Bowlers, Berets & Bullfights

A few days ago the Chinese told David Cameron that if he wanted to encourage Chinese tourism we’ll need to build more cottages with thatched roofs. At the same time, an interesting article came to light in (I think) Paris-Matin, suggesting that French culture was losing its way because of exactly this kind of conservative […]

And Skulls, Of Course

It’s not an anatomy model, it’s a bedside table lamp. Another bizarre Parisienne shop. I’m now poking about in an ancient catering store that appears to be about two centuries old, and trying to figure out what various kitchen gadgets are for. In the dim and dusty basement I found pots big enough to boil […]

Rats & Sand

I’m in Paris for a party, and as it’s August the Paris-plages are back on the Seine, although this particular sandcastle was built to advertise Disneyland. But it’s nice to see traditional shops surviving – like this shop selling traps for ‘Les Animaux Nuisibles’, filled with dead rats. One brand of mouse poison in the […]