Thursday, 13 November 2008

militant marches and bon marche

Reading Le Figaro over breakfast set me off in a bad mood today. We have long known that French employees stand for no-nonsense when it comes to their entitlements and wellbeing. However I am still aghast looking at details of current various corporate action. The pilots and stewards/hostesses of Air France are the most recent to take strike action in abject horror at being asked to extend their working lives from 60 until 65, bless. Imagine having to work as long as other European countries, horrendous... I could perhaps have some sympathy were it not that they are maintaining their full entitlement to an end of career non-taxable cash payout in the region of 200,000 euros each. Perhaps they would prefer to work five years less and waive this payment? Bizarre and dumbfounding that they announce such militant action on the day the Eurozone officially goes into recession and at a cost to Air France for the four day strike of around 100,000,000 euros, about the third of the cost of a new Boeing 737. Rant over.

The cold was biting in St Jean de Luz today so we declared today a work today - god forbid! My wife did sneak out mid afternoon to enjoy the end of season sales, market and have a coffee with our friend Pascale. Pascale runs a great wee business here that helps second-homers settle (Cote Basque Info Services) and she is a superstar! My only outing was my daily run, swim in the sea and trip to the boulangerie. For the third day running some kid had bought up all the fresh chocolatines, when I catch him he is in trouble. I also managed to make an excellent faux pas using my slowly improving French language skills. Watching the locals I have figured out that rather than ask for a straight baguette there are two options, white and doughy or crispy and well-done (I prefer the former). Unfortunately as I walked into the boulangerie my thoughts were elsewhere, Hogwarts to be precise, and I asked for a 'dame blanche' rather than a 'baguette blanche'. One is a nice length of bread, the other is a barn owl, oh how we laughed...hey ho...