Tuesday, January 08, 2013
I didn't like the prices of the wine though so that would have to change.
I didn't really like the weather either, hence my desire to relocate the British Isles to the continent. Today back in Montpellier, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and I can just feel the vitamin D coursing through my veins... Despite weird stuff happening in some areas of my life at the moment (work), when the sun is shining, dealing with it is much easier.
My sons prefer the taste of British meat. My mother gets some excellent mince from Costco which is far tastier than what passes for mince here. The roast pork we had on Saturday with crackling just came from Sainsbury's (half price too) and was simply delicious and tender. The rubbish they put into pork roasts here dries in a jiffy, has no crackling and even less taste.
I admit, I'm a bit obsessed about food, and I know that life is not just about eating and drinking, but dealing with the rest too. This is my two-bit set of totally biased impressions based on personal observations, creative accounting and feeling pissed off with France:
1. Most French politicians are rubbish, even worse than British ones (I have no illusions), and the current rabble is just a bunch of amateurs. All politicians should come from those who have worked for a minimum of ten years in the real private-sector world then they might understand what the hell the rest of us have to put up with by way of crap policies and regulations.
2. I'd prefer to be treated in a French hospital than a British one, especially my mum's local which was recently in the news for sending a woman with suspected food poisoning home where she died the next day.
3. The French legal system is unbelievably corrupt. If this sounds hysterical, please read the blog Hobos in France plus the comments and then come back to tell me I'm being unfair. My own dealings with the law have been pretty unpleasant too, and expensive.
4. You have to be a mug to set up a business in France. The admin will wear you down, and as soon as you start being successful, will step in and tax you to high heaven. Not only that, your staff will cost you a fortune but you can't fire anyone and will get taken to the cleaners if you try.
5. France has way more by way of regulations than Europe which is a mere amateur in comparison (although catching up fast, okay maybe I'm exaggerating...).
6. British weather is a liability, I love being warm in a sunny place.
7. Living next to the Med is really cool. Yes, I'm that superficial.
8. There's no LoveFilms in France, and when there is, the films will probably all be dubbed.
9. French television is rubbish. The only stuff I like to watch is Soda with a young French actor called Kev Adams who plays the lead character in this series about ados (soda = ados backwards), and as I have a son of 16, makes me laugh; and the French equivalent of Britain's Got Talent - La France a un Incroyable Talent where the variety of the acts keeps me amused, and the quality of some has me gobsmacked. There are also some interesting investigative shows but I usually can't be fagged if it's competing with The Mentalist.
10. There is an awful attitude towards successful people in France. If you have money, it's assumed you've got it by foul means because if you've been honest, your taxes will keep your income down to 'acceptable' levels. If you are successful, you're supposed to feel vaguely ashamed that you have more money than poor plebs.
11. British city centres now seem to be a bit dodgy at night, not nice if you want to go out without getting hammered.
Back to food, we had a really tasty lunch last week at a new Brazilian restaurant in Romford called Braza. Priced at £8.99 for an all you can eat buffet of delicious salads and sides, barbecued meat that kept coming on giant skewers, and excellent coffee, we left feeling full and happy. There's one in London too. So to all those who whinge about the impossibility of eating well for little in the UK, get thee to a Braza at lunch time! For meat devotees, they have 13 different cuts of meat in the evening! I paid £50 for four including drinks (we were on soft at lunch time, otherwise a bottle is £16).
So, all pros and cons considered, I suppose I'm okay where I am (ingrate), but if I could just meet the genie in the lamp, I'd have my three wishes at the ready:
1. Move the UK down to the Med.
2. Keep good food and wine prices down.
3. Magically create the business I want (with the money and expertise to run it...).
What would your three wishes be?