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Two for Francophiles on UK tv ch.5 tonight.


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The description of the first two episodes sounds dreadful:


Sarah and Steve moved over from Ashford in Kent six years ago, and now top up their pension by renting out part of their home every summer.

With the first guests about to arrive, Sarah tackles spiders and Steve battles the erratic French shop opening times to try and get things ready in time.




It’s opening day at Les Roches, the very British restaurant in the heart of rural France.

Andy is stressing about getting all his supplies on time, Richard is stressing about having to speak French to actual French people, and Kelly is stressing about where to sit two VIPs booked to arrive at the same time when there’s only one top table.


Oh dear! I have spoken nothing else all weekend! What DO they expect???





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We watched 'Ridley Road'.  Occasionally I would wander over to Ridley road market, in Dalston, when I lived in Islington in the early eighties.

Mme. recorded the two franco' episodes for possible watching during this week to assess whether we follow the remaining 5 episodes.

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Well we sat down last night after dinner to sample these two recordings and I must say that I did quite enjoy the 'Brits Abroad' programme. I've seen similar programmes in the past and these things do tend to satisfy a need for brain-candy, some nights, after particular busy days.  I also hold a sneaky amount of respect for these people who have a dream or ambition and instead of harbouring a regret later in life, they actually get off their fat as*es and do something about it.

Onto recording #2. What can I say that hasn't already been said?  On the one hand whilst I do respect the lady and her husband for jumping in feet first to take on a fully functional olive grove I find myself unable to offer the same sentiments to them personally as a couple, particularly the lady. I don't know her, and she may be a perfectly charming individual, but jeez did she indeed come  over as one self-opinionated, name-dropping, nauseating person. I believe she also speaks highly of me. ?

We also recorded Angela Black and watched this on Monday evening, so for the next 5 weeks Ridley Road and Angela Black will be definite and Brits Abroad will be recorded for viewing during tv company scheduling barren periods eg. Christmas.





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11 hours ago, Catalpa said:

Didn't see either programme but I'd actively avoid Carole Drinkwater - can't stand her.

I would agree, Catalpa.

In our French house, my wife and I have quite a few books, now. A friend, years back, kindly sent me one of Drinkwater's books about the old dilapidated Olive Farm, she and her French spouse, Michel, purchased.

Frankly, whilst I found parts of the book interesting, Drinkwater came over as a very affected person: inevitably, so typical of actors, actresses and for want of a better description "Show Business" people.

The small olive farm was over run by Sangliers, who were constantly damaging the olive trees and old drystone walls: however, Drinkwater would simply not allow Chasseurs to cull them, despite Sangliers in Provence being classed as vermin and "on licence" 12 months per year. A bit of a Liberal Bleeding Heart, I felt.

After an horrendous motor accident, Michel departed for Paris, to try and save his film production business.

Drinkwater was then on her own and struggling to manage. Sob, Sob etc.

A far better book, was The Ripening Sun; the story of an amazing lady, Patricia Atkinson, who relocated to near Bergerac, with her banker spouse to run a small vineyard. Truly inspiring lady! There was a TV series about her, too.

As a writer and a cynic, I could not believe the tale and managed to contact Patricia and she assured me it was all true.




Of course, in the early 90s, escaping to La Belle France was all the rage; a wee bit different now, post Brexit and worse, the appalling Covid-19 Pandemic.


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Well, we watched our recording of the 1st programme the other day.

Not the greatest bit of viewing, but not the worst - in our opinion.

We’ll record tonight’s programme and see how it turns out.  Hey, there are a lot worse things on offer on any day of the week, are there not ?

Anyway, we don’t have to agree about whether a TV programme is good or not, do we?  

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Saw a bit of the Brits in France programme tonight.  What IS this notion that you have to take the Maire (or the Mairie, as the pink-haired woman insisted on calling him) a present?

I remember my husband and me trying to give a small contribution towards the costs of a concert we had organised in the village church, and the mayor making a big thing about how it had to be above board, and forms filled in, so no one could think he was getting any backhanders.

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We watched both the Carol Drinkwater and the Brits in France programmes last night for the first time.

If viewed with some tolerance for people who are not experts on France or cannot speak perfect French, but are making the best of their life here without becoming serial complainers, we found both programmes entertaining and interesting.

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