Friday, 13 September 2013

Here comes the sun

Today sees the online publication of my first piece for ‘Languedoc and Provence Sun,’ the English language magazine for the South of France. I’ll be contributing a piece every month which will not be featured here; a ‘Sun exclusive.’

Being a ‘Sun’ journalist in the South of France is not the same as writing for the organ of the same name in Britain. Don’t expect any disparaging pieces about immigrants, as I’m a foreigner. Neither will you be hearing about anyone royal, because I live in a republic, run by republican idiots. Sauve has its fair share of ‘celebrities’ - you won’t be hearing about them either.

Having heard a couple of veiled hints recently, that I might be showing some sort of racial bias in my posts, it seems time to set the record straight. It is not my intention to laugh at the French or the English (or any other race).The British are quite capable of laughing at themselves anyway, one of their more endearing characteristics. 

Put it this way: national idiosyncrasies, (as opposed to tired old stereotypes), can be both interesting and amusing. Even stereotypes can sometimes have their positives. There are people here, for example, who seem to think that Englishmen all have handlebar moustaches and spend their days scurrying about in thick fog in bowler hats, which is pretty funny in itself.

The bottom line is that just about every nation has its strange rituals and traditions, which to outsiders must seem puzzling. If you were a Papua New Guinea Mud Man and arrived in London in the company of a Bacup Coconut Dancer to watch Pearly Kings doing the Hokey-Cokey, (all available on YouTube), it would be a close run thing to decide which of them, to outside eyes, was the most bizarre, hilarious or just downright ridiculous. If there are any of the aforementioned categories reading this, my apologies, but you are as fair game as anyone else. Observing such things is my way of attempting to stay relatively sane.

So... hope we’ve cleared that up, but feel free to disagree by counter-ranting on the blog.

The magazine is widely distributed in the region, but also appears online at the beginning of the month. If you really can’t get enough of the ravings of a middle aged Brit: 


  1. "There are people here, for example, who seem to think that Englishmen all have handlebar moustaches and spend their days scurrying about in thick fog in bowler hats," knocking French onion sellers in stripy T-shirts off of their bikes, no doubt. I heard a great comment the other day: "it's as English as Stephen Fry riding a Penny Farthing on St George's Day wearing a Union Jack onesie".

    Good to have you back after the Summer rest - we all need to get back to some decent ranting.

  2. I'd drink to that except that I'm having a booze break after the excesses of summer. Will be in Blighty on Friday for as long as it takes to get my dad back on his feet again - I'd guess a month at least, which will be pretty strange. If you know of any good upcoming gigs in the area, please let me know. The summer has finally stopped. It does it very abruptly here, like a door slamming. One day it's baking, the next, all the heat has gone out of the sun and the light is different. It's still pretty hot though.Will have plenty of ranting time however.

  3. The summer stopped rather suddenly here last week. One day it was baking hot and then the next it was cold. My son was at a festival at the weekend - by all accounts a bit of a cold and wet experience!

    Sorry to hear about your dad, Rob. Send him my best wishes.Jenny and I often used to go and chat with your parents when they were running an antiques place in Hitchin. Not sure where "the area" is - I mean I know Britain's tiny compared to France but it's still quite a big place! If at all possible, it'd be great to meet up.

  4. Correction. I'll be contributing a piece every two months. In my enthusiasm, I forgot that the magazine is in fact bi-monthly.