Category Archives: France

Local people

11 o’clock, 11th day, 11th month. I am  sitting on a bench on a railway platform in Breisach on the French German border, waiting on a train to take us north to where the wind blows after half a decade living on the calm right bank of the Old Rhine.
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Sentier du Littoral – Walking the Blue Coast

In May the Cote D’Azur’s Sentier du Littoral is coastal path paradise and a beachcomber’s delight. There are very few other filthy tourists and the rocky coves are piled high with driftwood. Continue reading

Vine time

I took a  break from walking beaches to take part in this year’s grape harvest. A Winzermeister from a nearby town invited me to help and I thought a little manual labour would do me no harm.  Continue reading

Smack dab in the middle

A little to the south of Breisach and some 40 km north of the Swiss border two trees grow, one either side of the towpath that runs along the right bank of the old Rhine channel. These two trees form my portal between northern and southern Europe. This gateway is where the cool north and the warm south meet, the midpoint between machair and maquis. Continue reading

Hibernating fleas

Sunday morning early starts are over for the year. Last Sunday was the final pre-dawn break for the border two hours before the Shipping Forecast.

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Harvest in Germany – a country on the pop

Late summer and early autumn in southern Germany is a time of much drinking, a bit like the rest of the year in fact, but a little more choreographed with popular wine festivals and being-sick-on-beer festivals. Continue reading

Terms and conditions of Britain’s relationship with Europe

David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the European Union. Well he can take the day off and annoy his family as I have defined suitable terms for him. Continue reading