29 November 2011

Didn't get the memo

Some times there's an individual who refuses to buckle under. To face reality. To go with the flow. It happens with people, and it happens with plants.

This grapevine didn't get the memo,
or forgot to check the calendar.

There aren't many leaves left in the vineyard at this point. But the fact is, it hasn't turned cold yet. I think the weather gods in general forgot we are now at the end of November.

Late November 2010 — so different from 2011

If the weather does suddenly turn cold or snowy — as it did last year at this time — it will come as quite a shock. The plants below will be shocked, for sure.

Renegade leaves and flowers in the 2011 vineyard

All the news right now has to do with the euro crisis. In France, people are saying the euro may not exist in its current form by the end of the year — next month, in other words. Nobody is saying what will replace it. Will my old French francs suddenly become legal tender again? Walt found a little box of franc coins a day or two ago, and I know where the old bank notes are.

All those coins and notes add up to about one day's groceries, by the way. I also have some Irish pounds, Belgian francs, and Italian lire. I bet most people here have some French francs in a drawer or box somewhere in the house.

It was almost exactly ten years ago — January 2002 — that the euro became the currency of the realm. In France, the law required merchants to continue posting prices in francs as well as in euros for the first ten years, so that people would have an idea of how prices were changing. Will the old prices in francs go away next year, or will they move to the top of the labels and price tags? On verra.


  1. By May next year Sue and I will know what currency to deal with.
    I stil have some old Australian currency. Some early 1 and 2 dollar notes are stapled to cafes in Paris.
    I really hope the Euro Zone sorts its self out soon Ken.

  2. I have some Francs, too.My sister bought me a selection and put them in two-sided glass frames so that I could display them... they're so colorful :)

  3. The Telegraph is full of gloom
    and doom today about the economy
    in general in Europe. And they
    have been running a story about
    the various British Embassies
    on the Continent being instructed
    on how to aid UK residents in
    the event of a euro failure.
    Expect bank closures and rioting
    in the streets. Bit dramatic?

  4. I think it is unlikely the euro will be discontinued, at least in France and Germany. The chaos that would ensue is worse than the current situation. Look how much of a pain in the neck just changing the rate of VAT / GST / TVA is for financial systems. The middle ground is to ditch the weaker countries and carry on.

  5. So much of our news isn't "news" but speculation. Fear sells papers and there is plenty of that nowadays.

    It will be interesting to see how the Euro problem plays out. We live in interesting times.

  6. I think Susan has a good point. Here in the States they keep saying the euro will collapse in 2 or 3 days. And that was a week ago. But restructuring the eurozone can't be done overnight - it's like trying to turn around a cruise ship. If countries like Greece and Italy depart, I suspect it will devalue the currency and that would be good for those holding dollars.

  7. We brought home extra Euros from our last trip. I hope they don't turn into wallpaper before we get back to France.

  8. Wonder how they'll get all those euros back from Greece or any other country that collapses, monetarily speaking. They can't leave euros just floating around in the countries that don't use them any more. Can you imagine people in poorer countries saving their euros and trading them in at higher values in France and Germany, etc. And the way things are going, I don't know if Germany is going to want to have a common currency even with France after it all shakes out.

  9. I think if the EU lets the euro slip away, they will regret it deeply.


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