Monthly Archives: March 2008

Groggy Froggies

sarkozy.jpgI read on Decanter.com today that research has found the French to be more moderate drinkers than previously thought, and that historical figures have been inflated to the benefit of the increasingly powerful French anti-alcohol lobby.  You can imagine, I’m sure, the heat of the debates that take place between the anti-booze lobbyists and the French wine trade bodies…

I think it’s a fair argument.  The previous statistics have simply divided the amount of wine sold in a country by the number of inhabitants (presumably of drinking age, though that isn’t made clear) and doesn’t take into account wine bought that isn’t drunk (i.e. stuck away in cellars) and even includes wine bought in France by tourists.

Certainly in our experience of living in France we’ve found that the French drink nowhere near as much as the British.  The lack of a binge drinking culture has been well documented, but even beyond that they don’t seem to be as regular drinkers of even moderate amounts of wine.  Hell, we’ve even got a friend who – and now in her early 30s – claims that she’s never been drunk in her life.  She’s no teetotaller, just never drinks enough to get hammered.  How odd.

Still, as President Sarkozy lands on British shores today, it’s nice to see that some Frenchies can get stuck in when they want to.  A happy combination of topics which allows me to link to a lovely little video of Sarkozy turning up a bit late for a press conference at a G8 conference after a long and clearly bozze-fuelled lunch with Putin.  Smashing stuff.  I imagine he and Phil the Greek will be hitting a few of Windsor’s boozers tonight.

It also striked me that Carla Bruni must also own a fairly hefty pair of beer goggles…

Bike ride route…finalised

6a00d8341c78e853ef00e54f119c348833-640wi.jpgMy regular reader(s) will know about the charity bike ride I’ve been organising.  Others can read about it here

At various times over the past few months I’ve been poring over maps (old fashioned offline ones, too) trying to finalise the best route for our little peloton to take on its way from London (well, Hampton Court) to St. Emilion.  Some aspects of the trip are set in stone.  For example, we’re on a ferry from Portsmouth to St. Malo and will also be stopping at my house for one night.  Beyond that, it’s pretty flexible.  Not too flexible, though, as my general route planning methodology has been based upon the flightpath of the crow.

As luck would have it (or not) the third stage of this year’s Tour de France starts in St. Malo and heads to Nantes.  We’re not planning on going quite as far as Nantes in the one day, but can at least cover the first 85km of the stage as we make our merry way south. 

Anyway, if you’re interested, here are the routes mapped out on the wonderful Sanoodi:

Day 1: Hampton Court to Portsmouth

Day 2: St. Malo to Redon

Day 3: Redon to La Roche-sur-Yon

Day 4: La Roche-sur-Yon to Les Chapelles

Day 5: Les Chapelles to St.Emilion

Wish us luck.  We should arrive in St. Emilion on May 6th.  There’s still plenty of time to sponsor me, and you can do so here.

Well done big Jeff!

jeffstelling01_190x125.jpgBrilliant news!  The sublime skills of the voice of Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, Jeff Stelling, have been recognised.  He’s picked up the gong for top sports broadcaster at the Sports Journalism Association Awards.

I love Jeff Stelling.  I’m in awe at his ability to assimilate live information and immediately work out its consequences to any number of other football clubs across the land.  It also gives me an excuse to trot out a couple of Soccer Saturday clips.  Here’s Jeff responding in typically impassioned style to a news story about Middlesborough being voted the UK’s worst place to live…and here he is starring in the funniest bits of Soccer Saturday 2007.

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