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Piperade

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  1. Quote "The only difference here is that our postman is pleasant." Unquote.

    My experience exactly of our postie here in Bayonne too.. If I see him elsewhere on his rounds he always gives me a cheery 'Bonjour'..

    What a change from the surly ones we had in the UK..
  2. There's an old maxim in politics (first attributed to Palmerston) that nations don't have friends, they have interests.

    I find it slightly embarrassing that our politicos go over there convinced that they're visiting their 'bezzie mate'..

    Simon summed it up neatly on P2..

    P
  3. For PaulT,

    I'd recommend "Home Run" by John Nichol, "Saturday at M.I.9" & "Little Cyclone" by Airey Neave..

    The penalty for being caught 'aiding & abetting' was so severe that it dissuaded the majority from active participation.

    I'm full of admiration for those brave souls who took part.
  4. Try here for a start for an excellent description of the Comet Line:

    http://home.clara.net/clinchy/neeb2.htm

    I would highly recommend "Little Cyclone", the book written about Andree de Jongh by the late Airey Neave (who escaped from Colditz himself).
  5. I'm participating in a 3 day march (interspersed with a few opportunities for eating & drinking!) over the Pyrenees in September in the annual commemoration of the Comet Line and one or two of the actual people involved should be there..
  6. The story of the Comet Line is also fascinating.. Set up by Andree de Jongh, an incredibly brave 24yr old Belgian woman, to expedite the return of Allied aircrew shot-down over Belgium, she ran it for 3 years before being betrayed. She was interrogated by the Gestapo before being sent to Ravensbruck where she spent 2 years. She survived and died only in 2007 aged 90. Google any of the key words and read her fascinating and awe-inspiring story. She was awarded the GM after the war. For me, her courage was of the highest order - as a civilian, she had no POW status or Geneva Convention to protect her and her colleagues.

    Her base in the SW of France is only 5 mins from here.. I found it a few weeks ago.
  7. Just back from a few days in the Vallee d'Ossau. While at the Tourist Office there, I noticed that tuition was available for fly fishing. I've had a fly rod gathering dust for years but now I finally have the time to start learning the art of casting a fly. Madame - a city girl (Parisienne) - asked me where I would get flies from.

    I replied from a fishing tackle shop.

    She then asked me if they'd be dead or alive..!

    I'm still laughing at that!

  8. An old friend of mine has MS and now uses a wheelchair.

    Two years ago he visited us (in the Pays Basque) for the summer and we undertook to find him a suitable hotel (couldn't stay with us - no facilities).

    After a long search we eventually found the only hotel in the Pays Basque that genuinely caters for disabled visitors. It's the Hotel de la Plage at St Jean de Luz.. http://www.hoteldelaplage.com/

    The only thing lacking was a roll-in shower.. He was delighted. For me it was an eye opener. I was absolutely amazed at how few real "disabled-friendly" facilities there are - even though hotels & restaurants have that blue wheelchair sticker outside, it means little unless the disabled visitor can use the toilet.. Once there, he found St Jean de Luz extremely easy to get around.. compact and all on one level with v few problems for him.

    Finding sufficient public toilets was problematic - as far as I can see there are only 4 of those cabines de toilettes on the Cote Basque.

    (Needless to say I have no connection in any way with the Hotel de la Plage)

    Pip
  9. Can anyone in the PB help a beginner with fly fishing?

    Have a rod & reel but would appreciate some tuition. OK, a lot of tuition!

    I'm in Bayonne.

    PM if you can help.

    Thanks
  10. Where to start..? First of all, hi to all you Francophiles - esp in the SW - out there..

    In August 2007 Madame and I moved from the UK down to the extreme south west of France (aka the Pays Basque, the Pyrenees Atlantique or simply 64).

    To those of you considering such a move, I'd say the hardest part is taking the decision to do it..

    I kept a diary (for my own benefit really) when we first moved over and last September I started writing it all up (before I forgot things!) and now it's in a blog format. Anyone considering a move down here might find it useful.

    My one and only reservation about coming here was the £/€ exchange rate. Despite the slump in value of the £ sterling against the euro, we have never once considered returning to the UK. Life here is everything we dreamt it would be. We've just tightened our belts a tad.

    Piperade

    http://piperade-thecompleatanglo.blogspot.com/
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