05 May 2017

Watching events unfold

Now in May we are watching current developments. First of all, springtime is advancing. Flowers are blooming and it's getting close to the day when — according to local traditional — we can safely set seedlings out in the garden plot for the summer. That's May 15. Meanwhile, all around us, wide expanses of colza, the cabbage variety (a.k.a "rape") whose seeds are used to produce canola oil, have been blooming bright yellow.

We are watching Natasha's progress too. She's our new puppy and is only 10 weeks old. Tasha and 10-year-old Callie are getting along really well, and Natasha and Bertie the cat are friendly too. Training and learning to live with a new puppy is a lot of work, but it's rewarding and it's going well.

Finally, the French presidential election campaign will come to a conclusion on Sunday. We are watching closely, and with a certain amount of apprehension. Some of our friends and neighbors are very concerned (or hopeful!) that the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, just might get elected. I don't think it will happen, and I hope it won't. We don't have the right to vote because we aren't citizens, but if I could cast a ballot it would certainly be for Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate. We still haven't found made the time to complete and turn in our citizenship applications.


  1. We were so sure that Hillary would be elected president and then the thunderbolt! Just like you I hope Macron will be elected. Keeping all my fingers crossed!

  2. I don't think MLP will get in either, but I had a long conversation yesterday with a friend who to my surprise says he is going vote blanc. I think more than I realise of my friends are going to vote this way because they are so bitterly disappointed by the choice, just as many Americans were. There the option was to vote for Jill Stein, but here there is no other way of registering a protest vote. The guy I was talking to is highly intelligent and had taken the trouble to acquire Mélenchon's manifesto for example. He had to pay €3 for it and he had read it from cover to cover. He said he had been attracted by many of the things that JLM said but there were also really stupid meaningless things in there. He said too many of the promises by all of them are like that -- 'I say it therefore it will happen', with nothing about how. I think he is typical of the highly educated, passionate, ethical, anti-global capitalist, pro-social policy French, but also a pragmatist. Many ideas for the change that needs to come are still half baked and people won't accept them yet. He wants a president who will recognise that and begin making changes in an incremental way that will succeed. I was surprised he couldn't stomach Macron, but he just couldn't overlook the fact that he is a 'neoliberal' (I know that word is currently unfashionable and overused, but it's easy code).

    1. I think turnout and then the vote blanc (people who vote for nobody) are the two big issues that make the election result unpredictable. Polls say Macron is at 60+% and Le Pen at slightly less than 40%. But as CHM says, we never expected Trump to get elected, or Brexit to actually happen. To tell you the truth, if France under Le Pen were to pull out of the euro zone, the dollar would probably soar in value against any other French currency, which would be good for us. But I hope things don't go that way.

  3. We got a new puppy when our cat was in his teens. I worried about them in the early days, would they fight, hate each other, would the cat just drop dead from the horror of it all.
    The first morning after we got the puppy, who slept downstairs in the kitchen on a full sized dog bed .. I opened the door and there was the puppy sound asleep, curled up with the cat, sleeping also. They were best friends , until the cat died of old age ( he was in his teens ) That dog always loved cats.. *that dog is "Pup" who went to live in Buenos Aires with us and died an old man ..

  4. During this week , we are being bombarded by e-mails from Marine Le Pen. Never received one from her before , though I unsubscribed from the others as soon as they became too much like a spam , since the beginning of the year when the campaign really started.

    It took voters 3 hours two weeks ago to cast their votes but if it continues to rain , many may not show up since it is not warm yet.

  5. I am so happy that Natasha is getting along well with Callie and Bertie. She has the sweetest little face, but what puppy doesn’t.

    Good luck in the upcoming elections. I am sick of politics on both sides here. The antics going on in Washington is like watching a bunch of kindergarten children fighting over a box of crayons! Good common sense seems to be a thing of the past. All I can say is God helps us all!


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?