And just like that, it is the last newsletter of the year! Where does the time fly when you’re having fun?
It is the annual Christmas rush chez nous with an added dose of kids’ birthday parties as every child in my kids’ school seems to want to have a party. And after 2 years of confinements, all the parents seem ready to indulge. (What happened to just taking the kid to Disneyland Paris!?)
So as you can imagine, my gift purchasing is falling a bit behind, with all these extra parties to attend. But if I want to get those gifts delivered in time, I better hurry up because the “coupures d’électricité” are coming! (Also known as electricity blackouts.)
Like the grinch ready to steal Christmas, this is all that the French talking heads on TV are willing to pontificate about at the moment. Forget about the French State Visit President Macron to the United States, which barely got a passing mention.
To explain in general: France has its own nuclear power plants, but because we are part of the EU, we have to share. (Sharing is caring?)
So it is all about the potential electricity blackouts at the moment, with topics ranging from:
- Are parents going to have to keep their children home from school?
- Are people with medical conditions at home going to get their medicine?
- from are the ski lifts in the Alps going to be shut down while people are on them?
- Can you keep the ski lifts open and yet cut the power to Paris?
- Everybody go buy some candles!
- etc., etc.
Now, perhaps we’ve all been trained over the past 2 years by the pandemic, because how it worked in France was there would be leaks by the government of what was going to happen, and then a few days later it would happen.
Example: the talking heads on TV would suggest that mask restrictions were coming to soften the terrain and a couple of days later, the government would announce those restrictions.
So if I was not initially worried about electricity blackouts before, I certainly am when I hear the 24-hour BFMTV (the French CNN equivalent) talking about it for the 1000th time. Surely we could spend more time talking about the France’s run at the World Cup, instead!
Thankfully, President Macron finally came out yesterday and said “Stop à tout ça!” (Yes, he said “stop!” not “arrête!”, I’m sure the Académie Française sent him a note about using possible anglicisms.)
So perhaps electricity cuts are not coming to Paris? I’m not sure how effective Macron was in calming things however, since I can see another round of coupures d’electricité articles in the newspapers this morning.
And I’m not the only one worried. all this is having an effect. The French have so far managed to reduce their electricity consumption 7% compared to last year which is pretty dramatic.
Is all this collective effort enough to keep the Christmas lights on the Champs Elysées on this season? Only time will tell. But anyway, I thought I better get this newsletter out before the lights go off. Joyeuses Fêtes and see you in the New Year!
In other news:
- At the recent state dinner in Washington D.C., French President Macron gifted U.S. President Biden a Vinyl and CD of the original soundtrack of Claude LELOUCH’s film “Un Homme et une Femme,” which is the film that the Bidens went to see on their first date. The French govt. official who came up with this gift probably needs a prize themselves.
- When the Moroccan football team beat Spain in the World Cup past Tuesday night, it set off huge crowds celebrating on the Champs-Elysees and all across France. (France has a large population of people of Moroccan origin, which was a former colony.)
- The humble French baguette has been added to the list of UNESCO intangible heritage, setting off a wave of newspaper reports within France. Time to pick up some baguette for dinner.
And new in the blog:
Find out the meaning of the fleur de lis and its history. From its history and roots in France, to its use in the U.S. and other countries around the world.
Get to know the most famous UNESCO world heritage sites in France. From their history, what there is to see, and much more.
Get the recipe for a delicious French-style pork loin roast cooked in the oven with garlic, herbs and mustard. With accompaniments, tips, and more.
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