A Busy Night in Rural France

la Nouvelle Republique

Hello Victor! You’re an early bird today!

Well, I’ve been at the wine fair with Gerard so I thought I’d drop in for a glass…see who’s around…
Yes, a drop of Claude’s rose will do nicely….

No one here yet, Victor…probably still all at the wine fair! Claude didn’t enter anything, I see.

No…he doesn’t these days. Fed up with all these clever dicks making special vats for the judging from what he said last year when that filthy devil Patrick from Les Deux Biscouilles won a bronze for his Gamay….I reckon he bought that in from his wife’s brother over at Ste. Conasse.

Mark you, Victor, the whole wine world is going crazy….you know Zizi’s place?
Well, three young guys have taken it, split it up in plots under the limit to have to pay insurance to the Mutuelle Sociale Agricole and they’re producing all sorts of stuff the A.O.C. doesn’t allow and they’re doing well!
You wouldn’t believe the labels they put on their bottles….‘Les Cabernets sont au Fond du Couloir’….’L’Enfant Terrible’ but it sells like there’s no tomorrow!

Whole world’s going crazy if you ask me. Now the Post Office is going to deliver the post by drones…

Are you sure that’s not an April fool stunt?

It sounds like one but nothing would surprise me these days….
The drones will probably carry bombs to drop on those who haven’t paid their taxes….and talking of taxes, did you see Hollande on the box?

Did I not! I had it on in here and had to turn it off because the guys wanted to put a hammer through the screen! There he sits, like a turd on the pavement, telling us he’s going to see it through! All right for him stuffed to the gills on public money…let him try making it!

Oh, he knows how to do that all right! Years of double and triple payment as a politician…expenses galore….fiddling his tax returns…we’ll find out next he has a Swiss bank account!

Just like his minister for the budget…busy telling us all we had to make sacrifices and sitting on a pile in Switzerland…not to speak of some underhand contracts with the pharmaceutical firms.
And what’s the prime minister getting out of this project for a new Nantes airport?

It won’t be a camper van he’ll be using for his holidays in the future….probably a private jet on the new landing strip….
Here, give me another glass….

You sure? I’m not being funny but you must have had a few at the wine fair…and you know what the gendarmerie are like these days!

Not to worry; there’s no risk today. The police are getting pissed at the wine fair and there’ll be no gendarmerie out today.
Cheers!

Why won’t they be out? It stopped raining this morning….

Because they’re sleeping off being out all night at the supermarkets.
Didn’t you hear?
All the big supermarkets were targeted last night by the Young Farmers.
They blocked the entrances to the car parks and the doors with piles of stinking old straw…covered the trolleys too so you can imagine the state of it all after a night of rain.
Young Laurent was down there with my muckspreader…he said it was like the War of the Worlds…tractors, trailers, state of the art stuff out there working under the lights, dumping this filth…twenty or so farmers at each site, all starting at once….quite an experience for the lad.
He was too young to go when we blocked the petrol pumps a few years ago…

But what about the gendarmerie?

Oh, once the supermarket bosses saw what was happening on their security screens they went down there…and the gendarmerie turned up to protect the farmers from being attacked.

What…a couple of office slugs against twenty farmers….!

Very nasty these bosses….they can make very wounding remarks…
Anyway, that’s where the gendarmerie have been all night so we won’t be seeing them out and about for a while.

I suppose it was about prices?

Yes….the supermarkets are squeezing the producers until the pips squeak….especially the milk boys.
And not just them. Did you see that tanker that overturned last week? Full of Spanish goat milk!

Well, yes, but the cheese factory boss said it was a one off…the local guys’ production falls in the winter and he has contracts to fulfill…

I’m not so sure….I bet the Young Farmers would like a look at his books!
But anyway, this can’t go on, the supermarkets squeezing the suppliers like this….

Well yes, I suppose they’ve had to cut everything to the bone as it is.

Too right! And if they don’t get an increase in the milk price how’re they going to pay for those state of the art machines they’ve all been buying: that’s what I’d like to know!

Ah, Clement! Just up from the wine fair?
Let’s have a couple of Claude’s rose….

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THE SATURDAY ESSAY: More looting-levies, more asset taxes. Now it’s default or die.

Whatever your political views or lack of them I suggest that reading this post by John Ward will prove instructive: the era of the social contract between governing and governed is not only long dead, it is stinking to high heaven.

The Slog.

Why electing defaulters to power is the only way left

Friday having seen the enthusiastic support of De Nederlandsche Bank President Klaas Knot for Djisselbloem’s plan to pick the pockets of every despositor in Europe, there are now hardly any major nations still in the closet when it comes to Global Looting.

On Thursday, Canadian bloggers cottoned on to the plans of their government via the annual budget statement. On pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ (already submitted to the Canadian House of Commons), it openly proposes ‘to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks’ there.

The second wave of evidence about what’s coming I referred to yesterday: the banks hastily sending out acres of fly-shit to their customers to blame any future disappearance of money-substances from their accounts. The general line of defence being offering by these creeps is “ve are only obeyink…

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You can’t leave them alone a minute….

kjcardsandthings.com
kjcardsandthings.com

I have been – mostly – confined to bed for the last few days which has left The Men, husband and Danilo, to their own devices and, according to them, rushed off their feet and exhausted.

Yes, well…..

So I was surprised to find them huddled in front of the computer this afternoon.
It was clear that they had a problem from their body language…slumped and depressed.

It was also clear that whatever had left them that way was not to be revealed to me by the prompt way in which they turned and ushered me out to the balcony with offers of tea.

I drank my tea and they returned to the computer.

Danilo eventually went home and I thought no more about it until I mentioned pulling up some files from the computer.

Ah!

This sound always means that my response to whatever I am about to be told cannot be reliably anticipated.

What had they done? Hacked into the local animal feed store’s computer? Brought down the government? Bid for yet another watch on eBay which would cost more in customs fees than it had to buy?

No.

They had, I was informed, been looking for fencing wire on Mercadolibre….the local eBay….and because when the computer went down with a virus recently it came back to life with a pirated programme in Spanish from a man working in the prosecutor’s office Danilo thought he could understand how to use the computer, so he was let loose.

He had been doing well until they came across a blog about fine art prints that I had bookmarked….accusing gaze…and they had typed in fine art on the search thingy.
Why would they do that, one wonders…..and in which language…and with what spelling…

What had resulted…it appeared…was a list of sites offering what might indeed have been pretty fine art to some tastes and Danilo had been so startled that he had unwarily pressed a button.

Always a mistake when handling a computer.
Press nothing.
Either the whole screen disappears or worse, whatever it is fills the whole screen and you can’t get rid of it.

Which is what had happened to the Men.
Thus the slumped depression.
They had pressed more buttons – one of which must have been ‘save’ because The Thing came back when they turned the computer off and on.

It had turned into a screensaver..

I took a look when I went to use the computer later…..
It certainly wasn’t fencing wire.

Um. Danilo hopes you don’t think he was looking for that sort of stuff….?

No, I didn’t think either of them were, but in the way that computers always treat IT numpties it had ambushed them and left them up creek sans paddle.
I could almost see it smiling to itself…in Spanish.

Nurse! The Screens!

countesschichi.blogspot.com

Having a temper on the volcanic side of volatile is not too good for my blood pressure and I’m not at all sure that the sight of a woman old enough to know better flapping her bingo wings as she advances on the perceived source of the problem while upbraiding it in the manner of Reginald Hill’s Dalziel would be good for anyone else’s either.

Though since leaving France, explosions have been far less frequent.

I can cope with Danilo’s urge to go left instead of right and to depart from the motorway (yes, we have one) on a side road miles before the turn off given in the directions. Scarcely a rumble.

Bureaucracy? A doddle!

The repairman who has been telling me that the strimmer will be ready tomorrow for the last three months? A shrug. Though he can’t count on that continuing once the rainy season sets in again.

The legal system? Not a problem (so far)….and as a senior citizen my papers get priority in the Constitutional Court. The sheer joy of having the local mayor told that if he didn’t repair the damage to my cafetal caused by his roadworks gang within three months he would be in the jug!

The expat bloodsucking community? Their stings have no effect.

So why the need for screens?

Because I still have a house in France and all that goes with it….tax demands, bank accounts, you name it and when the post arrives it inevitably contains something to make Krakatoa look like a side show.
While friends are very good about alerting me to changes that might affect me, I do read one or two of the national dailies online to keep up to date as well and yesterday’s news was a humdinger.

President Hollande, popularity plummeting like a lift with no cables, has decided to get out and about and meet the people. Whether they liked it or not. And they didn’t.
Whoever had that bright idea must have been trained in the Ecole Nationale d’Administration like Hollande himself.
We’ve come a long way from de Gaulle’s tours of the provinces and Hollande is no de Gaulle, even if on his first trip he was to sleep in a bed made specially to accommodate the General’s lanky frame.
You could almost hear the roars of ‘Who’s been sleeping in my bed?’ from the graveyard at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises.

So he went to Dijon where after being greeted by trade unionists with cries of ‘What about your promises?’ (99,500 jobs having been lost in France this year) though being spared further contact by his security detail strong arming them away he announced sedately that anyone was welcome to speak to him as long, one supposes, that they don’t ask about his promises.

Having failed to cut the mustard in Dijon he returned to Paris where his government appeared to be slipping on the ice left in the streets by the inaction of the Mayor.
They have to shave another four billion euros off expenditure to keep the deficit down to only 3.7 % as there is a likelihood that the EU will finally pay attention to France’s overspending after decades of the equivalent of the Gallic shrug.
So that was the signal for the Ecology minister, Delphine Batho, to mess off to Cherbourg to inspect the windfarm in the seas off the coast, using a governmental Falcon jet and a Navy helicopter for the occasion.

Not much hope of economies there, then. Not for anything remotely ‘green’.

Which brings me to the need for screens.

The French parliament have passed a law designed to reward ‘virtuous’ users of gas and electricity by permitting variable rates of payment according to the quantities used.
Good idea, you might say and indeed this scheme already exists in a vestigial form.

But, of course, this being France, it is not so simple.
You can’t just have a series of categories which are charged at increasing rates to reflect your usage, permitting you to decide independently whether to turn off the electric fire in order to run the kettle.
Allowing such independence would be tantamount to opening the floodgates of anarchy.

No no, Big Brother will take care of it all for you. All you will have to do is pay.

There will be different categories depending on what sort of fuel you use, where you live and how many there are of you.
There will be forms to fill out.
And the utility companies will be sending round people to fill them out for you in case you decide to invite your granny and her sisters to afternoon tea and add them to your total for the purposes of the form.
Thus, one imagines replacing the 99,500 lost jobs at a stroke….

Interestingly there will not be a category for the size of your house. There is an ideal size (so far unstated but rumoured to be the size of a dog kennel for dachshunds) and all calculations will be based on that.

But I’m not there…why am I worried?

Because I leave heat on in the winter to keep the bones of the old house warm and my last winter’s bill – up some thirty percent to pay for blasted windfarms – was enough to induce the habdabs as it was.
Multiply dachshund kennels to fill its volume and I’ll be paying the four billion in economies on my own.

And it hardly increases its appeal to clients….only families large enough for mum to have been awarded the Vichy medal for producing eight children could hope to afford the proposed bills.
Perhaps I should enter into talks with the English council who are building a property to house a lady with eleven children, a horse and a husband taking flying lessons all paid for by benefits.

My house would be cheaper and the husband could fly them back to the U.K. to sign on when necessary.