10 May 2011

So what’s a puisatier?

I haven’t posted for a while, having been in SW France sorting out our house with Mrs WI. We had decided, in a triumph of optimism over experience, to swap the roles of an over-sized salle de bain and a diminutive cuisine. The maçons and other artisans departed as we arrived, leaving a lot to get straight and on-line purchases from Darty (same group as Comet in the UK) to be installed. However, the worst is over and there is now time to look about.

François Mitterand became Socialist President of France 30 years ago (21 May 1981) and was in office until 1995. To judge from the way the media are marking the anniversary, a president of his stature is sorely missed. Certainly Nicolas Sarkozy is poorly regarded. Whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn (“DSK”) will return from the IMF to be the Socialist candidate for the presidential election next year is a hot topic. His wife’s (Anne Sinclair’s) blog, Deux ou trois choses vues d'Amérique, is listed below. The French left is notoriously schismatic, making it easy for the usually united right to deliver for their candidate, but Sarko is currently being outflanked on the far right by Mme Le Pen. If DSK were able to persuade the left to sink their differences and back him, he might stand a chance against a split right.

The most popular French film in France at the moment is La Fille du Puisatier (The Well Digger's Daughter). Maurice Pagnol (1895-1970) was a novelist and film-director now best-remembered for two of his novels, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, which he had made as one film in 1952. However, it was Claude Berri’s two films of the novels in 1986 which achieved international success. In 1940 Pagnol wrote the screenplay for, and directed, the original La Fille du Puisatier which has now been filmed by, and stars, Daniel Auteil. The plot is a variation on nice girl gets pregnant by Mr Right’s mate Mr Wrong, but will it all come right with Mr Right?

Well-diggers are likely to be in demand in SW France after a dry winter, and an exceptionally dry and warm spring. The vines, like cherries, strawberries, and so on are about three weeks ahead of normal.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Things have come on quickly, even by comparison with their state in February.

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