Politics & Religion

We all know the old adage, if you want to stay friends, don't discuss religion or politics.

It seems to me that SFN is a great web site and provides a great information exchange for we ex-pats living in France.

Over the last few days I have witnessed some unpleasant exchanges about the Iraq war and the like. My views on this are not relevant but I think these exchanges are unedifying and inappropriate for SFN, not least as there are many blogs when discussions of this type take place. Indeed I belong to several.

I wonder how other members of SFN feel like me.

Perhaps SFN can set up a separate blog for those of us who enjoy the cut and thrust of political banter or maybe SFN can just block then since as I say there are many places where one can vent one's spleen about our political leaders, past, present and no doubt future.

I look forward to the comments.

Peter S

The good news (for me at least) is that I am alive. This time next year, same place. So, in one year, I shall be definitely going to GF and Leclerc.

Oh yes, I know just one Leclerc better and that is nearly Bordeaux, so a wee bit too far and no point because this one is more than I need alone.

Yes Brian, the Leclerc is very good in fact the whole site is very good. I was impressed with the fruit & veg section which is worlds away from my local Leclerc where the fruit & veg is rubbish !

I don't know if this applies to all Grand Frais but one of the GFs in Limoges has an independant butchery ie not belonging or employed by GF.

Good to hear Orange haven't lost their touch !

How was the Cardiologue ?

Good. How about legal action?

Lots of North Africans whilst I was in there. A couple of ditherers saying 'but this is cheaper in Sainsburys'..... The parking, well I have been told. It is because everybody else is sitting on the other side of their cars (wrong of course, the UK sits on the correct side) so they park for that. That means that the poor UK driver is confused and forced to be vertical and across the white line.

What? What? The Orange boutique is under investigation by the company after an enormous mess they caused when they sold a professional service to a hotel that has just changed hands, but have charged the previous proprietor who did not have the business type of connection a vast amount of money. Now they deny having written any contracts although the new people have it on paper. However neither the outgoing or incoming people have any phone service either domestically or businesswise and that contract is from August. So they are paying for nothing that according to them does not exit although the new people have the contracts. I guess, on the back on Simon's comment, they have probably all received a large bonus for the dimensions of the mess. I help my OH write the complaint to the CEO of Orange that we sent at the same time as our own complaint about our service and how nobody is even willing to talk about it! Guess where, the Orange boutique.

Leclerc is pretty good. I just bought a whole kilo of Stilton there. The last piece they had. Fortunately that la Cavaille shopping is smack dab between my daughters' respective colleges, so on the day a week I collect them I can do real shopping.

LOL - so true Peter!

I did make one error though - she wouldn't be fired would she? That would be as rare as rocking horse sh*t!

The Air France employees who assaulted their colleagues (GBH) last month (shirts off backs etc...) were the first ones to be summarily dismissed in the history of Air France!

Yep Simon, i'm sure she was a trainee cos ' she was far too helpful !

Just give her a CDI and she'll end up like the others ie grumpy, clockwatching and generally teed off..

Sounds fun Peter although I suspect the Orange assistante was either lost or on a work placement scheme from a customer focused organisation! Don't tell Orange she was very helpful - she'll be fired.

I came out of Grand Frais relatively unscathed - it was lunchtime so less people about. No french accents heard except for the cashout girl. No probs inside the shop but why are the expats so useless at parking a car nowadays ? Falling into French habits maybe ?

A nice sized GF though just like at Brive so less choice than others so easier on 'la carte de credit' !...

Impressed with the Hyper Leclerc and the Orange boutique assistante was very helpful.

I'll be in the Grand Frais around 1600. It is probably the most cosmopolitan place in Bergerac. Indeed I have heard that when there is French on the menu, it means that the local cannibals from Tobuwahuland have found somebody to pop on the barbi.

Blimey !!!!!

I'm going to pop by Grand Frais and the Orange boutique 'en passant' which i'm told is a bit like crossing the Rubicon ..

Went there to see Chelsea play this summer, well young ones anyway.

Have to go to the big city myself, late afternoon. Cardiologist check, but I'll take an interpreter of course, There have been reports of French speakers in the city!

I suppose it helps if you have a sense of humour Brian, especially when you're a Chelsea fan ...

Adios José...

Right, now off to Bergerac actually - at least I won't be required to speak French !

Oh yes, having shared one of the educational institutions where debate is encouraged, to love to debate is life blood, it also belongs in my family life. However, I have an almost ideological line with two strands: 1. if you don't believe (in it), don't say it and 2. whenever possible make a joke of it, ideally one that really grabs deep inside the person on the receiving end.

"One thing I know for sure is that my opinions and views are not simply off-the-cuff, empty comments but are made up of my history, geography, life experiences and interactions with other human beings and animals. Throughout my life they have changed and I guess they will continue to do so because of these influences." Yes Simon, that's exactly it - I can identify mine and I can't identify anyone else's! My other big BIG handicap is of course that I LOVE debate (it's a family thing & not helped by my education which was heavily debate inclined) and cannot resist 2-bit jokes so as you can imagine sometimes my jolly witty apposite remark (I think, or poss so in real life) goes down like a cup of cold sick, on-line :-( :-(

Véronique - are you sitting down? ......I second most of what you've said except, unlike you, I'm an incredibly sensitive person. Being so often provokes outburst which are not always worded exactly as I'd want them - I'd be much better off drafting replies, rereading and editing them 24 hours later and then posting them. I'm afraid I've never quite mastered that degree of constraint and am unlikely to start to do so anytime soon - it's just how I am.

One thing I know for sure is that my opinions and views are not simply off-the-cuff, empty comments but are made up of my history, geography, life experiences and interactions with other human beings and animals. Throughout my life they have changed and I guess they will continue to do so because of these influences.

Years ago, when I first became a full-time resident in France, I read something quite bizarre on an Anglophone forum. It was posted by a guy, who at that time, had lived in France for 12 years. To be brief he said something along the lines of he'd had enough of being humble and feeling not worthy to live in this country. At the time I remember thinking 'what a nutter!' - I'd only been in France full-time for about a year and was still basking in my literally unshakable decision to live here - but...his comments have kind of stuck with me and I guess I too have become that nutter - if you get my drift :-). That also affects the topics that matter to me and often provokes adverse reactions - which I fully understand.

I think that in a written format such as SFN and without knowing one another personally, it is difficult to gauge things like irony or humour in a post and so a remark made in person, flippantly with no malicious or destructive intent, can come over as offensive, and people react so things escalate quickly. We don't know the personal circumstances that may make a person more sensitive to certain things at certain times or all the time and it is easy to be tactless.

I'm just adding this here because I know very well that I am myself sometimes exceedingly tactless, in real life and online, and can appear to be riding roughshod over people's sensibilities when in fact I have had no intention to hurt someone or to be personal but was simply discussing something the way I do with people I know in real life. The problem is of course that I don't know the population of SFN in real life so it is easy to put my foot in it. I'm not a very sensitive person myself and don't always realise other people can be.

I don't know anything but what I can read here so personal circumstances, education or the lack of it don't come into it when I think about what to answer - what is to be discussed is what we can all read and that's it, which is why ad hominem attacks etc really shouldn't happen.

Simon I am not advocating censorship and I entirely agree with you that strong debate is a powerful took.

But if I said in reply to your post (and to paraphrase your words about yourself)

a) "you are as thick as two short planks and only post when you know how to express yourself clearly" as an example, you might not unreasonably feel offended.

or on the other hand I could write and say

b) " I disagree with you for these reasons, etc." which maintains the discourse at an adult level and does not disrespect or demean you, or others who share you opinion and indeed does not demean me for behaving in such an abhorrent manner.

And also the effect on you is as you say "leave or turn off" but now we have lost your insights and they are as equally important and valuable as the rest of us and you have the right to be heard.

As an example, I think Jeremy Corbyn is a typical left wing intellectual with little understanding of the real world, but I also know he says some very interesting things, that need saying and cause me to reflect on the issues he raises and my value and belief systems and how I should adapt them to deal with the points he is making with the possibility that my values etc might be improved.

Gomme lacque dissolved in alcohol makes excellent knotting.

Peter - I simply can't abide censorship unless of course it is to specifically protect the young or vulnerable. Many have died for the simple right to freely express their views and opinions - I cherish that freedom that they have afforded me.

Sometimes, I have found things very difficult and upsetting on SFN - normally when I am berated (even bullied) for holding a 'different' or opposing view. I often feel I am treated unfairly - maybe because I am not as eloquent (or educated?) and some on here appear to me to be. I shoot from the hip but I don't think that's a crime..... yet!

I'm afraid I simply can't take into account each persons sensitivities on an essentially anonymous forum - and neither do I expect them to take mine into account.

I adore a healthy debate but if I find a conversation or programme (etc..) too unpleasant - I simply leave or turn-off.