A Little of This And A Tat Of That …

Avenue des Champs-Elysees is in the news again. The world’s *most beautiful* avenue has now become too expensive for even big names like Planet Hollywood and McDonald’s. The Paris media this week reported that Planet Hollywood is moving out, and McDonald’s may be next to do so. With rent at €10,000 (₤7,500) per sq. meters […]

Avenue des Champs-Elysees is in the news again. The world’s *most beautiful* avenue has now become too expensive for even big names like Planet Hollywood and McDonald’s. The Paris media this week reported that Planet Hollywood is moving out, and McDonald’s may be next to do so. With rent at €10,000 (₤7,500) per sq. meters ($14,600 for 10.7 sq ft) it is not surprising.

(Photo: The cutest McDonald’s in the world maybe? But it is not on the Champs-Elysées but across from Gare Saint-Lazare station.)

Cows too are in the news again or maybe I should say their milk. Consumer reports show that the French are no longer drinking milk and eating butter: sales of both have dropped 30% from five years ago. Instead, they are eating yogurt: sales are up by 56%. There are 712 varieties to choose from, by the way, so nothing boring here

The audio-book has come to France. For the first time now publishers are issuing livres audio of their bestsellers. They sell at around €18 ($26; ₤13). A radio station I listen to explained that one could listen to them while driving to and from work.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is in the news again too. (Correction: he is never ‘not’ in the news. It reminds me of how the late President François Mitterrand was once called the ‘Madonna of the Airports’ because he was forever off on some official trip or other. If there should ever be a competition to elect the ‘Madonna of TV’ then Monsieur Sarkozy would win hands down because he is on French tv every night.) Anyway, the latest opinion polls show that 52% of French people now think he is ‘not a good president’ and 82% do not like the way he conducts his private life.

Re: his private life — He is taking the French magazine ‘Nouvel Observateur’ (we all call it Nouvel Obs) to court for having run an SMS message he had allegedly sent ex-wife Cécilia eight days before he married Carla Bruni (she is still called that here and never Madame Sarkozy) in which he wrote ‘si tu reviens, j’annule tout’ – if you come back, I’ll call everything off. Nouvel Obs has since admitted to ‘having made a mistake’ running the faked (Sarkozy says it was faked) SMS. The case will be heard in a criminal court and Nouvel Obs’ editor runs the risk of three years in jail or a €45,000 ($66,000; ₤34,000) fine.

Re: how he’s doing his job – Visiting a school last week, he ordered that all 10-year-olds would have to from the start of the next school year (September) ‘adopt’ one of the 10,000 Jewish children deported from France to the Nazi death camps. Teachers would have to organize the ‘adoptions’ which would mean that the 10-year-old would have to be taught everything that’s known about the little Shoah victim; about his/her life, death etc. Teachers, parents and even the leaders of France’s Jewish community instantly rejected Sarkozy’s order. Teachers and parents said that the curriculum covers all France’s wars as well as the German Occupation and that it would only ‘disturb’ such small children to be given horrific Shoah and Holocaust details. Meanwhile the Jewish community described the whole thing as tasteless. Sarkozy’s office has now stepped back a step by saying that instead of each 10-year-old having to ‘adopt’ a little Shoah victim, each class of 10-year-olds would now have to do so.

Having said this, I have already ‘adopted’ a little Shoah victim. His name was René Kneller and he was seven years old the day he died in 1942. French serial killer, Dr. Marcel Petiot, murdered him along with his parents, Kurt and Greta Kneller. I tell his/their story in my book ‘A Life In Quicklime’ at present with several London publishers.

Still on the subject of French children – Sarkozy also said that another subject would be introduced into the curriculum next school year: children would have to be taught how to behave socially and morally. I wonder if this means that in 15 years’ time, young men in the Metro will offer their seats to the elderly and to women regardless of their age and whether they are pregnant or not. And will they open doors for women? And will they get up when a woman walks into a room, or will they remain seated as they do now? And will they know that a man ascends stairs ahead of a woman, but descends behind her? If it’s going to be yes to all these; then Sarkozy is my man!

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

4 Responses to “A Little of This And A Tat Of That …”

  1. 4
    Jo Says:

    I wanted to comment on your current blog but there is no comments link.

  2. 3
    Anonymous Says:

    I agree with Jo — presidents (politicians) do come out with weird ideas. Not even to speak of their election promises …
    Catherine Modin

  3. 2
    Satima Flavell Says:

    Poor old pollies – we get a lot of laughs out of their antics, don’t we? I’m glad to hear your new agent is on the job with Quicklime. Fingers crossed that someone falls in love with it very soon!

  4. 1
    Jo Says:

    Presidents do come out with some weird ideas don’t they?

    I remember French men as being polite, sounds like things have changed since then.

    I like audio books for when I am exercising, not as frequently as I should mind you.

    Have you read any of the Temeraire Dragon books by Naomi Novak? Napoleon created the Champs Elysees to give the dragons room to move around.

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