They’ll be Coming Round the Mountain…

by Anna Raccoon on April 24, 2014

everestOr rather they won’t! Was I the only person who raised a silent cheer at the news that the Nepalese Sherpas had walked off Everest, and that thus ‘this year’s Everest expeditions had been forced to cancel’?

Not that the Sherpas actually ‘own’ Everest or have any legal means to stop people climbing the mountain, but their actions have thrown into sharp relief that the wealthy American bankers who sign up to companies with names like ‘Adrenaline Junkies’ are incapable of climbing that mountain without a nanny in the form of a Sherpa to carry their equipment, cook their food, nurse their cuts and bruises and generally shepherd them up and safely down the mountain – to the waiting helicopter which flips them back to the airport and Manhattan where they can extoll their colleagues with tales of their bravery and enterprise.

There are genuinely experienced mountaineers still using their expertise to find new and ever more dangerous routes up Everest, but the vast majority of people who arrive with their  brightly coloured kagoules and hand-plucked duck feather sleeping bags which they majestically hand to a waiting Sherpa are tourists with no more climbing ability than your average Minsk whale. Some of them don’t even make it past Base Camp, despite having paid £50,000 to one of the several ‘luxury expedition’ companies now in business.

I do concede that you need to be physically fit to even make the attempt. Personally, I didn’t even make it to Base Camp – not that I was planning an assault on the summit, but I had the mad idea that I would celebrate my 50th Birthday with a hot air ballon flight to see the sun rise over Everest(!!!). Sounded wonderful; but even at the first ‘tea-house’ I was wheezing like an arthritic donkey, and delighted to hear that the balloon flight company had packed up early that year due to bad weather. I allowed myself to be talked into descending the quickest way possible, by white water rafting – another adventure available on the slopes of Everest these days. An unforgettable adventure. Five hysterical gung-ho Americans screaming ‘paddle Goddammit, woman’ at a Raccoon clinging maniacally to the guide ropes with no intention of doing anything so daft as letting go and picking up a paddle….they did volunteer to put me ashore early as we raced past a forest clearing bearing the sign ‘Tiger sanctuary – enter at your own risk’. Bloody comedians…that is the last time I voluntarily enter a washing machine on full spin cycle.

I spent the rest of my time in Nepal wandering round Katmandu just listening to the conversation around me. It is a clash of the cultures. What follows is not a particular desire to knock American culture, its just that Katmandu was full of Americans, many ‘high’ after the obligatory visit to ‘Freak Street’ where once cannabis was legal for the religious sadhus, but is now kept under the counter for the hippy saddos - and I didn’t happen to meet any other British people.

Language that may seem perfectly ‘safe’ and acceptable when addressing a Ukrainian taxi-driver in downtown Manhattan lands like a lead ballon in the gentle world of Buddhism. ‘Oy, Tonto’ isn’t a phrase that I would use when I want a waiter to bring me another beer. You may have become desensitised to the meaning of the phrase ‘motherfu*ker’ – but they haven’t. Personally I’d question the wisdom and manners of addressing your Manhattan Ukranian taxi-driver thus, but it is utter madness to use that term towards a Sherpa guide and expect it to be taken as a term of endearment when you are half way up Everest.

In fairness, Ueli Steck, the offending westerner, was a) Swiss, and b) an experienced mountaineer attempting a traverse of the mountain without oxygen and without a sherpa guide. The principle still holds though – ‘Motherfu*ker’ is a term capable of giving great offence. Especially when the Sherpa is earnestly engaged in fixing guide ropes on the lethal Lhotse Face, the better that another season’s worth of western idiots can just ‘walk’ up Everest; he thinks you are responsible for the lump of ice that just landed on his head; and an apology would have been a better idea under the circumstances. Ueli Steck ended the day leaving all his equipment behind and being chased out of Base Camp Two back down the mountain by a 100 strong group of Sherpas hurling rocks and knives. It must have been a terrifying experience, and I’m sure he is, as reported, ‘traumatised’. 

A century ago, the Sherpas were, literally, uneducated mountain goats, hauling the merchandise of traders across mountains where no one else could go. Edmund Hillary changed all that for them – 60 years ago. Since then, they have earned good money shepherding westerners up and down ‘their’ mountain;  in the 1970s it was only a handful of experienced climbers each year – then the ‘commercial companies’ stepped in with their ‘Everest experience’. Now the Sherpas have responsibility for getting some 500 people a year to the peak – many of whom are not best suited, mentally or physically for the challenge. They are no longer the cream of the mountaineering crop. Many are people who have paid a lot of money for ‘their’ Sherpa to deliver their ‘Everest experience’. That change in the clienteles attitude has coincided with the benefit of good education for the current Sherpas over the past 20/30 years, courtesy of western money.

Last week, an avalanche buried 16 Sherpas, engaged in fixing the ropes and ladders that would allow this year’s crop of climbers to traverse the mountain safely. 16 times helicopters ferried limp bodies down the mountain for ritual burial as their fellow Sherpas watched in silence. Base Camp One was already full of extreme sports enthusiasts who had paid up to £50,000 each for the authentic ‘Sherpa risking his life for you and then calmly cooking your dinner’ experience.

They are furious that they won’t get a refund. The Sherpas have simply walked off the mountain and don’t intend to return.

Good for them. Sometimes money is insufficient compensation.

{ 12 comments }

Why UKIP should join a ‘European Union’.

Post image for Why UKIP should join a ‘European Union’.

by Anna Raccoon on April 23, 2014

I do understand that if you are a UKIP supporter it is because you really don’t want anything to do with Europe, Brussels, foreign sounding names or incomprehensible policies foisted upon you – or the Euro!

Just put your hackles down for five minutes at my headline, and listen up. There is a European Union that you should be part of. It is full of foreign sounding names that are impossible to remember and weird acronyms. I live in France, and speak French – and I tend to gloss over these strange factions, so I sympathise.

If you live in the UK and read the English media, and especially if you are a UKIP supporter, you will understand that just off the coast of Britannia is a place called ‘Europe’ chock full of people happy to be ‘European’, and bewildered that the ‘awkward squad’ aka ‘the British’ don’t wish to join them, don’t want to have their economy ruined by the Euro, and resent the loss of their sovereignty, amongst other complaints.

What you won’t read is that there are lots of people just like you in Europe.

You won’t read it in the British media because they prefer to support the European project by alleging all sorts of sexual and financial shenanigans on the part of Nigel Farage. That is how we deal with unhelpful political viewpoints.

You won’t read it in the French media because they practise straight forward censorship. They just refuse to mention ‘unhelpful’ political viewpoints. They don’t mind the odd mention of Marine Le Penn because they get extra brownie points for a quick scathing reference to her ‘racist’ Father.

But they will not mention François Asselineau. Which is surprising, because François was a prominent Cabinet Minister under Sarkozy, and you would expect the equivalent of George Osborne leaving the Conservative party and setting up a new party to garner at least the odd sentence. It doesn’t.

That is not because François is a racist, or because he engages in some beyond the pale sexual practices, it is because he commits far greater crimes. He uses his background as an economic advisor to several governments to expound his theory that France shouldn’t be in the European Union. *Gasp!*  The love of sovereignty that dare not speak its name…

He founded a party a year ago called the l’Union Populaire Républicaine (or the UPR for short) which has been systematically banned from conference halls, left out of hustings,  ignored by the main stream media – and most extraordinary of all – silenced by the French blogosphere. There has been a humongous row going on at French wikipedia because every time someone sets up a page for this previously prominent politician, it is deleted - on the grounds that the only mention of François and the UPR is in the blogosphere, not the main stream media, and therefore not a ‘reliable source’. Oh the Irony!

Russia Today will talk about him, the English wikipedia give him a page, Iranian TV even managed a mention, but the only French citizens who are aware that there is any opposition at all to the European project in France are those who live in London…

François stood as a Presidential candidate against Sarkozy and Hollande, though you need to be a determined Raccoon to find any mention of that (only in English, not French!!!) – and even unknown and minor Trotskyist candidates managed to get sufficient publicity to qualify – but not François. The crime that dare not speak its name indeed. Amazingly, François has managed to acquire 4,000 paid up supporters in a year, purely by word of mouth, and via his blog.

 So what are these ‘extremist views’ that he holds?

He thinks that although the creation of the European project was sold to a battered post-war France as the means to acquire longed for peace,  the Nato alliance has succeeded in dragging France into unwanted foreign wars in oil rich countries at the US behest.

He thinks that the Eurozone has been a disastrous development which has made life more expensive for ordinary workers.

He thinks that far from being the economic purchasing powerhouse allowing Europe to compete with the US and China, the European Commission prevents any protective measures comparable to those blithely practiced by the United States or China.

As for job guarantees, he points out that the EC supports the transfer of jobs to lower waged newer members of the Union which has precisely the opposite effect.

Migration? Whoa! Careful François! He points out that France has more immigration than any other European country and under the Shengen agreement is completely unable to control this.

As for the Common Market – that behemoth of British prejudice – Brussels has managed to legislate out of existence most of the traditional agriculture, leaving only a dependance on compensatory tariffs and no pride in producing.

He points out that the only time the French people were offered a referendum, they voted against being part of the ‘European Union’ – and were promptly ignored!

Does he not sound incredibly like Nigel Farage – (even when run through Google translate)?

Please give the man a helping hand. Write about him if you have the time, join his Facebook page if not. Include Fred Cecca or #UPR in your retweets.

Let him know that the British aren’t anti-Europeans, just anti the European Union. You have a lot in common with people of other European nations. They would like to get out from under the yoke of Brussels too – and Nato. 

I’m off to discover what other fledgling parties are being suppressed that also want to be out of the EU. You have a lot to gain from joining forces with them – albeit they have difficult names.

{ 55 comments }

Vote Dom! You Know it Makes Sense!

by Anna Raccoon on April 22, 2014

noonanSelection on merit for parliamentary candidates – I’m a great believer in it. Forget ‘all-women’ lists, and parachuting ‘friends of the party’ into safe seats. Every candidate should be individually selected on their aptitude for the job in hand.

Which immediately presents us with the problem of describing precisely the requirements of the position of ‘Member of Parliament’.

Obviously the foremost requirement is that they should be able to represent the community that they come from – not as a talking figurehead, but as someone who truly understands the way of life as lived in their particular community.

Then they should have the time and peace and quiet to scrutinise new legislation – we shouldn’t have to rely on ‘whips’ to tell them how to vote – we need MPs who have looked at every last word of the latest piece of legislation dreamed up by the civil service and can spot the loop holes and lacunas instantly. They need space and privacy to be able to do that – not a continual diet of onerous trips to the Seychelles to pontificate on global warming; it is simply not fair on them.

Which is why Domenyk Noonan is such a perfect candidate for Blackley and Broughton, the Manchester seat currently held by Graham Stringer. 

Last year, Graham Stringer MP cost the taxpayer a stonking £156,978.57 whereas Mr Noonan came in at an altogether more reasonable £37,163 including all accommodation and travel expenses. Just imagine if we could cut the entire cost of parliament by a similar percentage! 

In fairness, Graham Stringer does appear to work harder than the average MP – but is he as civically minded as Mr Noonan? During the Manchester riots following the shooting of his cousin, Mark Duggan, Mr Noonan was filmed by Manchester Police for seven selfless hours pointing out the high value shops that had already been looted so that his constituents could make their way home without any little misunderstandings with the police. He has their welfare at heart.

In fact, he already runs a ‘constituency surgery’ once a week where the dispossessed and debt ridden of Manchester can come and pour out their tale of financial woe – some of them leave intact. It is a lifestyle he understands well, for Mr Noonan has run a free-lance debt-collection agency for many years…

In fact, Dom Noonan has run several ‘private enterprises’ over the years, he understands the precarious nature of the economy. He owns a fleet of ex-ambulances which he intends to use as a ‘cash carrying security business’, something he also knows a lot about – a complete misunderstanding involving 4.5 million quid still owing to a bank that he visited in the middle of the night when caught short of the price of a kebab. I like the idea of ‘cash carrying ambulances’ why should the tax payer have to foot the bill for a separate ambulance to carry battered security guards to hospital when with Dom’s foresightedness we could have dual-use vehicles?

Unlike Mr Stringer, Mr Noonan speaks Urdu, a useful attribute in Manchester. It cannot be from his Mother’s side; she was, I understand, an IRA gun runner who found it more beneficial to bring up her 14 children within the welfare state of Manchester rather than her native Dublin. She never forgot her roots though, and all 14 children have name beginning with D to celebrate their humble origins. This is not a tradition Dom has continued, his fine young son was named Bugsy – nothing whatsoever to do with Malone.

Bugsy was something of a surprise; the fragrant ‘Mandy’ with whom Dom once consorted has continued to live in her council flat above a launderette where she tends to Bugsy’s every need. Bugsy having recently returned from a lengthy stretch at HM pleasure after a burglary and car crime rampage committed when he was just 15.

Dom understands the currently fashionable ‘victimhood’.  Himself a ‘victim of child abuse’ at the hands of prison guards, six of them, every night for six weeks, sadly, has spent the past few years dispensing hands-on social ‘justice’ amongst the gay community in Manchester, on the grounds that ‘any one of them’ could have been the perpetrator of the crimes against him as a child:

I gave to them what they gave to me. I f**king ripped them apart, did to them what they did to me only much worse. There was never any complaints. Never any charges. They took their punishment, they knew they deserved it. I just went on a hunting spree. I caught up with one in the village and I smashed him all over and tortured the f**ker. I smashed his f**king teeth out, stamped all over him on the floor, f**king bit off his ears and his nose I was just attacking him.”

Chris Grayling would approve of the savings this represents to the criminal justice system.

Dom is now what used to be referred to as a ‘rough, tough, powder-puff’ and proud to be so. He will serve the gay community well – and the tax payer and newsprint purchaser will save a small fortune compared to the present practice of exposing the bondage and tangerine munching predilections of MPs who claimed to be happily married family men before election. 

Dom has spent 28 of his 46 years in prison closely scrutinising the small print of legislation. He has paid far more attention to it than your average MP ever does. Although he claims not to have first hand experience of that other demand on MPs – sending young men off to their deaths in foreign parts – perish the thought, 28 previous associates of his appear to have vanished off the social security register, probably an over sight on the part of the authorities.

His supporters will not hear a word against him, nor speak one – some have fled to Spain rather than be tempted to speak ill of this fine man. One of them was so devoted to him that he super-glued himself to the front door of Strangeways prison; ‘a mistake’ he later claimed – ‘he thought it was play glue, not the real kind’ which required several hours of chemical application before the gates could be opened to admit fresh clients. I believe this event occurred during the period that Dom was resident on the roof of Strangeways, inspecting the quality of the tiling.

Lobbying is a major problem in Westminster at the moment – but prison guards are alert for all attempts at bribery; a far more efficient monitoring system than anything Cameron is likely to dream up.  I don’t begrudge our MPs the odd mobile phone or ounce of Heroin, it would be far cheaper than our present system.

All we have to do is rename the Stranger’s Tea Room the Strangeways Tea Room, and this fine body of men can stop messing around with mail bags and serve the community as they are so perfectly equipped to do.

Vote Dom for Blackley and Broughton – you know it makes sense. 

{ 15 comments }

The Return of the Bionic Raccoon.

Post image for The Return of the Bionic Raccoon.

by Anna Raccoon on April 21, 2014

Done it! Done it! Done it! Been there; got the t-shirt; everything is behind me now – literally!

It was far from ‘the breeze’ that I expected it to be – probably the most testing week I’ve had so far. As can be reliably expected of La Raccoon, I have developed every known complication that can occur in what should have been relatively straight forward surgery.  It all helps to keep the interns on their toes; they think I’m the ‘mystery shopper’.

Without a doubt the lowest point was when the dreaded gastric pump was wheeled into view; I am terrified of it. No, I have a well rehearsed 60 year old phobia about the damn thing, and I was ready to give up at that moment. I burst into tears. I was fortunate to be blessed with a male nurse of such empathy and humanity – he knelt beside me and cupped my face in his hands, fixed his eyes on mine, and – I can only describe it as a cross between hypnotism and horse whispering – he convinced me  that he and I were going to get through this ordeal together. I found myself nodding my agreement! I still can’t believe it! There are some extraordinary people in this world, and ‘Manu’ is one of them. I will never forget him.

The Bergonie has a curious atmosphere; there are only 80 overnight beds spread over four floors, mostly occupied by those unfortunate souls for whom all treatment has failed and for whom the Bergonie is licensed to prescribe treatment that is not yet on the national register. ‘Last chance saloon’ you could call  it. There are only a handful of people like me who are there purely because they have a rare cancer for which there is not yet a ‘regular’ treatment. Consequently there are not a huge amount of ‘success stories’. It is a difficult atmosphere to live in – and it must be a desperately difficult atmosphere to work in without turning yourself into an emotionless automaton.

Yet they don’t. As I turned the corner on day 7 and started to come back to normal life again, their joy was palpable. Everyone knew that I was ‘going to be OK’, and as I started to walk around again, down to the petit jardin, to the cafe, I was greeted with beaming smiles everywhere; the porters, the cleaners, it mattered not who – they all knew me, and everywhere I went there was a cheery ‘Ça va, Madame? Très bien, très bien!’ I have been in our local hospital on a couple of occasions, and whilst they have brilliant staff, there is a difference in the Bergonie. Difficult to put your finger on, but everyone, no matter what their job, is involved. Even the maintenance man who came to fix the safe in my room, on hearing me wince as I moved, stopped what he was doing straight away and asked if I was in pain, should he call the nurse? Tackle a step, lifting the ubiquitous IV drip trolley, and someone will step forward offering help. Nobody is a ‘jobsworth’.

It has been one Hell of a journey; it will be three years this Bastille Day. In that time they have steered me from this:

Anna-Raccoon-150x150

Through this:

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and back to this:

March 2014

My hair will grow again; I shall rebuild the site once more – there are nearly 4,000 posts and 60,000 comments to put back up, so if there is any one that you particularly want to see back again, let me know. It’s going to be a slow process on both counts!

In the meantime, I haven’t seen a TV or a newspaper in the last ten days – so would someone let me know what is happening? What has been happening; what you are talking about?

As from tomorrow morning, life round here will be back to normal and no more will be said on the subject. I will be insufferably smug though – you do know that?

{ 96 comments }

The Miller’s Tale (with apologies to Chaucer!)

by Anna Raccoon on April 7, 2014

MImed

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Now herkneth,” quod the Millere, “alle and some”!

But shorte I make an apoligacion

That I am breiv; I knowe it by my soun.

And therfore if that I mysspeke or seye,

Wyte it the Speakere of the House, I you preye.

For I wol telle a legende and a lyf

Bothe of my fathere and of his wyf,

How that a clerk hath set the refunde righte.”

The PM answerde and seyde, “Stynt thy clappe!

Lat be thy lewed thievin’ harlotrye.

It is a synne and eek a greet folye

To repayen any votere, or hym placate,

And eek to bryngen MPs in swich fame.

Thou mayst ynogh of othere thynges seyn.”

This thievin’ Millere spak ful soone ageyn

And seyde, “Leve brother Cameron”,

Who hath no honoure, thou iste no guardiane.

But I sey nat therfore that thou art oon;

Ther been ful goode voters many oon,

And evere a thousand goode ayeyns oon badde.

That knowestow wel thyself, but if thou madde.

Why artow angry with my tale now?

I have honoure, pardee, as wel as thow;

Yet nolde I, for the expenses in my trough,

Take upon me moore than ynogh,

As demen of myself that I were oon;

I wol bileve wel that I am noon thiefe

A committee shal nat been inquisityf

Of MPs pryvetee, nor of her golde.

So her may fynde Goddes foyson there,

Of the remenant nedeth nat enquere.”

What sholde I moore seyn, but this Millere

She nolde her resignatione for no man forbere,

But tolde her cherles tale in this manere.

M’athynketh that I shal reherce it heere.

{ 26 comments }

Wake me up before you Go-Gojam!

by Anna Raccoon on April 5, 2014

 gollumGojam, the ever present, malodorous, spiteful, demanding, unreasonable, illogical, presence in my life, who had no other function in life than to spout bile, has been given his marching orders. From Tuesday afternoon he will be consigned to the dustbin.

He has been by my side for six months; demanding that my every waking moment – and his chief pleasure has been waking me at 3am and then again at 6am – is devoted to attending to his needs. I couldn’t walk out the door without thinking of him first – what might he need during my absence from home base? Food? Nappy change? I carried a bag of tricks to amuse him, cajole him, coax him into allowing me a few hours of freedom.

He left me dependant on others, but fearful of the germs they might harbour. Tired, dispirited – and permanently hungry, for Gojam resolutely refused all food except fish and rice – with a glass of water to go with it. I can count the days on which he grumpily agreed that I might eat an egg. I dreamt at night of asparagus, lettuce, onions, garlic, a steak, perhaps a leg of lamb – and I have never been that interested in food, but my dreams became techni-coloured visions of gloriously elaborate recipes.

When I brought him home from the hospital, they said that he was to be my companion for a month, maybe six weeks; the six weeks became six months. He’s been poked and prodded and admired by strangers on a weekly basis – they love nothing more than telling me to get my clothes off so that they can have a ‘proper look’ at the foul Gojam. They love him, he is everything they could ask of a bag of sh*t.

I loathed every inch of him, despised everything about him. He was a walking reminder that I had become a ‘victim’. A ‘victim’ of cancer. Something out of my control, that sheer bloody mindedness and determination could do nothing about. It’s a terrible place to be for someone with my personality!

But he’s going. He’s going because Madame Raccoon, after a week of tests and indignities, has been pronounced en rémission! I have never heard those words before. In two and a half years, all I have ever heard is ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, ‘too soon to tell’, ‘we’ll see’, but late last night, after my final appointment, they said the magical words. En rémission, Madame! – and asked me when I would care to see the back of Gojam. I said ‘tonight’.

The surgeon flicked through his diary (this is France, none of that nonsense about you’ll get an appointment in the post!) and apologised that he couldn’t fit me in until Tuesday…would that be acceptable?

So it is with great joy that I write this post today. I am so happy I could burst. Finally, finally, en rémission. Keep this up for five years and they will declare that the bloody Scanner is no longer part and parcel of my life. I can practise going out somewhere and not taking my clothes off as soon as I get there….

I want to thank you all, particularly, and specifically, those of you who take the time and the trouble to comment on my ramblings. You have no idea how important you have been to my struggle to get through this. I have never been interested in the ‘stats’, that record of how many have read a post, it is immaterial. It is those of you who comment who have made this blog into a virtual pub.

You have given me the opportunity to be more than a ‘patient’. You gave me the motivation to climb outside of real life, go in search of interesting things every day, learn more of the world. You have argued with me, corrected me, disagreed with me, encouraged me, supported me – which is more like real life than life as an indulged, pitied, vulnerable, cosseted ‘patient’ ever could be. I could never put into words how grateful I am. Neither could Mr G, as it happens, his life would have been even more of a waking Hell over the past two years had you not been there to distract me.

Before you take this opportunity to correct me one more time – I know! I’ve just gone in search of an image of the bald headed, fish eating, bile belching Gojam – and discovered that he was called Gollum actually, not Gojam.

Makes no difference now, whatever the eejit is called – he’s go-go-going.

Ms Raccoon is happy to announce that she will be off-line for the next ten days, whilst the Bergonie restore me to God’s original design, and fashion some of the missing bits out of God knows what – I’m not going to ask!

I have to stay there until I have learnt to do more than just talk out of my backside…

Be seeing you – Bionic Raccoon will return. It has all cost about six million as it happens – old Francs.

{ 98 comments }

Top Tories in Grooming Scandal – Cameron urged to e-Jockulate.

e·jock·u·la·tion [ih-jok-yuh-ley-shuhn]  noun. 1.an abrupt, exclusion of Scottish MPs. 2.the act or process of ejockulating, especially the discharge of Salmond supporters by Westminster parliaments. Origin: 1706–1707; ejockulate + -ion It is the frequently repeated manta of ‘no taxation without representation’  that is quoted to explain why, if Alex Salmond wins his referendum in September to dissolve the Union and let Scotland become an independent country, that the 59 Scottish constituencies should continue to […]

April 3, 2014

Wales to ban E-cigarettes?

Dear Professor Mark Drakeford, For your information, ‘smoking in public’ has never been made unacceptable – what you mean is, ‘smoking indoors in public spaces’. Smokers have continued to smoke in public, more ‘in public’ than they have ever been. They are now hugely visible in every doorway, sheltering from the unchanging climate in Wales – […]

April 2, 2014

British Phlegm.

As most of Nato, the Warsaw pact and China join forces to search the Indian ocean, forsooth they find the odd body part that may have fallen from the sky, if it didn’t land in North Korea, or go into orbit…..we receive strange news from deepest Dorset. Through the gloom of a sub-Saharan sand storm […]

April 2, 2014

Hollande and the Dutchman, Willy Wonka and the Wily Winker.

Elections are confusing times, locally we have been trying to make sure we know the difference between M. Castagner and M. Castanier. You have to listen closely – it makes the life or death difference between yet another car park being carved out of the verdant fields or the Banège river bank getting its triennial manicure….elsewhere the stakes […]

April 1, 2014