So it would appear that the first bit (not quite half) of my time in Angoulême is drawing to a close; all I can say about this is that time is sneakier than Mathew Bloch, and that’s certainly saying something. For my terminal (year abroad-related) post of 2010, therefore, I thought I’d bring a few miscellaneous items to your attention.
Firstly, French dogs are a strange combination of evil and completely insane. Those of you who know me at all well know that I’m not exactly a fan of our canine “friends” at the best of times, but these little blighters take the biscuit. Every single time I go for a run (it’s becoming a daily thing now), the same batshit dog runs alongside me, albeit on the other side of a garden wall, and attempts to eat me. No joke. If it weren’t for the wonders of modern construction technology, I’d be a carcass by now, my entrails being sifted through by a pack of ravenous hounds desperate for human blood. Hyperbolic, moi? The dog-owners also appear to let their beasts urinate and defecate merrily on the pavement without bothering to clean up after them. Ergo, French dogs are not my friends.
I thought I’d come prepared before I left for Angoulême back in late September, and decided to bring a large box of Yorkshire Tea with me, believing it to be superior to any tea I would be able to find in Frog. However, I was thinking about my reasons for doing so the other day, and realised that my rationale was completely bunk. It went something like this: I like strong tea; Yorkshire Tea must be strong because it’s gritty and northern, a bit like Geoffrey Boycott. Not fancy, pretty unattractive, but boy does it get the job done when you need it. It’s the kind of tea you’d drink before disappearing down a mine for 36 hours for £3.70 before returning to beat your children with a riding crop. It’s Yorkshire Tea, so it must be tough. “But”, I hear you say, “The tea itself is not from Yorkshire – it’s from Ceylon or Madras or Peking or somewhere wonderfully subcontinental” (yes, I’m using the Empire words intentionally) – “It’s just the merchants and packing folk who are from Yorkshire.” And you’d be right...maybe they just package it in a special way to make it tougher – don’t ruin the illusion for me, people!