08 March 2011

Looks peaceful, but...

Yesterday afternoon Walt looked out the front window and saw Bertie sunning himself at the base of a tree. He told me to take a look, and I did, from an upstairs window. I took more than a look — I took pictures.

Two views of Bertie basking in the sun out front

It looks like a very peaceful scene, doesn't it? The cat with his black coat soaking up the afternoon sunshine. Warming his winter-chilled bones. Stretching and snoozing.

« Le repos du guerrier »

Problem is, the cat had been in another bad fight. It turned out he had a bloody gash in his neck and a patch of fur missing off one of his legs. He continues to be a fighter.

Il dort à poings fermés — sleeping like a baby.

Anyway, there you have it. What are we going to do with him?

Big news in France right now: the price of gasoline or diesel fuel for your car has skyrocketed. I did all the calculations to convert from euros to dollars and liters to U.S. gallons, and it comes out like this:
  • Diesel fuel — our little Peugeot has a diesel engine — is going for an average of 1.35 € per liter, which comes to about $7.15 U.S. per gallon. (More diesel fuel than gasoline is sold in France.)
  • Gasoline is even more: 1.50 to 1.55 € per liter, or between $8.00 and 9.00 per gallon, depending on whether your car uses premium or regular gas.
Other news that's stirring things up right now is the publication of a series of polls showing that the ultra-right-wing Front National presidential candidate, a woman named Marie Le Pen, is leading the pack for the 2012 French presidential election.

Current president Nicolas Sarkozy runs either in second or third place, depending on which candidate is representing the socialist party. The socialist with the highest numbers, running behind Le Pen but ahead of Sarkozy, is Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is president of the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.

Unless he surprises everybody by standing down, Sarkozy will be a candidate. Le Pen also. The the socialists will go through a primary process this summer to choose their 2012 presidential candidate.

Of course, it's very early in the election cycle, and things will change. And probably change again, before the election a year from now.


  1. I'm going to try and make my half a tank of gas last as long as possible!

  2. Where was Callie?

    Car fuel prices have also risen in the UK, diesel isabout £1.40.

    We rely on oil for our central heating. In October I paid 46p per litre and last week it was 65p which is an enormous % increase. I'm hoping we have enough fioul oil in France to see us through this current spike.

    What are they like in the US?

  3. Hello Gaynor, Callie was in the house while Bertie lay under the tree. I just checked on the web and I see that gasoline is selling for between $3.49 and $3.89 in my town in North Carolina. So less than half what it costs in France.

  4. Yup, Ken, those are the prices we're seeing here... though in California and New York, I think they're up to $4/gallon or more for regular. It feels shocking to us, but certainly is nothing like your prices over there!


  5. Wonder what shape Bertie's
    opponent is in. Some neighbor
    is probably looking at their
    cat and also thinking "what
    are we going to do with him?"

  6. About$3.75 here for regular...don't know about diesel or heating oil

  7. An old children's song:

    Bon voyage, Monsieur Dumollet
    A Morehead City [St-Malo] débarquez sans naufrage,
    Bon voyage, Monsieur Dumollet,
    Et revenez si le pays vous plaît.


  8. beautiful Bertie - I guess he is still trying to mark his territory.
    On the politics/poll area, the wife -Anne Sinclair- of DSK caused an avalanche of buzz in the news (TV and newspapers) when she came out against Sarkozy wrt "le débat sur l'Islam de France'. Along the way she attracted quite a few from the right to her blog and since yesterday , some have been posting and commenting about those polls.

    Bon Voyage and enjoy your stay with your family.

  9. Le Pen? Oh dear. I'm no fan of Sarko, but a le Pen would be epouvantable IMO.

    Apparently the ECB is planning to hike rates 0.25%, per Trichet's last speech. That should up the euro a bit, because the Fed certainly can't raise rates.

    Those gas prices are shocking! It might be cheaper to have a car that runs on wine.

  10. OMGoodness-- I was watching something with Le Pen before leaving France.. SHOOT! You know, I had NO IDEA of her following.. Are you SERIOUS b/c the extreme right will NOT be good for France!!!
    Not that Sarko has been great- but he hasn't been really dreadful... I kind of hope the socialists get it... We'll see..
    I don't know if I'll be a citizen before the election-- Shoot-- I gotta get my papers in order but I don't think it will happen before 2012~~
    Thanks for posting this info.. I can't BELIEVE how much gas has gone up in France!!
    Take care, Leesa

  11. Oh yeh.. Sorry to hear about Bertie being in another fight.. Zut!

  12. You guys should know by now that the Front National always does extremely well in the months leading up to the elections, and then doesn't even come close to winning. Madame Le Pen is too much like her father to be taken as a serious contender.

  13. Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine's father, was the FN candidate in 2002 and he beat the socialist candidate to get into the second-round run-off with Chirac. So the FN can play a decisive role, even if Le Pen doesn't get elected. That's the point: she might eliminate Sarkozy, or one of the socialist candidates in the first round.

  14. Les Français ont le cœur à gauche et le porte-feuille à droite! MDR

    French people's heart is on the left, but their pocketbook is on the right! LOL

  15. Poor Bertie. Still he looked pretty peaceful recovering in the sunshine.
    The biggest problem is checking him to make sure that none of his injuries develop abcesses. That happened to Rose a few months back. Involved an expensive vet trip.
    A couple of weeks ago we had a big brush tail possum come right up to our back door and attack the Rose cat, so she's not the happiest either. Give Bertie a gentle pat from me.(Better give Callie one too)

  16. Poor Bertie. Our cat Mac is the same way. I clean him up and put antibiotic ointment on the wounds, and it helps us avoid trips to the vet.

    Have a great trip to see your family, Ken. xo


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