Saturday, 25 August 2012

France Life. Annual Holidays

The French take their holidays in July and August, but imagine my suprise when I visited the local market on Tuesday to find that 2 of the three cafe bars in the centre of town were closed for annual holiday.
The market in Civray was buzzing, lots of thirsty people in 30 degree heat, especially the holidaymakers who flock to the town on market day.

Why would you run a business and close it down at the busiest time of year?  

just imagine if everybody did this!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


One of the joys of arriving in France was that my mobile phone could be placed in a drawer never to see the light again. This was after having spent years being permanently on call, thousands of miles spent on car journeys trying to concentrate on the road whilst engaged in conference calls or other business calls. I used to plan my journeys so that time wasn't wasted just driving and I would sit with  a list of calls to make on the passenger seat.
But that was "work" and perhaps a necessary evil. What I fail to understand is why mobiles and mobile computers / games stations have become a must have at all times accessory for those that are too young or too old to work, or whose work doesn't require contact when they are not there.
You have all seen it, the plane lands and the noise of the engines closing down is drowned by the sound of phones starting up, just in case!. Just in case of what?  Are these people so important that they cant spend an hour on a plane without being in contact with  ???
"we've just landed"    "just collecting our bags"   " off to the coach / car/ bus now"   If it is so important that someone somewhere knows all this shite, perhaps they should be there with you.
It may suprise you but if someone is waiting for you at an airport, there are screens that tell them the plane has landed, there is only ever one door out after customs and at some stage you and they will meet without a running commentary as to when this might be!

In the bar, telephone signals are sporadic to say the least but so what. People sit with mobiles on the table just in case, perhaps waiting for the text that tells them how much calls are in France?,
And if it rings, etiquette seems to be that the machine takes preference over food, over the conversation they were having or anything else.  " Somebody wants me!!!!!  I must be ever available!!"
Why?  You are on holiday, what is so important?

Last week I watched a young lad eat a complete meal without looking at the plate once. He was looking at his signal less phone, not a word to his parents or his grandparents that had treated him to the meal.
even small kids who are too young to have mobiles ( although I am sure in a couple of years kids will get a phone as soon as they can say a dozen word), have the portables DS machines to play with. Like a DVD they may keep kiddie quiet but at what future cost?

If we are not careful we will have a generation whose only communication is via text or phone. They are already showing signs of losing speech and returning to grunting

and of course there is no such thing as a mobile free zone!!!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

2 years and onwards

Yesterday was the anniversary of our opening in 2010.

We have now run the bar for 2 years and do not regret the decision at all.  It wont make us rich, it is often very hard work and long hours but it is very rewarding.
There are thousands of people sitting at their computers every night scanning property sites in France with a dream of living the quieter life in places like the Vienne. Whilst in our case, redundancy was the trigger, my advice to anybody thinking of a move such as ours would be, just do it.
Yes it's a risk, but so is crossing the road
You don't get a second chance but you do get lots of time to regret.

In honour of our anniversary, googlemaps changed their web site for us!

Coincidently the "velos", our first ever food customers are back in Brehus on holiday and they cycled over to the bar again yesterday to have a cool beer or two on the terrace. Thank you Velos and thanks to all our regular customers, albeit daily, weekly monthly or anually for your continued support.

We set out to have a community bar, where people can eat, drink, meet others and get information. We open 70 hours a week at least throughout the year. We believe we have added to the community in the village and for the local expats. We are open today 11-22. do call in!

Yesterday also was the first day in France for Rosie and Richard, who have left the UK full time to life in the metropolis that is Champniers. For readers of the "Tout" series, in the house that was owned by the Railway Girls.  Rosie has started a blog which can be read here