CHANNEL FRANCE BLOG. Welcome - Bienvenue.
This new blog accompanies the website www.channelfrance.co.uk and provides light hearted anecdotes about life in Northern France and the Channel Islands. The main Channel France website contains a huge amount of information about Brittany, Normandy and the Channel Islands as well as France in general. We welcome comments and will publish these where appropriate.
Channel France Online Magazine for Channel Islanders and Ex Pats living in France
Welcome back to the Channel France blog and apologies for the second post being slow to appear! The intention is to have postings up at the very least once a month. There are a host of articles on the website of course.
The www.channelfrance.co.uk website was launched back in 2003 and was called Gites and More and principally an advertising related website on which Gite owners could advertise their property. The “more” side grew and the information proved so popular that the concentration moved onto the magazine – hence the name change to Channel France. Improvements are underway to the layout of the site as some of the older pages are a bit dated. As a part of this you will see that the magazine home page has changed. Firm believers in “keep it clear, obvious and simple”, the index was a traditional index as found in a reference book with links to the relevant pages. Pictures have now been added in order to illustrate the content of the article more clearly. More "smartening up" to other older pages is underway.
Guest writers are always welcome. Some of our writers have been ordinary individuals who have provided information about aspects of their lives in France. In some cases this does help them in their commercial efforts but in the main, the intention has been to provide interesting articles for the website readers. This month we welcomed Jennie Poate who works with Siddalls in France. Jennie was in attendance at the Brittany and Normandy Property Exhibition in Jersey where she kindly offered her services.
Back to the Blog…..
The festive seasons …….
Since the writing of the last and what was also the first blog post, the observance of the length of time Christmas decorations stay in place has continued. Apart from several baubles in a restaurant, these have now disapeared although it took a long time for the Father Christmas to be taken down from the wall and he was still climbing up his ladder in the weeks approaching Easter!
Easter was early this year but the weather was good enough to see some of the restaurants and attractions that close over the winter re-open. An article concerning Easter in France was placed on the Channel France site in early April. The bakery and chocolate shops have put in their usual, excellent effort. The number of bakeries in small towns which are in fact no more than big villages and who are also excellent chocolatiers is impressive..
Vide Greniers – Car Boot Sales
The Vide Greniers held in the open air at weekends – mainly on Sundays – have recommenced. There have been the very occasional Vide Greniers under cover during the cold of the winter and early spring months. The outdoor sales are a delight and attract locals selling off their unwanted items and professionals who go to a variety of these sales.
The Presidential election takes place shortly. The first round taking place on 22 April 2012 and if necessary a second round run-off on 6 May.
There are ten candidates including the present president Nicolas Sarkozy. In order to stand these must have collected the signatures of a minimum of five hundred elected representatives of whom there are a huge number in France – approximately 47,000 it is believed! These include senators, deputies and elected French members of the European Parliament as well mayors, general and regional counsellieurs which effectively sees off a representative of smaller groups like “The Monster Raving Loony Party” - sorry folks but look at it as a plug and your website is very amusing incidentally and I like the comparison of petrol price per gallon to apple juice, brake fluid, Evian water, Tippex etc per gallon! Fortunately cars do not run on cider!
The voter turnout for the last Presidential election in 2007 was 83.97% according to my researches on the web. If I am wrong I stand to be corrected! Figures obtained from The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance http://www.idea.int/vt/ .
The Channel France site does not concern itself with politics normally but the election is creating a lot of interest!
Moving away from political events the calendar pages for Brittany, Normandy, Jersey and the Guernsey Bailiwick are well under construction too. It still continues to be a hard task but there should be a mass of information on the pages next week. Most of the major towns events in Brittany and Normandy are already listed. Jersey is complete although there will be more additions, I am sure. Guernsey events for the summer are to go on but April and May are in place. Remember the Barclays Jersey Boat Show on the 5 - 7 May 2012 which describes itself as the largest free marine festival.
With the extra daylight at the end of the day and the sunshine we had a few weeks ago, summer is surely approaching.
Pet travel to and from France improved from January this year with just the need for the rabies vaccination and no subsequent blood test, it having been realised that the vaccine had come a long time since the time of Louis Pasteur! Pets still need their pet passport and to visit the vet for worming and tick treatment but the window in which to travel has increased. Taking your pet to France and back is now much easier unless you are traveling in a van from the Channel Islanders or England via Condor Ferries in which case apparently it is has become a costly event as the Jersey Kennel Club will vouch and who complained loudly about Condor Ferries categorisation of vehicles!
Future pages on channelfrance.co.uk will include the Saints Glaces, a visit to Lehon and a newly updated Travel News Page.