Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Heating the house

We had a rotten summer over here in Cantal, a splendid September/October and now, instead of going through a peaceful automn, nature kickstarted winter time.

Low peaks were -9°C and my wife clamours for winter tyres on her car (Its my job to fix them). Global warming is bypassing us and has been replaced by something I would call global chaos weather.

The entire house is heated by wood, the electric wall heaters are only for emergency use or in the bathroom, in the morning.

The main idea of this text is to pay homage to the kind of heating generated by oak logs. The place is warm but it is NOT the warmth you get from a central heating system.

This warmth is like a winter kiss, gentle and firm. Wood heat radiates right through you and those everchanging flames behind the glass wall makes you feel splendid. In fact, the feeling is difficult to explain, like colour to a blind.

Here is a photo of our insert and I hope everybody appreciates those drying babushkas on top. They are the cherry on the cake.

Late in the evening, I let the fire die out. In order to achieve this I shift all the burning stuff in the middle and that gives rise to a kind of small size fireworks.

I am so glad we have this instead of the central heating system I knew all my life in Berlin, Brussels and Paris.

Thursday, 15 November 2007


The first strikes happened in Europe - as far as I know - around 1850 and the main reason was the same as the one that occurred in ancient Egypt, more than 3000 years ago "we are hungry".

Right now, here in France, all the public transport has come to a standstill, trains, subways, buses.

The reason for this is quite clear: these transport people have a special pension scheme. They retire at 50 or 55 and get a pension equivalent to 100 percent of their last salary. The money for this comes from taxes meaning from all those other working people who retire at 60/65 and get 50 to 70 percent of their last salary.

During the electoral campaign, The newly elected French president promised to end this situation and now he is trying to implement this. Thus the strike.

In Germany we have a strike of the train conductors, freight trains and passenger trains. Those conductors created first a trade union for themselves and now ask for a 30 percent rise of salary. The German Railway refused, thus the strike.

Has this anything to do with "we are hungry"? I don't think so. This is pure blackmail carried out by a group of people who happen to own something like a "joker".

On the French and the German telly, I see the faces of these trade union bosses. I see glee and triumph there, kind of "fuck you, we shall overcome". "We'll get you, shell out the money or kick the bucket."

That is what I see on their faces. If the country comes to its knees, they don't care. They want the money and pronto, a soft life for their members, featherbedding paid by others who work harder and longer.

Saturday, 3 November 2007


This goes on for months and months. Nearly every day we are being told by our faithful media how big efforts are being deployed to prevent the Mullah regime in Iran to develop the Atom Bomb. This big mushroom explosive that could terminate human species.

The Americans talk to the British who talk to the Chinese who consult the Russians who speak to the French and they are all of the same opinion: the Iranians should not be allowed to develop the Atom Bomb. No Sir. Far too dangerous, they could use it. Or better, it is even sure they would use the Atom Bomb. Because those Iranians they are not such good and honorable people as we are, they are not feeling so responsible as we do!

It's such a pleasure to hear from all these responsible nations and people how hard they are working to prevent humanity to destroy itself via the Iranians.

However, all these months I am waiting to hear from one of those humanitarians this: in order to give an example, we are destroying our own Atom Bombs stockpiled at home.