old salut!

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

October 06, 2006

From the Seine to the Swale

This site has now moved to Salut!

My thanks to so many people who have given Salut! a bright start.

The links from the farewell posting on The Daily Telegraph website and from petite anglaise and thisfrenchlife have helped and I am grateful.
Your messages have been kind and I note that Salut! has even managed to import some of my Telegraph blog's famed squabbling.

Permission sought to use the original from the seductive Swaledale site where I found it; my picture-of-a-picture must do for now

If I like to think I know a little about France and the French, writing down all that I know about the mechanics of blogging would not cover the back of a bus ticket.
But I am not quite the model for Private Eye's "p***ed old hack baffled by new technology" slogan.
In time, a commodity that suddenly presents itself to me in abundance, and with the benefit of generous offers of advice (Petite and This French Life again), I will learn how to make Salut! look more professional.
Not, however, just yet. The last nine days have naturally been difficult and chaotic. I have spent much of that period in the UK.
London's little surprise for me came just ahead of one of the occasional
invasions by the Telegraph's fashion department, filling up the paper's Paris office/apartment that remains my home for the time being.
Hilary Alexander - so well connected in fashion that on one previous visit,
Stella McCartney dropped her off outside after both had dined with Karl Lagerfeld and Nicole Kidman - and her colleagues are considerate guests.
Their sense of urgency and my professional inactivity certainly made for
something of a mismatch, but while I was relieved to escape, they cannot be blamed for driving me out.
One trip was for formalities arising from my present circumstances. The second had been planned long ago and took in a pilgrimage to my seat at the Stadium of Light and a Sunday morning walk in glorious Swaledale. And the third was linked to a farewell party (not mine; there are a few about just now).
Salut! was conceived as four of us walked along the banks of the river below the village of Reeth.
Joan Dawson, almost ready to set up as a psychotherapist after a
bold mid-life career change, asked for ideas on what to call her practice.
I asked her, since she is a French graduate and witty, to suggest names for my blog and for the website that may well follow.
Finding possible names for my sites was relatively easy. I wanted something short, Salut in the end seemed to fit the bill and the exclamation mark completed a personal conversion that I owe to the style of my Telegraph blog (I have had a lifelong aversion but the French use them all the time and simply found myself sucked in).
But what are we to call Joan's practice? Hearts and Minds? Northern Soul?
Nothing that occurred to us seemed quite right.
We were also stuck with the knowledge that one of her friends had already
come up with a title that managed to be as inappropriately flippant as it was brilliant.
Joan, another of those unfortunates devoted to Sunderland football club, wants to base herself in that city.
Her friend's suggestion? Mackem Better.

* to whom no blame attaches for the wonky Eiffel Tower or the picture of Reeth

This site has now moved to Salut!


At October 05, 2006 5:14 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I quite like the centred format you're using, Colin! And the exclamation mark.
There are parallels between your and Sunderland's situation - both relegated, so to speak, but now back on the rise toward the Premiership, where you both belong.
Meanwhile, have you contacted DW here with a view to some freelancing? It would be nice to be in the same paper as you once more.

At October 05, 2006 5:32 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

One glance at the posting, even after my two attempts to edit, confirm the rather pressing need for the blogtherapeutic skills of my would-be mentors.

At October 05, 2006 5:44 PM, Blogger femme au foyer said...

hello Colin,
sorry to hear about your job. I'd be interested to hear what you are planning to do next.
Look forward to reading more in your blog

At October 05, 2006 6:12 PM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

Your Salut! is a great name, Colin - an informal greeting, with the exclamation mark adding a touch of urgency. My only problem is that it calls to mind the typical bright, breezy come-on titles of the innumerable French language tutors that I've tried over the years - on cassette, CD-ROM etc etc . I must have spent a fortune on those things, but whilst understanding a fair amount of what I hear on the radio, I'm invariably dumbstruck when confronted by a French citizen. Thank heavens the missus is fluent. Now you married a French girl, didn't you ? How was your French at that time ? It obviously wasn't a barrier to courtship. Maybe you have some tips for learning the language, other than marrying a local obviously .....

PS I find a line of dots can be a handy substitute for those sometimes irritating exclamation marks (!)

At October 05, 2006 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck, sir. I found out about your plight via P.Anglaise's blog. I confess that I never read your blog before that, but here's hoping to many interesting future posts.

Take care,

elchulo aka gimp
(Ps: If you've not done it, DO NOT switch to blogger beta. I moved off-site because of it.)

At October 05, 2006 8:04 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Now we know why Colin Berry spends all his time posting at interminable length to every blog within reach - he has no one to talk to in real life, poor little chap. I suspect Colin Randall's ability to speak French and Colin Berry's inability have something to do with their respective levels of intelligence.

At October 05, 2006 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about:
'Peace of Mind'
'Talk it Out'
'Talk the Talk'
'Inside Out'

I have also linked to your blog, so hopefully, if we all send along some people, your blog readership will be even more impressive than it was in the dear old T.

At October 05, 2006 10:49 PM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

Hi Sarah. Call me old-fashioned if you like, but how about a simple dignified brass plate outside, reading simply: Joan Dawson (qualifications), Psychotherapist ?

But then, on-off cynics like myself ask what are the likely qualifications of someone who's made a mid-life switch to "psychotherapy". After all, one constantly sees these ads in the local papers, you know the sort of thing, Depressed ? Panic attacks ? Need help to give up smoking etc ?

For one moment I wondered whether the folk who offer these services hold mainstream qualifications in psychiatry. Then a little alarm bell rang in my head, and I googled Joan Dawson psychotherapist and guess what ? Up pops a reference to one of Colin's blogs from the Jurassic layer of the Randall archives (Jan 2006), relating the sacrifices that his friend Joan had made to undergo lengthy training in her new career.

It's good to know that standards are being maintained. Pity though that having trained all that time, Joan's first task has to be one of conjuring up some gimmicky name for herself. I used to call it creeping Americanisation. But it's no longer creeping. It's galloping !

At October 06, 2006 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colin B, I suppose it's a question of standing out from the crowd, aiming at a group of people who are intimidated by dry dignity and would feel a name would be more approachable.

There are lots of different types of people out there and while you might prefer to see someone without a gimmick name, many others may be attracted to a less medical-sounding practice.

I am, in fact, in agreement with you. I prefer just a brass plaque and serious approach, but that's just me. My ex-h is a surgeon and so for me, a brass plaque is more credible than a merry name.

Whatever she chooses to do, I wish Joan luck. I was thinking I would have liked to be a profiler had I thought about it when I was younger. She's taken the plunge to change careers. An admirable action.

At October 06, 2006 10:29 AM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

Nice even-handed response there, Sarah. Like me, you're a traditionalist at heart, but one who's a bit more accomodating to modernity.

As for me, I don't need all this cognitive therapy stuff. I have Bill Taylor to tell me when I'm getting too inner-directed (is that the correct jargon ?)

At October 06, 2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I like 'Inside Out' best.

At October 06, 2006 4:16 PM, Blogger all*caps*girl said...

I'm here via Petit too! Found her who know's how anymore but I enjoy her writing.

Mostly a lurker and an artist rather than a writer, I recently launched my blog for the heck of it. I'm not sure what I want it to be. Maybe I'll post photos and artwork. I can't write about my stupid, non-artistic job or I'll get fired too--can't afford that right now.

Look forward to reading more of yours. You've got friends out here. Heck, I'm in New Jersey (USA).

At October 06, 2006 5:30 PM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

With a little help from his friends ( Anne Gilbert, Ped and yours truly) Colin Randall now has not just Gold, but Silver Medal too for number of Comments on his Telly blogs. See his Foie Gras topic.


As you will see when you go to the link, Richard has proposed that we go for the Bronze as well. I second that, and no doubt Anne Gilbert is in agreement (where are you by the way, Anne ? Not still smarting from my schoolmasterly end-of-term report I hope - it's all in fun, you know ).

Anyway, I've suggested an idea as to how the hat trick might be achieved. Go to the link.

PS Have just checked on Preview. This blog host does not seem able to handle long URLs, but I'm sure you can find Foie Gras.

At October 06, 2006 7:09 PM, Blogger colin adamson said...

Hi. From one redundant contemporary Fleet Street Colin to another. Do you think they've got a down on the name old boy? Looking at what's happening at the Telegraph and my old paper, the Standard, it's a major blessing in dusguise for both of us.
Remember the wonderful days of excesses on exes, long lunches and late nights after well-earned scoops. Not much of that around these days.
Use your redundo wisely, spend more time in the kitchen and, if you haven't already done it, take up golf.
All the very best for your blog. I've enjoyed your previous one very much.
I'm finding that there is a very much more rewarding life than constantlt chasing deadlines. Cheers, Colin Adamson.

At October 06, 2006 7:45 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I'm trying to imagine Colin Randall on a golf course. It's slightly easier (though not a lot)to visualise him in the kitchen. Taking into account the wisdom of eking out the redundancy money, it should still be possible to find places where long lunches can be economically enjoyed.

At October 06, 2006 8:36 PM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

Hmmm. That's quite an interesting idea you've come up with there, Sarah, and not one I've met before: the "inside-out" personality (assuming I have read you correctly).

Is it something current I've failed to pick up on, or an idea you have hit upon, on the spur of the moment ?

I'm trying to think of folk who might fit the bill (no pun intended) - those who have not just their heart on their sleeve, so to speak, but whose innermost fears, frustrations, hangups are on display for all to see, whether the owner realises it or not. So far I've come up with one example, admittedly going back a bit- Tony Hancock. Was his "inside-out" personality the key to his universal appeal as a comedian, making him over-transparent, and by the same token, dangerously vulnerable (in real life too) ? As I say, fascinating idea. Tell us more if you can.

At October 06, 2006 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a spur of the moment thing, Colin B. Nothing particularly recherché about it. Just bringing out that which is causing problems within. From inside to out. See? :)

At October 06, 2006 11:56 PM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

Thanks for the clarification, Sarah. But I'm still unclear about one thing - and it's a crucial aspect. Are you referring to normal healthy self-expression, or to a semi-deranged mental state in which folk make a bit of a social liability of themselves through revealing maybe a bit too much about themselves ?

By the way, had a quick look at your own blog today. Very expressive, on quick perusal. Of course, you ladies have an advantage over us fellas. Something to do with the two halves of your brain working in perfect harmony. But the semi-autistic male brain is (arguably) better at original thought. My daughter, who's a highly qualified medic', would vehemently disagree with the latter point, I'm sure, while probably agreeing heartily with the semi-autistic bit.

At October 06, 2006 11:58 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Colin, me old mate: Given that there's not really a topic under discussion right now, I feel less guilty about going off-topic and asking a totally self-serving question: Is it possible (and are you willing) to link from this blog? I've just put a website up (with not only a link to Salut! but a picture of you & Joelle in the body of the site) and I'll take whatever exposure I can get for it.
http://web.mac.com/billtaylor2 isn't the sexiest of URLs but it's very much a work-in-progress at the moment. I'll worry about a "domain" (or whatever you call them) later.

At October 07, 2006 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colin B, well in the context of a psychotherapy clinic, people talk their problems through in order to diffuse them and find solutions. So I am referring to problems 'inside' which once brought 'out' can be dealt with and resolved.

Thanks for perusing my blog and your kind words. I would not disagree with your assessment of the male brain, in general, as opposed to the female one. Men are good at coming up with ideas, and women are good at clearing up the mess... :D

At October 07, 2006 10:01 AM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

Suggested words for that brass plate:

Joan Dawson (qualifications)

Specialist in Mood Enhancement Therapy

I think Joan should distance herself from clinical psychiatry (which is still seen as a no-go area for many of us Brits, not wishing to be stigmatised etc). Instead, she should align herself more with the burgeoning field of cosmetic surgery etc. But in this case it's the psyche and personality that are being manicured and enhanced.

(And to think that just yesterday I was resolving not to get drawn into discussing an issue that to traditionalists like myself smacks just a little bit perhaps of Americanised self-promotion !)

At October 07, 2006 10:22 AM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

Or simply:

Joan Dawson etc

At October 07, 2006 8:14 PM, Blogger Beachhutman said...

Here via PA too.
One of the finest views in Yorkshire is coming over the south side of Swaledale from Leyburn, and seeing Reeth and the valley opening up in front of you.

At October 07, 2006 8:17 PM, Blogger Beachhutman said...

I reckon in the current idiom "We're Not Shrinks"

At October 09, 2006 1:42 PM, Blogger Joan Dawson said...

Hello Colin and everyone,

Glad to see you are up and running so quickly with your own blog .. I like the name very much. Not sure how / when we came up with it but it works.

To everyone .. thanks for all the interesting ideas for names for my practice. In between the lovely walk in Swaledale and a good one around the Denes of East Durham yesterday we came up with the startling name of
- North East Counselling and Psychotherapy (2 of us are setting up the practice so hopefully it's not too grandiose). It's uimaginative and unambiguous - but has the seriousness of the simple brass plaque (I agree with you on that Sarah). We may change it later.

And thanks Bill for discovering the extent of my training - 5 and a half years and my life savings feels like a serious commitment (how do you do wry smiles in a blog?)


At October 09, 2006 1:49 PM, Blogger Joan Dawson said...

Sorry - just spotted it was Colin not Bill who checked out my qualifications ... trying to go too fast here

At October 09, 2006 2:42 PM, Blogger Colin Berry said...

Glad you've got that sorted, Joan. A traditionalist after my own heart (despite a little wobble through trying to empathise with Sarah). Listen, there's someone who's been frequenting Colin's blogs even longer than me. I think he could use your help. You see, it's like this: he's convinced that he's a Rottweiler. Do you by any chance accept Canadian dollars by way of payment ?

At October 10, 2006 11:16 AM, Blogger Joan Dawson said...


Canadian dollars are fine though he might have trouble getting to the appointments. Especially with our strict quarantine regulations...

At October 10, 2006 2:39 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

You're showing bias, Joan. Bad thing in a psychotherapist, surely. Anyway, contrary to popular belief, I don't bite and I've had all my shots. I'm a Sunderland fan, too -- though slightly less rabid than Colin Randall.

At October 13, 2006 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wore a Darlington United scarf to school in the 6th form because a)it was cold in school, and b)it is black and white and fitted in with school uniform quite cosily, I thought. It was not official school uniform, however, and I did, naturally get pulled up for it. I even had to remove it in the end despite my warnings of imminent pneumonia which went unheeded, cruelly.
Those were the days. Rebellion amounted to a skirt that was a couple of inches too long, and a football scarf. :)


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