Le French Excursion est demain!

Tomorrow we’re off. Off to La France for our hedonistic and indulgent long weekend away. Except I can’t enthuse too much as Shivs is not coming with us due to offspring obligations. While we while away a weekend on the continent, she has to look after the kids and believe it or not Ash is going to Padstow on Monday – our destination for previous road trips.

The plan is to set off from the Farmhouse at noon-ish tomorrow and drive the 170 odd miles to Folkestone where we meet the others at 8.30 in the morning in time for the 9.00 train.

After that: I have no clue as Clerk of the Course Big Mike is keeping stumm, only giving us our directions once we are on the train. The night halts hotels and restaurants are planned and booked courtesy of New York Nick and we end up in Reims on the second day. We will be filling our boots. In both senses.

I promise a write up next week – in the meantime wish us fine weather, reliable motor cars, healthy appetites and last but not least, a keen thirst!

Bubble Trouble

Hot off the press our special correspondent Jimmy the Snake sent in this article, which is very topical given that we are heading to the home of the most special of sparkling wines this weekend….

French industrial patriotism is in danger of descending into farce, with reports that Paris wants to keep Taittinger out of foreign hands (Belgian). After all, this is one company where the owner – foreign or otherwise – can’t take production offshore…..

A little too effervescent

Taittinger: It is well known that too much champagne can make people do silly things. The French government may have been quaffing a few too many magnums, if a report in Les Echos is to be believed. It says that the administration would like to find “a French solution” to the sale of Taittinger, a premier brand of bubbly.

It is all a bit giddy. After all, the current owner is Starwood, a US private equity fund. And the proposed buyer is Albert Frere, who is a Belgian with very close connections to the French business establishment. From the outside, it would seem that a deal would bring the company closer to home. It would also be more than a bit tactless, when the French Suez is trying to buy out Electrabel, one of the largest Belgian companies.

It is hard to see what the risk is from foreign ownership. After all, this is a company that simply cannot move production offshore – unless its new owners want to rechristen as a “gassy wine drink”. But the logic of industrial patriotism is always hard to fathom, at least by sober economists.
Author : Edward Hadas

And I might add, the French are famous for logic and only being able to see things from a certain gallic perspective…..

The fleet is (nearly) complete

Regular visitors to the blog will have been assailed with various automotive related tales for some time now. Rest assured this situation will continue, even though the fleet is nearly complete. For now that is.

The sensible family car arrived on Friday in the form of a Jaguar X type …

Dress code

Now, most of you know I’m a somewhat relaxed dresser – the Fisherman unkindly suggested I was the scruffiest person he knows – but at least I don’t let my jeans slide down so you can see the label on my calvins. Assuming I am wearing any that is.

And I know it’s the fashion, but the chap in front of me on the plane today, was so attired. And it might look cool down at McDonalds, the Job Centre or in your local Wattersons, but you look a total and utter plonker in Club class.

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

True Stories

Overheard on the BA flight from NY last night, a conversation between two US passengers travelling to the UK on probably their first long haul flight. How do I know it was their first long haul? Read on:

Passenger: Gee Marge this plane even has an upstairs!
Marge: Wow, it sure does…. y’know that’s just so British.

No, really, they were standing right next to me…..