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September 2007
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November 2007

October 2007

The hunter becomes the hunted

It is Sunday and yes it is another hunting day for the locals. Although we do not have the organised Chasse through today (you know, the ones with the orange hats) we are getting the odd hunter with his dog walking past.

I have no idea how they ever catch anything though because they are not exactly using stealth as a tactic.

Take a look at this unfortunate hunter who finds himself becoming the hunted. I cannot make it out exactly if he was killed during this encounter but he sure has taken a beating.

I have heard about the Boar or Sanglier getting wild when injured and cornered but never seen anything like this one.

Another thunderstorm, a brilliant autumn and another milestone reached.

Water_damage_007 Back in May we had the most amazing downpour which infiltrated the barn I am renovating, pouring water through the plasterboard that had only just been skimmed with plaster.

It has taken since then to about three weeks ago to get a quote from the roofer for some work so that we could put in a claim to the insurance.

But, this week we had an almighty downpour, like a tornado, and again we had water came through which I recorded for the insurance.

Fingers crossed, this week, we will here what compensation we will receive so that we can repair the damage and insure it does not happen again.

In the meantime, with some pointers from my mate Mark, I have complete the electrics in the barn. Up until now we have used the services of a very good electrician who wired the gite and the main house. I was a bit frustrated that I have never done any electrics so with Mark's help and a very good book called l'installation électrique I have worked out how it is all done and installed it all myself.

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French Health care for British Ex-pats

I have been following the saga about the right to healthcare in France for British ex-pats.

The whole subject has certainly created a stir and caused some sleepless nights in a few households.

I was only told about it by a friend fairly recently. Until that point in time over a convivial glass of wine at a BBQ I was blissfully unaware of the volcano that was erupting.

Luckily, I turned to This French Life which is always on the ball with following important news and information for ex pats and picked up on this article that Craig had written.

Craig says that it all started with some loosely written and erroneous press coverage with the bombshell that Sarkosy has withdrawn health cover for anyone under retirement age that is not contributing to the French system.

As you can probably imagine, with two young children and personally growing older by the day, it came as a bit of a surprise. After all, we are all part of Europe aren't we?

Further press coverage seemed to change the landscape and it did indeed look as though we were doomed to die in horrible discomfort whilst the empty wards shouted 'Non'! at us as we clawed at the hospital entrance, desperate for medical assistance.

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Foie Gras is a natural fatty liver

I am sure my little rant is going to probably infuriate some of you but I make no apologies for it.

I read yesterday that the York has banned the sale of Foie Gras anywhere in the city.

I uphold the right of any individual to decide what is right for them. Whether it moral, ethical, health of just plain 'I don't like' grounds we all have the option to say 'No'.

But when it comes to being told that a food, produced legally under European law, should be outlawed just because a certain group does not like the method in which it is produced, I think it goes beyond the pale!.

I grant you, some farmers and food producers will use methods that are far from ethical or legal in bringing food to your dinner plate but this happens with all meats.

I recently witnessed a French farmer dragging a young cow across his concrete yard using a tractor and rope tied around it's neck. The cow had it's legs extended in defiance and the hooves scraped the surface of the yard. The farmer was relentless and seemingly not bothered that I had stopped my car to shake a fist at him.

One day, somewhere, that cow will be offered up on a plate with fresh vegetables and a glass of Bergerac red and the recipient would be oblivious to it's treatment that I had witnessed.

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