old salut!

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

December 21, 2006

Var humbug? Not likely. Joyeux Noël à tous

This site has now moved to Salut!

Over the coming days, I may need to beg a large degree of patience and understanding from Salut!'s faithful followers and casual visitors.

It is not that the blog's management has decided to give me Christmas off in recognition of the long, unpaid hours of labour since the blog's launch in October. Nor is it awarding an end-of-year bonus for all that willingness to embrace new ways, new technology.

The plea of poverty is not quite the whole story in any case. In truth, I am excitedly awaiting my first payment for your clicks on targeted advertisements. There is reason to believe that the figure may well stretch beyond cents into dollars (though in low single figures).

But leave aside Christmas, arrival of daughters, family visit to Le Mans and even - on the box tomorrow - Crystal Palace vs my beloved under-achievers Sunderland.

There is the imminent move to consider.

This time next week, we shall be hitting the road in our elderly, sans clim' BMW and exchanging the famous room with a view over the Tuileries for a home from which you can see, beyond the rooftops of other houses, for miles across the hills of the Var.

Monette, accustomed to a swish, mollycoddled life as a Parisian chat d'intérieur, will have to learn about the outside world. And about other cats. We'll have to see how the geraniums get on without polluted Parisian air.

Before the removal men arrive, there are a million cardboard boxes still to fill with CDs, books, files, clothes and whatever. A mail redirection form to fill in. Change of address cards to send; "no, sir, we don't sell them, they're found uniquement à la Poste," I was told in a stationery shop though la Poste insisted they'd stopped stocking them ages ago.

If I get the chance, I will blog, but it would be unwise to make too many promises. For now, then, allow me simply to wish all my readers, supporters and critics alike, a fine festive season.

In particular, I hope that Nathalie Gettliffe is able to derive some enjoyment from her short spell of freedom, granted smartish - and rightly, of course - very soon after her repatriation to France.

She has to return to prison after Christmas, pending legal moves to obtain a more permanent release.

But as one who does not consider that French justice always works as it should, I am delighted to applaud the judge who reached the sort of compassionate decision that seemed beyond the thinking of Canadian counterparts.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of scope for comment in recent postings and the responses received so far, so don't ignore croissants, culottes, Diana and the forever growing France in Flashes.

Meanwhile, Salut! has notched up two notable new achievements this week: the total hits passed 20,000 and profile visits 1,500. That, in two-and-a-half months, isn't bad for a blog described here recently as dying the death.

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This site has now moved to Salut!


At December 21, 2006 3:13 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Dear little Hippo who's away from his patch.
Hopes to land at Richard's blog without a scratch.
As time is important at this time of the year.
He'll send his greeting from the Flight of Good Cheer.
To Salut,Colin Randall ,his family and cat.
Merry Christmas to you all at the Paris flat.
May your journey be pleasant,may your days you enjoy.
May the Spirit of Christmas be Hippo's envoy.

At December 21, 2006 3:22 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Colin Berry, shredded-wheat scientist extraordinaire (or so he'd have us believe) can only dream of dying such a death! His recent prediction of Salut!'s demise was nothing more than unseasonable and uncharitable wishful thinking. I'll bet Louise's new blog is kicking his rear end, too, in terms of posts and visits.
Lord and la Poste only know if our Christmas card has or will reach you but you & Joelle (and Monette) have been and will continue to be in our thoughts. Lesley and I will raise a midnight glass of champagne to you in Rome as the year changes. And next year? Like Sunderland -- onward and upward! We'll hope to see you, either in Toronto or the Var.

At December 21, 2006 5:29 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Tons of luck with moving - it is soooo stressful! Don't worry about Monette - my first cat was a town cat and took to the country immediately and is steadfastly destroying the ecosystem in Switzerland!
I hope your girls manage to get over if they are flying - it doesn't look like much fun in Heathrow at the moment.

I hope you all have a lovely, peaceful Christmas and a wonderful celebration in your new home in the Var at New Year - although you will probably be in bed at 9pm, totally shattered after the move!

At December 21, 2006 7:25 PM, Blogger roadsofstone said...

The very best of luck with your move, Colin.

I must have missed that detail that you are a Sunderland supporter, but as a lifelong West Ham fan, you have my deepest sympathy.

The slings and arrows of fate (and sadly of Mr Gerrard's boot) surely make up the reality of true football dedication and are all too familiar here as well.

Happy Christmas, and may an appropriately festive collection of 3-pointers emerge from the Stadium of Light to cheer you on your way from the ville de lumière.

If West Ham can miraculously beat Man Utd, then surely anything in life is possible, after all ... - Roads.

At December 21, 2006 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Louise of the Alps has been addressed.
Below on "croissant" to an honourable quest.
Support for her progress can be offered by post.
Please ensure that she has yours,instead her being toast.

At December 21, 2006 9:55 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

NEWS FLASH. Nathalie Getliffe will be flying from Canada to France this night. Arriving Charles de Gaulle Friday morning. She is transiting through Toronto in order to pick up a message from Bill which will later be handed over to Colin. (LeFigaro)

At December 21, 2006 10:37 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Forgive my passion for anagrams, roadsofstone, but you just know that West Ham United very easily becomes Wet Mash Untied! There are, oddly enough, very few anagrams for Sunderland. May the Mackems go up and the Hammers stay up. Let's see Newcastle take a fall, instead.
How ironic, Richard -- la belle Nathalie is arriving in Paris just as Colin is preparing to leave. May 2007 be utterly Gettliffe-free.
Meanwhile, I finally feel as if Christmas has begun. I'm just in from a protracted lunch with a very dear friend at my favourite, Parisian-owned, bistro: Mushroom soup, steak frites and mousse au chocolat with a glass of champagne to start, then a lovely 2003 Gigondas, a glass of Sauternes and, with le Patron, a 1980 armagnac. God (whoever he or she may be) bless us, everyone.

At December 21, 2006 11:27 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

PS -- I'm delighted to hear of your financial success with the commercial side of blogging, Colin, though a little surprised that you're reckoning up your profits in dollars rather than euros.
What I really want to know, though, is who's been clicking on the underwear ads that kept appearing? A certain hippo-crite, I suspect.

At December 22, 2006 1:36 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At December 22, 2006 1:37 AM, Blogger Robert Marchenoir said...

Nice cat.

(Minimal comment.)

At December 22, 2006 1:55 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

A late nighter again Mr.Marchenoir.

Here is to wishing you a merrie good christmas and pleasant seasons holidays.Hope you're celebrating and will be singing carols somewhere.

anne gilbert

At December 22, 2006 11:04 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Colin, last I heard, you could still get the change of address cards, but you have to pay for them. It's easier and cheaper to do this by email...

La Poste also has a moving service on the internet too for mail, Secu, Impots and so on.

Best wishes for a lovely last resident Parisian Christmas with your family and cat. I hope the move goes well even though it's bound to be a ghastly experience.

At December 22, 2006 11:10 AM, Blogger roadsofstone said...

Wet Mash Untied - that sums it all up, for any West Ham supporter.

Gigondas is one of my favourites, too (allegedly it washes down those jellied eels perfectly).

And what a great setting for a vineyard, just under those geologically spectacular Dentelles de Montmirail. Hmmm - thinks - I wonder if there's still space on Eurostar, right now ...

At December 22, 2006 2:49 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

As a Black Cats fan (though nowhere near as rabid...I mean passionate as Colin) I'm used to looking through deeply rose-tinted glasses. But it always seems to me that teams such as ours, Roads, are often more entertaining to watch than the Chelseas and Man. Uniteds who can afford to buy their victories.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

At December 22, 2006 4:54 PM, Blogger roadsofstone said...

I suppose it depends on what one would call entertaining, Bill. And if that includes getting drubbed 4-0 by Bolton at home, then I do know exactly what you mean.

I am still frequently regaled by an old friend of mine with tales of agony (sorry, Colin) from Sunderland's nightmare penalty shoot-out defeat in the playoff finals a few years ago. Just like West Ham's experience of Cardiff last May.

Supporting a team like yours or mine takes real devotion (or stupidity, I guess). We live experiences which other the lightweight fans of the likes of Man U and Chelsea can only dream of (in their nightmares).

I could almost feel a Fever Pitch moment coming on here, if only Arsenal hadn't so terribly spoiled it all for Nick Hornby by playing so much better, ever since he wrote that book.

Anyway, I'll happily leave you for Christmas with the thought that there's only one team in Larn-den (not the Gooners, by the way), and meanwhile quiety add you to my long list of miserably suffering Black Cats supporters.

Season's greetings to Toronto - one of my favourite cities, by the way - Roads

At December 22, 2006 5:12 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

Discerning, not rabid, Bill. I bet I am not even the only Sunderland season ticket holder living in Paris, however rarely I am able to use it. But I suspect I may be about to become the first one in the Var. My New Year's Eve choice, as Bill knows, was Rome or Sunderland. In the end, I couldn't do either but - if you leave aside reacquaintaince with great friends - what a close run thing.

At December 22, 2006 6:14 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

As loyal Sunderland supporters one would expect you to deplore the destruction of the English premier league. The English laisser faire attitude results in 75% (includung Sunderland) of the clubs knowing they are only makeweights. Now Ipswich hits the headlines for the trading of flesh, never again for the Blues. Time to swallow your pride and call for some French interventionism, no? Or since the press lead in the flashing of the chequebook do you feel some affinity with chequebook football?

At December 22, 2006 6:25 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

This is no time to be talking about football. Associated Press has just this minute reported a world shortage of frankincense. If the second incarnation of Christ is nearing birth in a stable somewhere, what are the magi bringing? Gold, myrrh and an iPod?

At December 22, 2006 7:14 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

I smell a fish, rather than incense. They are putting it about that the shortage comes from too many taps. Impossible.

At December 23, 2006 3:22 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

A bit of a sneaky, belated Gettliffe addendum there, wasn't it, Colin? And do you really think the Canadian justice system didn't realize she'd be freed as soon as she reached France? It was all part of the deal, I'm sure. I don't know if you've ever been to Canada -- I know you've visited the States several times, which is a very different thing -- but there is a genuine compassion and respect for humanity at work here. You have done us a continued injustice in your uncharacteristically biased coverage of the Nathalie Gettliffe case. I wonder what you'll have to say if the unthinkable happens and the "pending legal moves" DON'T obtain a more permanent release....

At December 23, 2006 1:09 PM, Blogger Robert Marchenoir said...

Actually, Anne Gilbert, 1.30 am is rather early for me. A very happy and poetic Christmas to you too...


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