BBC Journalist's interesting view on the two sides of France

This went out on the wires yesterday and I do believe it is a fair resume of two sides of life in France, the real rural France vs. the tourist places that attract more income. Very interesting.

Two Opposing Views of Life in France

We live in a small hamlet close to a rural village; the commune’s total residency is about 800 people. There are only 3 British couples in the commune. It is in Cantal, Auvergne close to the Puys and the medieval, fortified, tourist village of Salers.
Our village has managed to maintain a post office, two shops, a baker, a butcher and a pub. It is not one of France’s most beautiful (like Salers) but it is quite pretty, peaceful and friendly. The Mairie manages a summer campsite, a stade, a tennis court, a large village park and playground; plus activities such as vide greniers, equestrian events, dances etc. The young people tend to leave for the larger towns in search of work but there’s still a reasonable mix of ages left in the village. There seem to be a lot of plumbers, electricians, carpenters and builders dotted around the commune; but the main “industry” is cattle farming. I think this village is pretty ordinary by French standards - and we love it; having come from a similar sized village in North Yorkshire where all the shops, pub, PO, church etc had shut long ago.

I've used the same article in my discussion National Front - sorry