Summer in France!
After a rainy spring, summer has come in with all its force, including lots of sun and 80 to 90 degree temperatures. It has also meant that farmers are out about harvesting hay as the photo above can attest. The photo was taken on my brother in law’s farm in Burgundy, but in many other parts of France the same scene can be observed. Either hay freshly cut, in rows waiting to be bundled or a baler compressing the hay into round or square bales. Once the hay has been put into bales it is then stored for the winter.
My town’s yearly history magazine recently came out and it has lots of interesting local history, including a story on the town church. The church was first built in the easy to remember year 1111 and rebuilt in 1560 after a fire a few years before destroyed most of the original structure. There is some debate as to how accurate 1111 is, as there is no written record.
Also in this year’s issue are histories of some of the local shop buildings and the different businesses that have been located in them. For example the building that is now home to the restaurant, Le Cabanon, was a blacksmiths shop and then starting in 1830 became home to a number of food establishments, including the Cafe de Genève. The Café for a time during the 1960’s thanks to its jukebox was the hippest place for young people to hang out at. The name Cafe de Genève lasted for most of the 19th century until 1995 when new ownership changed it to Le Cabanon.
In January of this year French President Nicolas Sarkozy floated the idea of public television in France being 100% commercial free. Even with the commercials that now run on public (and private) TV, the time per hour is nothing like the 22 minutes of commercials in the states. This article states there are 8 minutes of commercials per hour on public TV in France and I’ve heard that only one commercial brake per hour is allowed. Whereas 8 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot it does help bring in 800+ million euros per year. This amount would need to of course be replaced. It’s still unclear if French public TV will go the way of the commercial free BBC.
The parliamentary commission that was given the task of finding a solution came up with a compromise of taxing Internet and mobile operators and phasing out prime-time advertising, after 8 pm. The cynics and the left, see this as giveaway to Martin Bouygues, owner of TF1, France largest private TV station and a friend of Sarkozy. The thinking, if and when France’s public TV goes commercial free, the private TV channels in France will see an increase in revenue.
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The Haven, Normandy, France