old salut!

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

November 10, 2006

Now for something completely different

This site has now moved to Salut!

Everybody is on their honour to behave over the weekend.

The internet access problems that, for various reasons, have dogged me since the end of August make daily blogging extremely difficult to fit in around everything else.

The Starbucks option recommended by one reader seems to be no more, at least at those I have tried in central Paris.

For the price of a coffee, I can pop into a neighbouring brasserie and log on for half an hour. But that's essentially a first-thing opportunity. They wouldn't thank me for spreading myself and a single coffee over a whole table once lunch and afternoon/evening customers begin to arrive.

Internet cafes seem to be getting more and more expensive and, in any case, involve a Métro trip or longish walk.

This weekend is unlikely to offer many free moments to wander off on a blogging mission, and I have become reluctant to resort to moderation. So I have decided to trust you again; the chatroom tendency is fine by me, provided I am not expected to have an opinion on every topic that comes up (having said that, I wouldn't hang Saddam either, monstrous a man though he is).

Back Monday, give or take unexpected access - like just now, when I had long enough to expel the Make Extra Money spammer again.

In the meantime, can anyone remember whether the story of the redundant coalminer who became a dressmaker was just that, a story for a song or a play, or actually happened in real life?

The question arises not because I am a frustrated seamstress or fashion designer but because I discovered recently that the National Union of Journalists has deals with employers for retraining packages. This got me wondering about eccentric career changes.

Dressmaking may be out for me, as are such jobs as male model, tap dancer and brain surgeon, but there are lots of other things I could, with a spot of tuition, turn my hands to.

A friend who has taught all his life would dearly love to run the buffet trolley on a train in the English Lake District. People with decades of work in drab offices long for something that gives them an outdoor life. One (female) journalist went on a home plumbing course, another became a barrister.

Then there's the man I know in the south of France. He makes his living repairing and maintaining swimming pools but thinks he'd quite like to reinvent himself as a Madame Pipi, one of those ladies whose days are spent sitting outside public lavatories collecting not only a steady wage but also a stream of tips.

He even knows where he wishes to ply this new trade - the Eiffel Tower, because he's heard conditions of work there are especially agreeable.

Come to think of it, I haven't seen him for a while. And whereas I have been often enough in the Var, I haven't been inside the tower in ages.

This site has now moved to Salut!

42 Comments:

At November 10, 2006 5:48 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Butcher's boy to journalist is a bit of an incongruous career change, wouldn't you say?

 
At November 10, 2006 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less strange than the other way round.

 
At November 10, 2006 7:10 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

This just in -- a new Gettliffe development:

VANCOUVER (CP) — A B.C. Supreme Court judge has rejected the Crown’s request for a psychiatric assessment of a French woman convicted of abducting her two kids.
Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg says there is no evidence to justify such an exam, and calls it a “profound invasion of a person’s privacy.”
Prosecutors wanted the assessment before sentencing to determine whether Nathalie Gettliffe posed a risk of kidnapping the children again.
The defence argued that irrational acts do not mean a person is mentally ill.
A date for a sentencing hearing has not been determined.

 
At November 10, 2006 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had come to the conclusion I'd like to be a profiler or something along psychologist lines, but malheureusement I'm too old as the training is 7years at least, and way too pricey, and I'd have to move, boys, blah blah blah. So I stick with pushing paper in my cosy little job.

A friend of mine is becoming a nutritionist having been a computer programmer and another has given up teaching to become a potter.

NG took up painting at retirement, and I try to fit in writing in the 5 minutes I have free once every six months.

How about teaching, Colin? If you are any good at maths or physics schools will be falling over themselves to offer you a job.

 
At November 10, 2006 11:15 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I fear lack of academic credentials may preclude a pedagogic job for Colin, who entered journalism back in the days when the sole criterion was basic literacy. The fact that over the ensuing decades he's become far better educated than your average college grad, MA or even PhD means nothing in today's world without the requisite bits of paper. Autodidacts, alas, need not apply.

 
At November 10, 2006 11:45 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

The finale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bill Taylor.
Who of us could take a single word of your writing and swallow the diet you feed us.Your arrogance is beyond belief.
Look at Colin Berry's blog.
There is a lot of pain in achieving academic laurels.
With the associated near poverty that existed in Great Britain in his time you have no honour in your diatribe.
Do know the plural of anonymous?


Your next post should be a 250 word of apology to Colin Berry.

The post following that should be an apology to the rest of us for the graceless,obtuse rebukes you have written in the name of this blog.

 
At November 11, 2006 12:48 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Do you mean obtuse as in an angle between 90 and 180 degrees or a leaf shape, rounded at the apex?
I'll apologize for ANYTHING as long I don't have to look at Colin Berry's blog.

 
At November 11, 2006 8:38 AM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Bill I have to say I agree with Anne. Antibes' blog is exciting stuff. An autodidact like me has to find knowledge where he can. I wouldn't miss an instalment of his exciting, penetrating, humoristic, precise, informed, analytical, knowledgeable posts.

 
At November 11, 2006 12:21 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Guten morgen SH.

Professor Orleans has devised a scheme.
To draw our attention away from Dreams....
If he can compete with his cryptic letter.
Bill has the answer as he always knows better.

 
At November 11, 2006 3:39 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Just to continue with the fascinating blog of Antibes. He drew our attention to the oppenheimer article which I have now had time to read. It doesn’t say that the British are a separate non Caucasian race, but it does say that the British have a genome which predates the modern European one. Essentially the Brits were cut off 15000 years ago when the land bridge to Europe was flooded and they have barely evolved since. Incredible, the British population is a living prehistoric vestige. The concern I have is that with modern communications this valuable relic risks to be rapidly destroyed, is there not a need to create a special biological diversity zone and cut it off from contact with the rest of the world? This is an urgent matter for Brussels.

 
At November 11, 2006 4:50 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

An urgent matter it seems.
Is the letter to Dreams.
Resiled to be written?
In case it gets bitten?
Epideictic retorts are a waste of time.
250 words,keep on tryin.

 
At November 11, 2006 9:40 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Starting with a campaign to close the Channel Tunnel, Richard, or is that too little, too late?

 
At November 12, 2006 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

".... but it does say that the British have a genome which predates the modern European one.......and they have barely evolved since. Incredible, the British population is a living prehistoric vestige."

Richard, I know you don't expect us to take your every word seriously, and that tongue may be planted firmly in cheek. But surely even you realise that genetics, especially human genetics, can be an emotive subject, and is not a subject to play with carelessly.

What you apparently fail to realise is that Oppenheimer's ability to trace our genetic roots depends on the existence in the cell of a tiny part of the total DNA that might be described as "ancestral", because it has survived unchanged through thousands of generations. In the male it is the DNA of the Y chromosome, just one of 46 in the cell. In the female, it is the mitochondrial DNA, which is not even part of the 46 nuclear chromosomes.

The rest of the DNA - the vast majority - is dynamic, undergoing genetic recombination with each new generation. The process of forming sex cells and new embryos produces unique individuals, like Richard of Orléans for example, and huge diversity within each society (for better or for worse). So the average British genome is every bit as modern as your average Continental one.

Once again you have been failed to do your homework, Richard, and given us glibness in place of a well-informed opinion.

 
At November 12, 2006 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conflict of interest: I am Colin Berry's daughter and proud of it

Given that my father has spent the last twenty five or so years sitting through my interminable school plays and out of tune concerts, I thought it was about time I took an interest in his hobbies (or at least feigned interest). I had heard a lot about this blogging thing but never read any of it.
I typed his name into Google, and unfortunately instead of finding his own blog straight away got directed to Colin Randall's blog. It is not the author's pieces but the visitors' comments that concern me. I am horrified by what I have just read. What vile, unjustified nonsense from several people who I assume are old enough to know better. Disagreeing with someone's point of view is one thing; descending to this level of abuse is quite another. A little fresh air and brisk exercise will do you all good (that includes you, dad). As a child I was told off for spending too much time on the computer. The circle of life is a funny old thing.

 
At November 12, 2006 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conflict of interest: I am Colin Berry's daughter and proud of it

Given that my father has spent the last twenty five or so years sitting through my interminable school plays and out of tune concerts, I thought it was about time I took an interest in his hobbies (or at least feigned interest). I had heard a lot about this blogging thing but never read any of it.

I typed his name into Google, and unfortunately instead of finding his own blog straight away got directed to Colin Randall's blog. It is not the author's pieces but the visitors' comments that concern me. I am horrified by what I have just read - here and some earlier topics. What vile, unjustified nonsense from several people who I assume are old enough to know better. Disagreeing with someone's point of view is one thing; descending to this level of abuse is quite another. A little fresh air and brisk exercise will do you all good (that includes you, dad). As a child I was told off for spending too much time on the computer. The circle of life is a funny old thing.

Miriam Berry

 
At November 12, 2006 11:14 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Antibes please I am not a scientist and only go on what I pick up, please be patient. From my limited knowledge this is what I understand. What the finding says is that the British gene pool has been cut off from the Euro/Asian/African land mass for the last 15000 years. Yes you are right the British gene pool has evolved, in isolation, over the intervening years. Now I believe that the process of evolution is not fully understood but it is thought that it is composed of random mutations of the DNA with the selection of advantageous mutations through the process of survival of the fittest. Statistical probability suggests that the limited gene pool in the UK would have allowed for only limited evolution since the number of events (meiosis) when mutations could occur were much less due to the small population size.

Another finding has been that isolated communities, through evolution, tend to regress. The competition between individuals is lesser and hence the need for refined tools (tusks, muscle, bright colours etc.) to survive is no longer required. An often cited example is the mammoths which survived on a Russian island long after the disappearance of this species on the mainland. They steadily became smaller in size. Of course the organ through which Homo sapiens has achieved competitive advantage is the brain. A reasonable hypothesis would therefore be that versus premodern European Homo sapiens, modern continental Europeans have continued to augment their mental capacity whereas the modern British would demonstrate a very small regression. I think this hypothesis is born about by circumstantial evidence.

My original statement that the British population represents a living prehistoric vestige is therefore substantially true. The qualifications to this finding are the small regression mentioned above and the inclusion of a small amount of modern European DNA through the Angles, Saxons, Normans etc.

As we know, (cf Australian flora and fauna) organisms living in geographic isolation suddenly confronted with competition from organisms from the Euro/Asian/African land mass are extremely prone to extinction. In order to preserve this interesting biological relic all contact with other homo sapiens needs to be forbidden. Tunnel, plane, boat.

It therefore seems that your original statement that the British are not of the Caucasian race may be justified. To hypothesise that the British have a genome close to that which predates the modern continental European genome is not a value judgement. An organism’s genetic make up is adapted to the ecological niche in which it lives. Rats in sewers, Brits on damp soggy isles.

 
At November 12, 2006 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

25 years is a long time to be doing school plays and tuneless concerts, Miriam. You must have been a very slow learner.

It's shabby of you to say you only feign an interest in your father's hobbies.

 
At November 13, 2006 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lochinvar Frog" is a new name on this site, and so far has only one Profile visit - mine. So it's someone, probably a regular on this site, who wishes to remain anonymous and has quickly made up a new pseudonym. That's OK - I'm anonymous as well. Difference is that Lochinvar Frog equates roughly with Scottish/French. In other words, an attempt, mischievous and unhelpful, to muddy waters. As Miriam says, there are some questionable characters on this site - and that's putting it mildly.

 
At November 13, 2006 12:18 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

What do the numbers mean in the profile views?

 
At November 13, 2006 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anne. Unless you post to this blog as "Anonymous", as I am, then your name appears in blue. Clicking on the blue brings up the Profile, with a number, showing how many have clicked, including yourself. When I clicked on Lochinvar, the number was 1. So I was the first to click. In other words, Lochinvar was recently, probably newly invented.

 
At November 13, 2006 12:27 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Clicking on the blue brings up th profile,,,,,,,,I did that.

With a number showing how many have clocked,,,,,,I don't understand.

 
At November 13, 2006 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just clicked on Anne Gilbert (in blue). It shows 12. In other words, 11 people before me have been sufficiently interested in this Anne to want to know more about her. 11 is quite a lot, so chances are that Anne has been around for a while. But when I clicked on Lochinvar, it showed I was the first visit - in other words a newly invented pseudonym, or a deeply boring individual. There have now been 3 clicks on Lochinvar, but they have all been in the last 20 minutes or so. Still a deeply forgettable individual.

 
At November 13, 2006 12:40 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Thanks for lesson.Got it clear now.

What does Lochinvar frog imply?I don't understand that one.

 
At November 13, 2006 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think someone is trying to pretend that he is SH, who says he/she is a Scot, and is someone who has some kind of French connection.

But I doubt it somehow. Are you reading this SH ? Am I right in thinking that this Lochinvar character is trying to steal your identity ?

I have no difficulty with folk wishing to be anonymous. Identity theft (even if done in a clever clever fashion) is something else.

 
At November 13, 2006 12:55 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

I looked it up.
Lochinvar loch .Scotland of course.
So we have a frog in the loch ;webbed feet and croaking.
I had to read Sir Walter Scott's poem Lochinvar .Much fun,right up there with anne's stuff.
The Miriam business has the same anxiety and pace as Colin B.
That's DNA for you.

 
At November 13, 2006 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And there's now 24 on your Profile, Anne. That gives you an idea of how many folk are following this thread, and have done as suggested .....

 
At November 13, 2006 1:25 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Right.

Now for a poem for the evening.

Amphibian frog up there in your loch.
How is the water at this time of clock.
Your strokes so agile,webbed feet are your prize.
You swim ever so gracefully before our eyes.
Come rest on a stone and give us a chat.
We'll hear by your croak that you'd like to do that.

 
At November 13, 2006 1:43 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

No croak yet?

Has swum off to chat with the others ;uurp uurp uurp.
Then the water symphony will begin and enthrall us all.

 
At November 13, 2006 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, while we wait for Bill Taylor to croak, I'd just like to say that I'm taking my daughter's advice, and taking my leave from this site for good.

The last straw for me was reading the following in R/O's last post:

"It therefore seems that your original statement that the British are not of the Caucasian race may be justified."

At no time have I ever used the term "Caucasian race ." For R/O to suggest that I have shows this man will stop at nothing in his attempt to stitch people up. Contemptible ! Truly contemptible!

I bid you all a final farewell.

 
At November 13, 2006 1:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Questions worth raising.

Is identity theft worse than staying anonymous?

Could Colin Berry have stolen Miriam's identity? Anne is right. They speak with the same voice. DNA or daughter being used?

Do Lochinvar Frog and SH share the same identity? I can answer that question.

No.

Muddy Waters? A blues singer.

A poem for the evening, Anne? How about a song? From the first world war trenches, a good choice for Remembrance Sunday.

Wash me in the water where you washed your dirty daughter

And I shall be whiter than the whitewash on the wall.

 
At November 13, 2006 2:05 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Lochinvar frog.

I'll stay by my poem.
I didn't like your song.

On reading Colin's post ,I'm sorrowful.
If you understand,I'll go for awhile myself.

'Till another time.

 
At November 13, 2006 2:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Taylor, Colin? Your nemesis. One of them. But no, he's not me either.

Have you thought that maybe "I" am really "Miriam?" Unless it's you that's really "Miriam."

Something to sleep on.

Bon nuit. Beau reves. An' will ye no' come back again?

 
At November 13, 2006 9:19 AM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Antibes You don't have much patience with the uneducated. Strange for a scientist teacher. You did imply that I was a racist (blog etiquette?). Which I refuted by saying that the British were of the same race as continental Europeans, 'indistiguishable genetically' from continental europeans. Which I accept is not scientifically exact language because only identical twins are truly indistinguisable genetically. I could have said that the British have a genome which shows an X correlation to the average European genome, which I believe would be very high. You took advantage of this point to indicate that I know nothing about anything (which I don't refute) and quoted the Oppenheimer article. It is reasonable to conclude that your argument was that the British are sufficiently genetically distinguishable to constitue a separate race otherwise why would you have contested my statement so virulently. Continental Europeans de souche are caucasians therefore on following your logic the British are non caucasian.

I agree with Miriam, I was horrified by the hautaine and mocking comments about French politics which we saw on this blog. Some by her Dad incidentally.

 
At November 13, 2006 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colin Berry's blog is like popularising of Oppenhiemer's theories. It's all about our supposed Basque origins. The key words are language, culture, migration.

It is Richard of Orleans who has brought in words or references such as race, Caucasian, mutation, evolutionary development etc. This does look like an attempt to shift the debate onto minefield territory. I can see why Colin Berry now wants out, and has hot-footed it back to his own gentler blog.

 
At November 13, 2006 10:05 AM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Incorrect anonymous. Antibes brought in 'raciste' as a description of my goodself and it all flowed from there.

 
At November 13, 2006 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have only been following this blog a short time, Richard, so may have missed something. The only recent reference I can find to you're being called "raciste" is this from Colin Berry;

But I also believe R/O should drop his anti-Brit thing, which is so highly xenophobic in the way he expresses it, as to be essentially racist. Being ethnically a Brit himself (or so I understand) is no defence.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 8:04:10 AM

He said your remarks were verging on racism, which is not quite the same as branding someone as "raciste".

Or does "raciste" mean something different from plain old English "racist" ?

 
At November 13, 2006 10:33 AM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Anonymous sorry for the spelling mistake. No it was not 'verging on racism' it was 'essentially racist'. Now I am not that educated, but it seems to me that I can read the phrase as meaning 'I am of the essence, a racist' Maybe I was oversensitive, and maybe some philologist will tell me that being 'a racist' and 'being essentially racist' have totally different meanings. But it seems to me that I had every right to defend myself from being called a racist.

 
At November 13, 2006 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be mistaken, Richard, but I think it was just your views on your fellow Britons that were described as essentially racist.
It's not as if you had been talking about African or Asian immigrants or whatever where "racist" has a much uglier ring to it.

Even where coloured immigrants are concerned, it is not unusual to hear people, even one's nicest friends, ocassionally express a racist view. That does not necessarily make them racist, in the sense that they would go and vote for the BNP. A lot depends on whether the percieved differences becomes an obsession and start to colour and dominate their entire conversation.

 
At November 13, 2006 12:38 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

OK I won't beat this thing to death. 'Raciste' is a pretty strong term. Maybe during my absence from England 'racist' has become a general term of endearment. If that's the case I apologise.

 
At November 13, 2006 11:44 PM, Anonymous lochinvar frog said...

I may be anonymous but at least I have a name. This is too confusing for words. Who can tell you all apart?

Even poor Anne Gilbert has given up.

 
At November 14, 2006 9:24 PM, Anonymous Lochinvar Frog said...

More identity theft. The last Lochinvar Frog to post was not me.

But I think the last anonymous to post was Colin Berry. A certain tone to the posts. His body odour. And he's done more farewell tours than The Who.

 
At November 14, 2006 9:54 PM, Anonymous lochinvar frog said...

I may be anonymous but at least I have a name. More identity theft. This is too confusing for words. The last Lochinvar Frog to post was not me. Who can tell you all apart? But I think the last anonymous to post was Colin Berry. Even poor Anne Gilbert has given up. A certain tone to the posts. His body odour. I may be anonymous but at least I have a name. And he's done more farewell tours than The Who. More identity theft.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home