Friday, 27 January 2012

A Small Success

You will recall the ongoing story of the yellow pools. 
The last time I mentioned this, we were going to get a plumber to change the height of the urinal.
Well we did, he did and today we celebrate.
Red wine man visited and didn't leave a calling card.

For those of you with kids you will know that one dry night is only the start and you can expect more wet sheets but for now we celebrate the success of the 24inch high urinal.

Now we have the men trained we can move onto the next problem!!!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Don Du Sang

The bar is a magnet for people who want something displayed for free. Frequently they arrive, people we have never seen before, poster in hand. They want us to advertise their event, their sale or suchlike.
We have had posters for hunting meets, dramas, school activities to name but a few and we always bite our tongues about the cheek of never having even visited for a coffee or a €1 wine but  expecting that we will rush to display their A4 or even A3 poster in our window.
There is however one exception,one poster we will not display. That is Don Du Sang (blood donation).

France needs blood as can be seen from the facts below

Blood donation in France – Key Statistics

  • 1 million patients treated each year thanks to blood donations
  • 10,000 blood donations needed each day to cover patient needs
  • 1.7 million blood donors in 2010, 360,000 of which were first-time donors
  • 3 million donations made in 2010
  • The lifespan of blood constituents is short: 42 days for red blood cells and 5 days for platelets.

Both J and I donated in the uk and I have a fairly rare blood type which was welcomed whenever I donated. But in France it's a no thank you

English blood is  " tainted " as the UK had cases of  Mad Cow disease  and as such no English person is allowed to give blood in France even though blood is needed each and every day.

France failed to own up to BSE being a problem until a report in 2008 finally admitted the size of the problem and reported that France did not do enough to stop it's spread and to protect the public.    President Jacques Chirac  even said in 2003 that the only thing Britain had given European farming was mad cow disease.

It is said in France the disease was called "JCB"  because of the speed the animals were buried!!   

The ironic thing is, the taxman here wants our blood but the health service doesn't

C'est la vie and a strange one at that

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

French Life, The Driving Medical

France has different rules than the UK relating to driving. One of these is the medical.
It is normally encountered when a person needs to change their licence from UK to French because of age. The UK licence is valid until the person is 70 ( except for the catch whereby the photo is only valid for 10 years). It is not possible to apply for an extension to the UK licence unless you have a UK address so change to the French one is imperative.
Likewise the French licence is less inclusive than that from the UK and for example a special licence is required for towing a caravan or other large trailer. Suprisingly large trailers and caravans also have to have separate registration documents, number plates and mot.
So, the medical. I have not yet had to go through this but a number of our customers have and the process is always discussed with some incredulity.
The person is asked a few general questions, asked to identify colours by means of different discs being held aloft and has a general eyesight test.
This is followed by the introduction of a wooden step, similar to a shoe cleaner's set up. Walk up the  two steps, jump off the top one, step onto the top one, walk down again.
Then comes the part that nobody believes, whilst you are standing on the step, the doctor pulls, as if by magic, a toy monkey from behind his back and throws it at you. Catch with your left hand, catch with your right hand, catch it. The monkey is spinning around the room like the finale of the Cirque Soleil and if you catch it you pass and can tow a trailer!!!

Those of you reading this in the UK may well think you get off light, well be warned. I hear that the same type of test will soon be introduced by the UK but that the monkey catch will have to be done whilst holding a mobile phone to your ear and having a mcdonalds in the other hand, to simulate real driving conditions.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Bonne Annee

I'm sorry. It has been nearly a month since I last posted and I have been lax and not updated. We left the bar with puddles on the floor and thankfully whilst scooter man is still drinking, he is managing to keep it in and release somewhere else. It did however lead me to investigate urinals. I guess this the downside of having a) the internet and b) time to read it. I found out that the base of a urinal should be 600mm from the floor "for optimum usage". Ours is set at 750mm so we are asking the french version of bob the builder to resite it lower. In reality I dont think it will make any difference to our man as the puddles are left nowhere near the urinal!!

 Business wise, we have been open throughout Christmas and New Year. It is a quieter period for us as a large number of our British clients go away for Xmas, either to their families in the UK or to warmer parts of Europe. ( hint to kids...these people are invited to their children's homes and put up, fed and watered, for a month or so over the Christmas period...all in exchange for a couple of hours baby sitting and a few bottles of Lidl's best red....)

 On New Year's Eve we had a British table at the Village Revillion.
As reported at this time last year the food and wine was excellent and plentiful. Jeanne won the sweepstake for correctly guessing the time that coffee would be served. The event started at 8pm and J won with a guess of 02.15am! ( this guess was made when all of the glasses in front of her were still empty) I must however, take this opportunity to apologise for the lack of tact shown by some members of our party. We live in a poor part of France and a number of the people at the meal with have saved a long time to get together the €104 a couple for the tickets. To show off wealth in the way below was a little tactless and I hope they forgive us and allow us back next year.
Bonne Annee Happy New Year to all readers and I promise I will be back quicker next time