The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

My Photo
Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


The mouse-finger on my right hand is suffering from the 650-odd emails that I have had to get rid of today.
Normandy is great at this time of year (and "les St Jacques sont arrivées" is a sign to lift the soul).
Random thoughts are the best that I can manage today, so here are a few:-
The French have changed the number plate format on their cars, (for new and resold vehicles). They are now in the pan-European format; another nail in the coffin of regional differences.
I had a decent bistro lunch in Pont l'Éveque (and of course I bought the eponymous cheese). We had a look round the church, and saw a small display of old photographs including one of what was left of the church in 1944.
The church appears to have been destroyed in one war or another on a regular basis over about 700 years, and I was reminded of the argument that I tend to produce in the pub when some Daily Mail reading oaf starts to bang on about the EU. Of course there have been some absurd rules from Brussels about straight bananas and suchlike, but too many of us have forgotten that the founding fathers of the Community wanted to ensure, through economic interdependence, that land wars in Europe would be a thing of the past. And it worked. France was invaded by German troops three times in about 70 years; millions died. Since 1945 - peace. That alone justifies the whole EU in my view.
France is very expensive these days. A modest lunch for two can easily run to £35 with just one small drink each, and that will more than double if you hit the a la carte and buy a bottle of wine.
And as for wine........
The supermarkets all have a 'Foire des Vins' on at the moment. Stacks of wooden cases cover the floor next to laden shelves. Weighty tomes from the likes of Gault-Millau are on hand to guide the punter. I leafed through a few, and I still haven't got a clue about wine. I have glugged a drop or two over the last 40-odd years, and these days most of what I buy is from any country but my beloved France, because, mes braves, you will tell me the producer and the terroir and the domaine and the cru and the appellation, but what you never tell a poor thirsty Anglais, is what it tastes like, and whether I will like it.
The label is no guide, nor is the price, nor is Gault-sodding-Millau. Sharpen up mes amis, or the antipodeans will have you for petit déjeuner.