old salut!

Colin Randall wrote here on France, things Anglo-French and more......but has moved

October 27, 2006

Back soon

This site has now moved to Salut!

Thank you. The counter may have started late, but the number it displays is gratifyingly high. I feared at first that I'd have to stay up all night hitting the refresh button to get the total into three figures.

But recent events have made it impossible for Salut! to get properly into its stride. There have been days when access to the internet has been difficult, and there have been - still are - lots of things concerning my future to sort out.

I do have plans for building on what you have seen here so far. There is scope to do so much more and I intend to explore it.

For now, please accept my sincere appreciation of your support and feedback. Word is spreading, I am pleased to report, and it would be excellent if some new faces turned up in Comments.

The next few days will find me out of France, and my visits to the blog are likely to be patchy. I do not know how often I will be able to check in to see what is happening here.

But check in I shall, since I have decided that in the great traditions of Another Place, I should show my readers a degree of trust and let them - you - decide what to talk about until I get back.

Feel free to range over previous posts - I promise to keep a look-out for new comments.

This site has now moved to Salut!


At October 27, 2006 4:18 PM, Anonymous Graham said...

Colin , I was thinking about you when I read this post at Shane Richmond's blog,


All about journalist's going it alone. Worth a read and some thought.

At October 27, 2006 5:41 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Not necessarily to revert to my supposed rottweiler persona, but it seems to me that what is most likely to attract new faces is controversy. Colin's Telegraph blog was never so active or well-patronised as when there was a dogfight going on. It was noted for that. Certain people, who shall remain nameless (though they gave themselves many names), carped about their bruised feelings and suggested that the rough-and-tumble might be keeping away more timid contributors. Given the largely placid nature so far of Salut!, that would not appear to be the case.
So....does anyone have anything they want to fight about?

At October 27, 2006 6:16 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At October 27, 2006 7:14 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

It's worth a try. Let's start with a clerihew:
The Daily Telegraph blogs
have gone to the dogs.
They can't hold a candle
to Colin Randall.

At October 27, 2006 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Bill Taylor, not a dogfight just a request for information. I hope we can rely on you to keep us up to date with the trial of Nathalie Getliffe which I believe starts in November. I suspect CR may not do so.


At October 27, 2006 8:10 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At October 27, 2006 8:24 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I'll do what I can to stay abreast of the Gettliffe case but it hasn't been getting a whole lot of ink here, including in British Columbia. It's not quite the cause celebre that Colin's been trying to portray it as. But I'll certainly watch for developments and post anything of significance.

At October 27, 2006 10:05 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

Isn't that the point, Bill? That no one in BC, or Canada generally, cares? Maybe pregnant women are thrown into jail so often that it doesn't make anyone stop and think about perfectly feasible options for granting bail. I would be no less horrified if British judges were acting in an equally appalling fashion.
No one will persuade me to take Nathalie Gettliffe's side on the substantive issues, which have yet to be canvassed in the proper place. That will be the time to form a fair view of the facts.
But neither should anyone assume that I will rely solely on Canadian reports when commenting on the trial once it starts.

At October 27, 2006 10:35 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I thought you'd gone? You're hiding and watching us!
No, it's not at all that no one here cares; it's that Nathalie Gettliffe is not being held in anything even approaching inhumane conditions and anything other than keeping her in custody gives her what is regarded as an unacceptable option to flee. Canada is taking the balanced view that her former husband has certain rights, too, that deserve to be safeguarded.

At October 28, 2006 1:33 AM, Blogger watchar said...

Keep it up Colin ... as a dedicated follower I trust I'm upping those numbers on your new blog counter, being more of a lurker than a contributor. I was after all, in my former working life, more likely to be editing (even yours and Bill Taylor’s 1970s efforts) rather than writing.

It is your reports and thoughts on matters francais rather than the ensuing in-fights or possible insights that attract me to Salut, as they do to Petite Anglais’s blog.

At October 28, 2006 3:22 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

We're all dedicated followers, Watchar, and committed to the survival and continued prosperity of C. Randall. But, c'mon....who are you? (I almost said who WERE you?) And don't just say you're a lurker. Most editors are.

At October 28, 2006 3:59 AM, Blogger Dennis Howlett said...

Bugger me - I literally only just found this while needing a reference from La Petite Anglaise.

Colin's erudition speaks voumes for the clarity that can come from good use of the English language.

For goodness sake Colin - blog on your passion. Like you i'm an ex-hack (you are ex- I assume) and yet I derive a reasonable but most important enjoyable living from this medium.

And I'd been off the scene for two years before wading back in. It's been worth the ride.

At October 28, 2006 2:30 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Contributor Richard of Orleans is conspicuous by his absence.
Likely the author of monarch studies at "the queen".
The poetry business...........do we all have to contribute one every day or alternately,once per week.
And about that dogfight comment of bill taylor's,remember that there was a blue pencil in place to curb any excessive self expression.
Some readers here my find that having a blue coloured pencil fixed to the wall near their computer might be a useful reminder.

At October 28, 2006 3:03 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At October 28, 2006 3:44 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Don't you believe that Colin's an EX-hack, Dennis. This is just a rough patch he's going through. He'll be back on the printed page stronger than ever.

At October 29, 2006 10:41 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

ADVERTISEMENT (this commercial message will be repeated on a couple of other postings):

Since Colin and Sarah were kind enough to add a link (Bill's Art and Bill Taylor Photos, respectively) from their blogs to my fledgling website, I've been wrestling with the damned thing to make it more viewer-friendly. I think I finally have it where I want it.

If you've checked it out already, thank you. Please look again. It'll be much easier this time. If you HAVEN'T looked at it....what are you waiting for?

At October 31, 2006 12:49 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I promised updates, if I found any while Colin was away, on Nathalie Gettliffe. This doesn't advance the story, and the pictures were taken a couple of months ago, but if you go to:
there are photographs of her with her newborn baby. The website is lengthy and is breaking up here but if you cut and paste it without a break, it should work.

At October 31, 2006 10:42 AM, Blogger Joan Dawson said...

I see that Colin got another nice mention in Private Eye this week, including the new website address. On the Telegraph site he is now an 'Archived Blogger'.

At October 31, 2006 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Bill Taylor for your update on Nathalie Getliffe. There was no mention of the case in the British press, there seems to be no interest in the French press now and I still wonder why CR chose to highlight it. Unfortunately many women give birth while in prison.


At October 31, 2006 1:54 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...


Should it be considered to invite Colin Berry over as a link to this blog.
He is writing some good pieces lately;if only he can be curb the distemper breakouts .
In which case CR vaccinates CB via the "delete".

Any questions?

At October 31, 2006 2:36 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

In the photos of Nathalie Gettliffe outside, there's a barbed wire fence in the background but otherwise it doesn't look quite like the Bastille Colin has been trying to portray. The pictures, we're told, come "courtesy of the Gettliffe-Gruzelle family" so they're not prison propaganda shots.

At October 31, 2006 7:30 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Reading and writing I've become profane.
I thought "hippo" was the hippopotamus'name.
A trick of the mind caught me blind.
Now I've found out;how really unkind.
An offer to visit I sent to it's place.
And realize now it would give trampling chase.
We all should remember;if we've forgot.
That a leopard never changes it's camouflage spots.
So pay attention you all and for certain take heed.
The visit of HIPPO we will never need.

At November 01, 2006 12:06 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

This morning we see pictures from Another Place that reveal Prince Charles wearing his poppy on the visit to Pakistan.But nowhere is there an image of the Duchess of Cornwall with a poppy.
This dispraise seems to have something to do with fashion,clothes that don't wear well with pins attached.
In that case Prince Charles could wear two poppies indicating the missing one and his as well.
Remembrance is not out of fashion.

At November 01, 2006 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the Duchess of Cornwall recently visited the war graves of her father's comrades in France, she is obviously constantly remembering fallen soldiers. Is it really a crime not to wear a poppy more than a week before Remembrance Day? It seems to be the fashion now to wear a poppy even before the month of November starts. Is this a question of "I remember better than you?" How pathetic!


At November 01, 2006 2:37 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

To a certain extent, the date that one starts wearing a poppy depends on when the poppy sellers appear on the streets. Buying one and sporting it keeps the others at bay! The people who bug me the most are the ones who recycle their poppy year to year instead of buying a new one. Lest we forget, the money goes to a good cause.

At November 01, 2006 9:56 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Well I do not want to walk down
the road of misunderstanding SH.
Bill is correct about availability of the poppies.
What I saw was that The Duchess of Cornwall possibly had a choice.To wear or not to wear.
I myself go to town about twice a month and today had my poppy pinned on my jacket by 3 wonderful older fellows.One Army,one Navy,one Air Force;this being their first day out and about.and the first opportunity for me.
Having then gone over to the garage to pick up my car I gave my mechanic a poppy and the card of the Flanders Fields poem that is given with taking your poppy.
He thanked me.and he meant it!
And yes I do recycle my poppy.It stays on the sun visor for the rest of the year when I glance at it and remember the sacrifice.
In todays world sacrifice is uncommon.
So SH So Bill,pin your poppies.

At November 01, 2006 10:13 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I've had mine on for days, Anne. And it's a matter of some pride that the Flanders Field poem was written by a Canadian army surgeon, Lt.-Col John McRae.

At November 01, 2006 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's with Anne Gilbert's fixation with Colin Berry and his barmy hippo blog? Have you been over there and looked at it? People are staying away in droves. The guy's a nutcase with verbal diarrhoea.

At November 01, 2006 10:39 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

A little more on the Nathalie Gettliffe saga: Again, it's not entirely new but it may be something no one here has seen before. If you Google "Scott Grant" and "Vancouver Sun," you'll get a lengthy interview and story presenting Gettliffe's ex-husband's viewpoint, published August 15. Yes, it's a little one-sided but certainly no more so than what we've been spoonfed from the Gettliffe camp. It's a perspective that's worthy of consideration.

At November 02, 2006 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No poppies here in France. Except in the fields, of course. Well, not at this time of year, but you know what I mean.

At November 02, 2006 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous

Maybe you find my hippo companion a pest. But at least he doesn't troll his own Comments section, trying to massage his site statistics.

At November 02, 2006 2:32 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Colin Randall, I think Colin Berry is casting aspersions upon your moral rectitude. And that's after he vowed recently not to return here for weeks, maybe months, and then under a new pseudonym. For a man of so many, many, many, many words, he's not a man of his word at all. Quelle surprise.

At November 02, 2006 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do grow up, Bill Taylor. Any previous resolutions on my part to avoid this site become null and void if I am attacked by name, especially when it's my real name, and I'm being attacked by someone who hides behind the name "Anonymous".

"Anonymous" wouldn't be you, by any chance, I suppose ?

At November 02, 2006 2:47 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I've been many things in my life, Colin Berry, but never anonymous. You make up rules for yourself as you go along, don't you? Then when a nasty man with a real viewpoint, Richard of Orleans, comes along, you slam the door and hide under the bed. And I'M the one who should grow up? Run away and play with your hippo.

At November 02, 2006 2:57 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Is the poppy for Remembrance Day purely a Commonwealth thing, Sarah? They don't have it in the States either, though November 11 is their Veterans Day and a significant number of Americans lost their lives on the French and Belgian killing grounds.

At November 02, 2006 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't change the subject. Yes, R/O has a real viewpoint, alright, which he repeats, ad nauseam, month after month. He's a one issue man. Unlike Bill Taylor, who's a no-issue man.

And now he's away on his hols, poor Bill Taylor is all on his own, with nothing of his own to contribute, except vacuous ramblings, always taking his cue from others. So what does he do, prompted by our Anonymous interloper: he tries to resurrect old battles, by joining in, jackal-like, on Anonymous's attack on someone who's left this blog for fresh pastures.

It would be funny, if it weren't so pathetic...

PS Your denials are worthless. In your James Hamilton guise, you continued to insist you had arrived in my home town, in a yellow Fiat, Rome registration plates, seeking confrontation, and causing considerable worry to my family at the time. Don't you think this has gone far enough ? Do the sensible thing - let it drop. Leave my name out of your witterings on this site.

At November 02, 2006 3:29 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

You're back over here because "anonymous" was right, wasn't he/she? You're getting no action whatsoever on your own blog and talking to yourself must become wearisome after a while.
What denials? I freely admitted when Colin Randall's Telegraph blog ended to having been James Hamilton. The whole thing was satire - and an exercise in seeing how long it would take Colin Randall to cotton on - but that would be far too subtle for a literal mind such as yours. You surely can't have thought someone really was staking you out with a water pistol? You are the one who has always chosen to shoot from cover, hidden behind a variety of assumed identities.
Now, do you have anything to contribute here about poppies or Nathalie Gettliffe? Or even poetry? No, I thought not.

At November 02, 2006 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Taylor

I am back on this site for one reason, and one reason only: it's because my name, or blog, has been mentioned three times, no less. What's the matter ? Are you all missing me, and afraid to admit it ?

If you think I have spare time, then I suggest you try setting up your own blog, with one or two posts a day, and tell me if you have free time. All this is a needless distraction.

Of course comments on my blog are welcome, but comments that are life-enhancing, not the snide kind of backbiting we are accustomed to seeing here. I have topics galore to post to my blog that will keep it going for months to come. You may judge its success by the number of comments receeived. I do not. It is not an MSM blog. Neither is it Salut! I am not in competition with Colin Randall, and certainly not competing for his clientele.

At November 02, 2006 3:58 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

A prompt is stated to vacate.
The vacous state that cannot relate.
Would it be possible to abjure the Hippo's claim of false manure.
Safety in numbers is Hippo's dream.
The rest of us here are not of that lien.
We sail this ship to each his own.
And we know that the voyage will then reach home.

At November 02, 2006 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd agree with you entirely, Anne Gilbert - if I had the faintest idea what you were going on about. Soon after your first appearance on Colin Randall's blog for the Telly, I reprimanded you (school-masterly expression) for having an "opaque prose style". I now withdraw that charge. It's your verse that I now find opaque.

At November 02, 2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

While you're still lurking in the shadows, why don't you answer the perfectly reasonable question from Richard of Orleans that you so quickly expunged from your own life-enhancing little blog?
As Richard explained here some days ago, he tried to ask Colin Berry "what is he doing in France in his declining years taking advantage of the excellent French public services? We all know that these services would not be available if we were stingy taxpayers like the English and notably CB during his adult working life. Am I not entitled, having paid French taxes throughout most of my working life, to an explanation as to the moral grounds on which the continuance of his presence in France is acceptable?"

At November 02, 2006 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anne Gilbert, have you ever done any genealogy ? To judge from your "verse" you must be a direct descendant of William McGonagal. To paraphrase another Scot
"O wad some power the giftie gie ye
Tae see yersel' as ithers see ye"

I would like to mention a more serious topic. While the French authorities have withdrawn the security clearance of 70 workers at Roissy airport because of concerns over their links to Islamic extremists, London has a Mayor who seems happy to allow a Muslim with a conviction for terrorist offences to work on Tube maintenance. I admit it does depend on which day of the week you ask the Mayor about it. This worries me.

At November 02, 2006 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's too many anonymouses on this blog. I'm not sure now which one I am.

At November 02, 2006 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You surely don't expect me to put all my personal affairs into the public domain, do you, Bill Taylor ? If you do, then kindly tell us your own first, to show us what a free, open spirit you are.

While you are about it, kindly list the services that you think I have obtained, free of charge, at the expense of the French taxpayer.

I don't promise to answer every point, for the reasons mentioned. In fact, I think your silly juvenile questions are
on a par with your claims to be on my doorstep, seeking confrontation. In other words, personally intrusive, and overstepping the mark of what one expects from participating in a blog. I say it again, Bill Taylor. GROW UP!

I know your game - you of the Toronto Star are trying to create a story - one that will put blogging fisticuffs into the public domain. So I repeat the question: tell me precisely why you think I'm not entitled to live in France, and I will shoot you down in flames.

Just remember one thing, and I say this coming as I do from a family whose most eminent members were journalists. Stories, or the pursuit thereof, have a habit of rebounding on those who try to manufacture them.

At November 02, 2006 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Anonymous

I forgot to add my initials - that's the effect Ken Livingstone has on me.


At November 02, 2006 5:11 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

On reading cliche's ,such as today.
Is as buying an antique made of paper mache.
Always a critic but not as a poem.
No presence of mind to change the tone.
If words of wisdom and clerihew.
Are not worth reading,think of adieu.

At November 02, 2006 5:20 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Calm down, Colin Berry, or you'll do yourself a mischief. I'm not asking the question; I'm merely repeating the question Richard of Orleans asked. I thought it was worthy of an answer and cowardly of you to duck and cover. I have no inherent interest in your answer or in where you choose to live, just as I have no interest in "creating" a story about blogging. As usual, you're wrong.

SH -- Tell us more. I'm planning to be in London for a few days early in January. Should I be avoiding public transit? When is Ken Livingstone up for re-election?

At November 02, 2006 5:24 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Hippo's in torments.
From all this fuss.
And should go home for a day with plus.
Come back later and give us your time.
When your feeling better with thoughts sublime.
Work on your blog and we might come over.
To join our Hippo rolling in clover.

At November 02, 2006 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At November 02, 2006 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At November 03, 2006 11:16 AM, Blogger Robert Marchenoir said...

Maybe Bill Taylor and Richard of Orléans could set up their own anti-Colin Berry blog, and we'd get a fair chance to read some enlightening comments here.

Bill Taylor, are you really Colin Randall's pal? I mean, would he agree with it? I'm asking because I'm not so sure your commenting strategy is the best to attract new readers here.

At November 03, 2006 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Restructuring comments would make way for new faces?

What about a vote?
What's the question?

Here's a question.
Should any of the following leave "post a comment" ?
Anne Gilbert
Bill Taylor
Colin Berry
Richard of Orleans.

Feel free to give your vote or opinion.

At November 03, 2006 2:21 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

But what enlightening comments, Robert? There hasn't been a lot of traffic here of late, enlightening or otherwise, especially from your good self. And if you've been reading this blog at all, you must have noticed that I've made a number of quite diverse contributions in a civilized way. Which is more than you've done. So who's the better blogger? As to my friendship with Colin Randall, I shall let him address that if he so wishes.
To Anonymous (another anonymous or one of the existing ones? It's getting confusing. I'm not counting SH, who usually initials his contributions): Of what value would a vote be? This isn't a democracy. It's Colin Randall's fiefdom. And what have you got against Anne Gilbert?

Meanwhile, to move to another topic, has anyone heard the rumor that the French may get Concorde flying again? Is there any substance to this?

At November 03, 2006 2:41 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

What's this?
A vote of expulsion.And why sign your name as anonymous.Call yourself anomalous.
We have names here,so say your piece and sign.

Robert Marchenoir is a walk in the dark.

So we'll send you some en(light)enment.
Richard of Orleans is not present at the moment, so comments/votes concerning him have no place here.

At November 03, 2006 2:53 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

I have to post again to mention that Richard of Orleans is the possible pilot to be flying Concorde,practising from Brittany with an eye on landing at Hippodrome.
To bring Hippo as co-pilot on the fly-around-France route.

At November 03, 2006 3:22 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

To answer my own question (and if anyone else cares), I've pinned down the Concorde rumor I heard. It stems from a BBC TV news story -- not to revisit a TV-news-standards issue raised on this blog recently -- a couple of weeks ago about a Concorde in a museum near Paris that's being maintained by a Concorde engineer in as near flying condition as possible. It would, of course, be a very expensive proposition to get the plane back into the air but it seems that the possibility does remain.

At November 03, 2006 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first became aware of this Ken Livingstone incident through the BBC News at 10 on the 1st November. It turned out that this son of Abu Hamza had been hired by a subcontractor to do maintenance work on the Tube system at night. I'm not sure whether he lied on his application form or whether the subcontractors did not check carefully. Initially Livingstone was supportive of this man, suggesting that his court case in Yemen was a bit dubious. Then he seemed to change his mind, before reverting to his original opinion that this character was a welcome addition to the Tube work force. Livingstone obviously preferred to keep his PC credentials untarnished rather than worry about the safety of people in London. You might be interested to read Mary Ann Sieghart's article in The Times today where she refers to this.

I did read somewhere that a group of French Concorde enthusiasts have ensured that their plane has not been stripped and that its systems are still functioning. They are keen to see it fly again.


At November 03, 2006 3:35 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Thanks, SH; I'll check out the Times. Ken Livingstone seems to be turning into a mini-Tony Blair, constantly trying to stay true to what he always presented as his roots but in the process becoming more and more entangled in them. It's a bit like watching a rat in a maze.
I've always regretted never having flown on Concorde. Now I'm torn between hating to see an icon permanently grounded and hating the idea of its noisy, polluting, wastefulness being resurrected. Maybe OCCASIONAL flights would be okay....?

At November 03, 2006 3:49 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

I'll tiptoe over with a cup of tea.
To look for Hippo if he's a moment free.
He's much too quiet but may be around.
Rolling in clover,ears perked for the sound.
The sound of the Concorde.It could land in his patch.
At the cockpit door a turn of the latch.

to be continued.................

At November 03, 2006 3:56 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

PS, SH -- I just read Mary Ann Sieghart's piece. Good grief! Red Ken (or is he a more muted shade now?) seems quite incorrigible. It's at least 10 years since I was in London and I'm very curious about all the changes that have occurred in that time. Not all, I fear, for the better. To come down to earth, grounding Concorde is one thing. But getting rid of the Routemaster bus, one of London's most enduring and identifiable icons (as well as being eminently practical), is something else altogether -- very hard to fathom.

At November 03, 2006 4:04 PM, Anonymous Smiley said...

From what I have heard, there are no technical reasons why the Concorde at Paris couldn't fly again. However the DGAC (the aviation authority in France) will almost certainly come up with thousands of reasons why it shouldn't. Am living in hope though!

At November 03, 2006 4:09 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

At least the opportunity remains for the French Concorde to fly again. From what the BBC story said and what I found on a pilots' rumour website (who knew such a thing existed?), Britain's planes are being allowed to languish unmaintained. There was some speculation on the website that Richard Bransome and Virgin are Concorde's best hope for revival.

At November 03, 2006 4:22 PM, Anonymous Smiley said...

Yes, all the British ones are kept outside and have been since retirement.

I heard a nasty rumour that when Richard Branson originally floated the idea of taking on some Concordes. BA approached Airbus (who provided technical support for them) and told them that if they continued to support Concorde at Virgin, then they (BA) would take a dim view and would take this into consideration when ordering any new aircraft.

Of course, I am sure there's not an ounce of truth in it!

At November 03, 2006 4:33 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...


An Airbus has flown over Hippos' patch.
Alas it cannot be considered 1st class.
Only the Concorde ,the best in the world.
Would suit co-pilot Hippo.
On his "round France twirl.

to be continued...............

At November 03, 2006 4:34 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Sorry, stupid me, his name's not Bransome, it's Branson! Bransome's a pickle, isn't it? One of the rumours on the website is that Concorde would never fly in Virgin colours because BA holds the patent to the special supersonic paint!
Poor old Airbus -- they seem to be getting flak (so to speak) from all sides these days.

At November 03, 2006 4:42 PM, Anonymous Smiley said...

Isn't it Branston's Pickle?

oh this blog is so fickle
from hippos to great pickle
it all gets debated
and many get berated
it sure gives me a good tickle

At November 03, 2006 4:53 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...


Concorde's menu includes the pickle.
Hippo loves them to go with his tipple.
Richard's wine and Hippos pickle.
Make 'round France flying.
A welcome t....e.

to be continued...............

At November 03, 2006 6:35 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

I have restricted myself to keeping an eye on things from afar but should be back and blogging again by Monday pm. Plenty to talk about, whether or not I rise to Bill T's bait and point out for the umpteenth time what I do object to about Nathalie Gettliffe's treatment (denial of bail as punishment) and what I do not. Alert readers will remember that I have already referred to Scott Grant's long interview with the Vancouver Sun (but please point me again to where it deals with the bail issue). I also tried repeatedly to speak to Mr Grant, without success, before writing a word about the case.

At November 03, 2006 6:52 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Welcome back, Colin! This just in from today's Globe & Mail (Canada's national newspaper):

France tunes in to mother's guilty plea in B.C.
Bizarre tale features jailed professor who wants to seek French presidency

From Friday's Globe and Mail

VANCOUVER — Detours in the long and winding road to a PhD are not unknown.

But few can measure up to what befell Nathalie Gettliffe this spring, as she journeyed all the way from her native France to defend her doctoral thesis at the University of British Columbia.

Instead of appearing before an elite academic panel, she found herself arrested at the Vancouver airport and thrown in prison.

While her professors wondered why she hadn't shown up, Ms. Gettliffe was being charged with two long-standing counts of child abduction.

The charges were laid after she fled five years ago to France with two children from a broken marriage, in defiance of a B.C. court order. Since then, her case has become even more bizarre. Behind prison walls, where she remains to this day, Ms. Gettliffe has not only managed to complete her thesis defence, but also give birth to a baby boy.

In the meantime, she has become a cause célèbre in France, the subject of numerous media reports pillorying Canada for its treatment of a pregnant woman and turning B.C. into a land of "terrorist justice" in the eyes of her many fervid French supporters.

Adding fuel to the frenzy, Ms. Gettliffe has announced her intention to run for the presidency of France in 2007.

The remarkable saga of the 36-year-old learned linguistic professor, however, is at last nearing an end. In a brief court appearance yesterday, her lawyer, Richard Fowler, announced that Ms. Gettliffe will plead guilty today in B.C. Supreme Court, rather than face a scheduled jury trial on the charges against her on Nov. 20.

Mr. Fowler said sentencing arguments will be heard later this month.

But Ms. Gettliffe's guilty plea is unlikely to diminish the fierce emotions her case has generated in France.

There, she has been characterized with great sympathy in the media as a brave mother seeking to protect her children -- Joséphine, 12, and Maximilien, 11 -- from an alleged cult-like church attended by the children's father, Scott Grant.

The Vancouver Church of Christ has links to the U.S.-based International Church of Christ, banned from many U.S. university campuses for cult-like recruiting drives.

At the same time, prison conditions in B.C. have been characterized as "worse than Guantanamo" by Ms. Gettliffe's current husband, Francis Gruzelle, who appears regularly on French TV to plead his wife's case.

The couple say they are writing a book called The Hell of Canadian Prisons.

By the summer, the atmosphere in France had become so volatile that police feared a vigilante attack to prevent Mr. Grant from bringing Joséphine and Maximilien back to B.C., after gendarmes tracked them to a small village in the French Alps where they were being cared for by a relative of Ms. Gettliffe.

Their fears prompted a police escort for Mr. Grant and the children on the way to Paris and then to the airport.

Mr. Grant, whose marriage to Ms. Gettliffe ended in divorce in 2000, regained custody of the children after France's highest court upheld the original B.C. court ruling.

Alarmed by public hostility in France, Canada's ambassador to that country, Claude Laverdure, took the unusual step this week of writing to French journalists "to set the record straight" about her alleged prison mistreatment.

"It is completely understandable that those close to Ms. Gettliffe want her released," Mr. Laverdure wrote. "But it is unacceptable that the reality of this case should be so distorted, that the Canadian justice and correctional systems should be so unjustly criticized and that Ms. Gettliffe's situation in prison should be so wrongly portrayed."

Ms. Gettliffe gave birth in late September to her new son, Martin, at a public hospital near the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in the Fraser Valley, where she is incarcerated.

Since the birth, she has been given a single room in a special wing of the medium-security prison to allow her to care for the baby.

Earlier, arrangements were also made to enable the imprisoned woman to give the required oral defence of her PhD thesis that had been so abruptly cancelled by her arrest.

Ms. Gettliffe's six-member academic committee agreed to conduct the hearing at the Alouette prison, a first for the university, according to Sherrill Grace, who chaired the unusual proceedings.

It was a marvellous experience, she said. "The guards did not stay in the room, and I must say that Nathalie was incisive, intelligent, articulate, poised and professional. There was not the slightest ripple. She was just an academic again. It was very touching."

Prof. Grace, a veteran of the UBC English department, said she became caught up again in the excitement she feels whenever there is engagement with a young academic.

"There's a euphoria about it. You completely forget where you are," she said. "What's the old saying? 'Iron bars do not a prison make.' "

At November 03, 2006 7:57 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

PS, Colin -- My point in drawing attention to the interview with Scott Grant had nothing to do with the bail issue; it was for the benefit of anyone who might not have seen your earlier references to it. As I said, it was one-sided but a differing point-of-view that was worth a look.
"Denial of bail as PUNISHMENT?" Hmm. In the words of the immortal Gershwin song: It ain't necessarily so.

At November 03, 2006 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure NG would make good presidential material. They are supposed to at least pretend not to be manipulative lying perpetrators of crime.

At November 03, 2006 10:15 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Good one, Sarah. I'm beginning to think Colin's out on a bit of a limb with his support for her, in spite of his protestations that his outrage extends only to certain aspects of the case.
Here, meanwhile, is the latest from the Vancouver Sun website. No word as yet as to her sentence or whether she may now be granted bail, but it wouldn't surprise me if that wasn't part of some kind of plea-bargaining deal.

Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, November 03, 2006
The French woman who took her two children from Canada to France in 2001 following a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband pleaded guilty today to two counts of breaking a custody order and depriving her husband of the children.
Nathalie Gettliffe, 36, has been held in custody after being arrested by the RCMP in April following her return to Canada to defend a doctoral thesis at the University of B.C.
Her arrest is a cause celebre in France where the media have pilloried the Canadian justice system for proceeding against her.
She ran away to France with her children Max, now 12, and his sister Josephine, now 11, defying a court order that gave interim custody of the children to her husband Scott Grant, a Surrey financial planner.

At November 03, 2006 10:43 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

I have just come fom reading the front page of The Telegraph.

This has to be a truly beautiful gesture of remembrance.

At November 04, 2006 7:53 AM, Blogger Louise said...

I have tried to follow the NG case over the past weeks and still can't make head nor tail of it, mainly as I only seem to see articles or TV interviews defending Nathalie and virtually no comment from her ex-husband. I see she has put in a plea of guilty which should hasten her release from prison. I am just wondering if there would have been so much media coverage if she hadn't been pregnant?

I suppose that media coverage in such cases is hopefully good for one's cause - what I didn't like was the fact that her family got in a lot of publicity for her running for the presidential elections (???) and would have liked to have heard more from Nathalie and her family of the plight of many, many divorced couples of either mixed religion or nationality and the custodial problems it poses. I hope that instead of trying to run for president she uses this unfortunate incident to help those who find themselves in the same cicumstances.

Despite whether for or against NG, the losers in the battle are still the children who are being pushed from pillar to post - I wonder if anyone has asked them who they want to live with? At their age they are capable of making a decision, which may change in a couple of years' time, but would at least offer them security and stability that they obviously cannot have at the present time.

At November 04, 2006 8:15 AM, Blogger Louise said...

Having been away, I don't seem to have missed much - Bill and Colin bickering and something about hippos which means perhaps I shall have to trawl around for hours to try and see how that all started...is it worth it? Anne seems to fully back into poetry mode!

Talking of poppies, I remember as a child the gorgeous great big wax poppies that one could buy to put on the car radiator. But they too have disappeared along with the Concorde (the most beautiful plane ever designed), Routemaster buses, hunting to hounds and virtually anything else one cares to mention that was so very English - even tea seems to be replaced by those great big cups of awful frothy coffee stuff or enormous plastic mugs of Starbuck's brown liquid that for some reason one drinks through a tiny hole in the plastic top. England seems now to be a 24/7, 7/7, 365/365 or whatever you like, society of shop 'til you drop.

Sorry, a grumpy old woman talking!

At November 04, 2006 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Louise. Nice to hear you're still around. We've all been missing you.

Here's a tip to save time. Google the followng: "colin berry" hippo

It takes you to my Blogger profile, which has a link to my sprogblog.

See Bill, even that "childish" hippo symbol can have its uses.

PS Clicking on hippo himself is even quicker

At November 04, 2006 2:39 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

The Gettliffe case is still not resolved, though she pleaded guilty yesterday. Colin Randall will be pleased to know the Canadian media took some notice. Here's today's Globe & Mail story:

Mother pleads guilty to abducting her two children

VANCOUVER -- An international soap opera that has played out across Canada and France on often hysterical websites, blogs and in the media neared its final chapter yesterday, as Nathalie Gettliffe pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court to two counts of child abduction.

Dressed in a blue prison smock, her long brushed hair flowing past her shoulders, Ms. Gettliffe smiled as she entered the court, then replied in a clear voice, "Guilty," on each of the two charges read out against her.

A sentencing hearing for the 35-year-old French linguistics instructor will take place later this month. She has been held in prison here for the past seven months amid charges of "hellish" treatment by her Canadian jailers.

Watching attentively from the front row of the public benches was Ms. Gettliffe's ex-husband and father of the former couple's two children, Scott Grant.

After a long, bitter, costly struggle, Mr. Grant regained custody of the children -- Maximilien, 12, and Joséphine, 11 -- this summer in France, where Ms. Gettliffe had fled with the youngsters five years ago, in defiance of a B.C. court order.

Outside the court, Mr. Grant, 40, said he savoured her guilty plea.

"I came here because I wanted to see her lose the war today. . . . I had to see it for myself."

The case has spawned a frenzy in France, with top politicians, media commentators and members of the public railing against Canada for jailing Ms. Gettliffe while she was pregnant.

They further charge that Maximilien and Joséphine will be brainwashed in what they allege is a cult-like church attended by their father.

The curious nature of "l'affaire" has been augmented by surreal elements such as Ms. Gettliffe giving birth to a baby boy, her fourth child, and defending her PhD thesis while in prison, her announcement that she will run for president of France next year, and her publication of a book in France about her plight that was to be called The Hell of Canadian Prisons.

There was also Ms. Gettliffe's fateful decision to return to Vancouver for her PhD defence, despite an outstanding arrest warrant against her.

Mr. Grant alerted police after he noticed the hearing posted on a University of B.C. website. They arrested Ms. Gettliffe the moment she arrived at Vancouver International Airport.

Yesterday, Mr. Grant said his former wife's unexpected return to Canada was "like a miracle. I never thought she would ever come back. How does such a bright woman do something so incredibly stupid?"

He said the hostility in France against him was so intense that he feared for his life when he arrived to be reunited with his children, traced by French gendarmes to the alpine home of Ms. Gettliffe's cousin.

Indeed, Canadian embassy officials took security precautions during his stay, including a police escort for the family on their way to the airport.

But Mr. Grant said that he never thought of abandoning his expensive legal quest, which set him back several hundred thousand dollars as he pursued Ms. Gettliffe through the French courts.

"I didn't want to be like other men who just forget about their children and walk away. I decided I wanted to fight for my children."

He said Max and Josephine are doing "extremely well," given the dramatic change in their life after so much time with their mother and her common-law husband, with whom she's now had two children.

Yet Mr. Grant acknowledged that being back with his children is bittersweet.

"I lost five years of time with them. There they were, running around on Halloween, but they are 11 and 12 years old. I lost out on their childhood. They are older now."

The situation is confusing for the children, added Mr. Grant, who has taken them to visit their mother in prison several times since their return to Canada in July.

"It's their mom, and they love their mom," he said. "I've told them to love her. But I think she's done a lot of psychological damage to them."

Mr. Grant defended his church, the Vancouver Church of Christ, as a normal place to worship and himself as a normal kind of guy, accusing Ms. Gettliffe of spreading nothing but lies about him and the church.

"I think people underestimate a cute little French woman who is quite smart, but willing to do or say almost anything," he said.

"Sometimes the public has a hard time believing [in these kinds of cases] that a father can be a good guy who loves his children."

In court, Ms. Gettliffe's lawyer, Richard Fowler, said he would resist the prosecution's request for a pre-sentencing psychiatric assessment of his client.

She is facing a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Afterward, Mr. Fowler declined comment on Ms. Gettliffe's allegations that she has been treated harshly in prison, with her partner in France charging that conditions were "worse than Guantanamo."

"But it's tough for her. Really tough," Mr. Fowler said. "

The warring parents are still battling over permanent custody of their children, as Mr. Grant has only interim custody.

Mr. Grant said it was strange to see the woman he was married to for 11 years dressed in prison garb and sitting in the court's prisoner dock.

"She's a smart woman, articulate. Can you imagine putting all that into doing something good? But I think she needs to get some help," Mr. Grant said.

At November 04, 2006 6:40 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...


Up in the sky quite high to sight.
A beautiful Concorde is seen in flight.
Coming in from the sea at the coast of France.
Flying over Paris only time for a glance.
Hippo as co-pilot will take his test.
And try a practice he's good at best.
Over the Alps and down through the pass.
He spots the house of Louise at last.
He readies the parcel for the perfect drop.
A box of his pickles will land with a plop.
"Welcome back Louise" the package is written.

to be continued................

At November 04, 2006 7:45 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Genealogically speaking, SH, you could be onto something: "O, beautiful bridge of the silvery Tay..."

At November 04, 2006 8:26 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

It's a lot of work writing for this blog.
The verses are tiresome to write.
If some people here think it a fair equation to compare verse with another persons verse,then I'm wasting everyones time.

not to be continued.............

At November 04, 2006 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't stop now Anne! We want to see how it ends.

At November 04, 2006 9:22 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

It would have been decent of you to sign your name.
There never was to have been an ending. The "Concorde"was fueled on entropy a sort of energy we give and take from each other .
Hippo was borrowed from his owner as a means of connecting the people of this blog that find it difficult sometimes to connect to each other.
Hippo doesn't like or dislike anyone.
Just likes pickles!!!!

At November 04, 2006 10:36 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

My on-line dictionary gives two definitions of entropy:
"A thermodynamic quantity representing the amount of energy in a system that is no longer available for doing mechanical work."
Or, in communication theory, "a numerical measure of the uncertainty of an outcome."
Either one is rather fitting in the context of this blog.

At November 05, 2006 1:02 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Greek = entrope = change or transform.

At November 05, 2006 11:41 AM, Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Colin. I read about this blog in "Private Eye". I was appalled to read that the Telegraph had been daft enough to "let you go" - more the fools them - so good luck with this and all best wishes. I will keep reading you.

At November 05, 2006 12:13 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

I hope Welshcakes Limoncello, now making a new life in Sicily according to her own blog, feels as supportive when she reads my views about driving on the island

At November 05, 2006 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four score and six
Well, how's that for tricks ?
But our labour's not done
Let's go for the ton !

(in the style of Anne Gilbert)

At November 05, 2006 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Taylor. And anyone else who admires Anne Gilbert's verse. You might be interested in this article from the Scotland section of the Sunday Times.



At November 05, 2006 5:37 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

It can only be a matter of time before someone stages this -- and then turns it into a movie. And perhaps it'll encourage Anne Gilbert to broaden her literary approach. Did you ever see Spike Milligan's film about McGonagal? Not entirely successful but worthwhile as a curiosity.

At November 06, 2006 2:59 AM, Anonymous Canada Children First said...

Colin is right about the Canadian press not covering the Scott Grant- Nathalie Gettliffe case fairly and adequately...
Bill Taylor, you want controversy, here it is, Mate:
Go to our blogs,www.canadachildrenfirst.com and www.nathaliegettliffeandhaguehostages.blogspot.com to read the dirt on this case which is continuously growing - especially regarding the involvement of a convicted priest who assaulted two children in Saskatchewan in 1992 - the same Father Lucien Larre "employed" by the father, Scott Grant, to "coax" the children out of France by telling them that their mother would be set free.
In October, we wrote to the Archdiocese in Vancouver requesting information about Larre...we were informed, in writing, that although the Archdiocese was fully aware of Lucien Larre's criminal background which involved 2 convictions, one for slapping a child and another for choking a child, plus 9 other charges, including one for sexual assault, the Church felt it was alright to allow this priest to continue practising as a psychologist with children!
Then, amazingly enough, and Colin will LOVE this - on October 19, some days after we penned the letter, the CBC, Radio One, suddenly runs a program on the Radio to say what a remarkable man he is!
Back in 1992/1003, another CBC(Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) programme, the Fifth Estate, an excellent investigative journalist documentary, ran a show on Lucien Larre, including an interview which showed his arrogance, and interviews with adult survivors of his abuse who detailed how he had traumatised them.
The archives of this program have been pulled from the Fifth Estate website - but we have a copy which we are setting up for broadcast...so watch the blogs...
Anyway, the problem relating to the young children, Max and Jo, is that Larre has consistant, uninterrupted access to the children because he has won over the father's trust.
Scary shit this.
Stay tuned and bloody well done, Colin - you give honor to investigate journalism.


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