting for her original swimming costume to be delivered!





Tuesday, 30th April 2019

Just 2 more ‘Spring forwards’ and ‘Fall Backs’ for us!

The European Parliament has approved plans to end seasonal daylight savings hour changes across the EU by 2021.

The vote by MEPs passed with 410 votes in favour, 192 against, and 51 abstentions.

Member states will now be allowed to make a decision on the hour that they will choose to keep all year round - whether “summer” or “winter” hours.

The final clock change across all participating member states choosing summer hours will be the last Sunday in March 2021, and for those choosing winter hours, it will be the last Sunday in October 2021.

Ahead of the vote, European citizens were given the chance to take part in an advisory online survey, asking them their view on the matter.
In France, there were 2,103,999 replies to the poll, with 83.71% of respondents saying they would prefer to abandon the clock-changing system, and stick to one hour all year round.
I am assuming that France will vote for ‘summer hours’ which will give us some very dark mornings in the winter!

It is likely that the EU will encourage member states to choose time zones that align with their close neighbours, so as not to introduce a patchwork of different hours across the bloc.





Monday, 22nd April 2019

Fed up? Hand in your notice, sell up, escape to Brittany and live the dream!

And, I have found you a job!

The Breton island l’Île d'Ouessant (Ushant), which has 800 inhabitants, is seeking a dairy farmer to produce organic milk on the island.

The job advert was posted on the island’s mayoral website, and has been dubbed an “agricultural project”. Applications for the position close on May 21, 2019, so you haven’t got long!

The successful applicant will work with inhabitants on the island to help them produce organic dairy products.
The role will also involve helping to protect the island’s farmland and natural spaces. 

The farmer, you, will have a 35-hectare area to work in, as well as existing buildings.
The island has also been setting up a new organic vegetable patch, the produce of which will be sold alongside the new organic dairy products.
Ushant, part of Finistère, is the largest and most isolated of the Breton islands.

Now, doesn’t that sound just perfect!

lÎle dOuessant Ushant




Friday, 12th April 2019

Everything is taken far too seriously.

The French are quite a serious nation which is generally a good thing but the French do have a knack of making fun things serious. Take table football for example, how can anyone possibly make table football serious?, where the object of the game to to turn a few handles and whack a small ball into a goal. Let me introduce you to how the French approach table football. They have formed a ‘table football school’ !

Around 20 students have enrolled in the course, which will offer weekly lessons for €75 per half-season, every Thursday night from 19h-22h.

Nicolas Constantin, French table football doubles champion (seriously !!), argues that table football is a real sport and that players should train several hours a day and watch their diet, to strengthen their arms, shoulders, and back.