Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Booze Cruise

I was in Dunkirk - I said I would return after that previous unpleasantness - buying wine yesterday. As I did so, the dream ended, as dreams involving City always do. Never mind, the day produced great consolations. I've never done this booze cruise bulk buying thing before. (The truck, obviously, came in handy.) Now I shall never buy wine in this country again. The festival at Dunkirk demonstrated how ruthlessly we are ripped off by the government and the booze industry. A direct comparison would probably show that the wine was half the price, but really it was much less than that because what appeared to be similar wine to that sold over here was, in fact, much better. We get the dross and we are charged a fortune for it. And, while I am on the subject of the French Way, before getting over-emotional about the rugby in Paris, I went to the Rue Cler, not far from the Eiffel Tower. It was sublime, there is nothing like it in London - decently priced shops and superb service. This is because, I am told, an act was passed in the seventies making it illegal for the big stores to move in on areas like this. Rents fell and real shops thrived. This is a typical Enarque idea - highly intelligent, highly educated bureaucrats, groomed for public service, look out for threats to the French Way and then put a stop to them. It's not Our Way and it can go horribly wrong. But, at Dunkirk and in the Rue Cler, it goes very right indeed. Sarkozy may change all that and make the French more like us. If he succeeds, we may well find them more sympathique, but also much less enviable.

12 comments:

  1. So yes, Nige, it was a mission of planetary importance.

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  2. Nay, cosmic by the sound of it. It was high time we did a reverse Dunkirk to show Moonseer Froggie what we're made of (i.e. money and thirst).

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  3. Surely 'twas Macarthur at Corregidor not Appleyard at Dunkirk, also, you're not that bloody old. But the little trip idea to stock up for the Christmas is a champion one.
    And the only way that you could abide living with the French levels of bureaucratic intelligence is if you ran the thing.

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  4. Clearly the preparations are well advanced for the Thought Experiments Christmas jamboree where I'll be performing my new √úbermensch thong routine with Nige.

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  5. Vince: Isn't "bureaucratic intelligence" an oxymoron?

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  6. Yes, Sue, in the normal gallop of things. But there are two, one in Paris and the other in Brussels where it is not designed to self destruct or be in permanent state of inter-dept' war. The system in Paris and the EU at Brussels was pored like bronze while others are applied as in clay. Even the Germans in Bismarck's day, were not as knowing.

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  7. It appears Sarko's honeymoon is over.
    I wonder if he's really going to do a Thatcher and bust the unions.
    Guess this Nov 15th will prove interesting.
    I realize the French elected him because they wanted to sign up to the globalized world, modernity, etc, but he's no Merkel.
    Bay/Paris

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  8. So what happened to nuke the French? I had several problems with this:
    1) the cheese
    2) the champagne (not necessarily in that order - still making up my mind)
    3) foie gras (joke)
    4) who would be the butt of our jokes? they are conveniently near...

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  9. So should we slash the price of alcohol in Britain? Or should we do as the French do and ban all advertising of alcohol?

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  10. Best wine i ever had was a Prosecco in the Veneto region of Italy, from Treviso. i preferred it to champagne. It cost very little. Over here it's way beyond my means.

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