Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ireland v France - the medical system

Is Ireland prepared to pay for a better health service? That is the question that the Irish public need to ask themselves at the current bed crisis in Irish hospitals hits the headlines.
Carte Vitale - medical card in France - every resident must have one
Let's take a look at France : France has been voted as having the best medical system in the world by the World Health Organisation.
Ireland is ranked at number 18.
What does France do to provide such a top notch service? It taxes the bajasus out of the general public, that's what.

A whopping 32% of France's GDP is spent on social spending - this is the highest in the world and someone has to pay for that - and that someone is Joe Le Soap, the squeezed middle class who are struggling to keep their heads above water.
Talk to the people living and working in France and they are not a happy bunch - small and medium businesses are up against so many obstacles, new laws and taxes popping up willy nilly while the champagne socialists in Paris faff around trying to pay for their idealistic socialist dream, a nightmare really for most entrepreneurs or people who want to better their situation.
While the average monthly salary is roughly the same at about 2,200euros  - the typical Irish person has more disposable income due to the social charges heaped on top of the already struggling French taxpayer.
One must also pay taxe fonciere and taxe d'habitation ( rates and poll tax ) - while we were in France over a 12 year period, these doubled to nearly 3,000 per annum for an average house. Water ( shock horror) must be paid for on consumption, there are no allowances. The cost of living is approximately the same apart from the wonderful affordable divine wines (sigh - we do miss them!). Life is expensive in France.

I agree that Ireland's disgraceful situation with hundreds of sick people on corridors is not acceptable. I agree that it is a shame that Ireland did not develop a first class medical system in the celtic tiger years.
I agree that the health system needs to be managed better and more funding is required.
After watching the furore over the water charges in Ireland recently, I just don't think the Irish taxpayer is prepared to pay for it.
C'est tout.

Monday, January 12, 2015


This week's French lesson :

Je suis Charlie
Tu es Charlie
Il/elle/on est Charlie
Nous sommes Charlie
Vous êtes Charlie
Ils/elles sont Charlie

RIP all those who perished this week 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Les Francais, take note - How to be Happy

We have lived without a television in our house for quite a number of years but after a visit from the Mother in Law ending with her sulking in the corner, arms folded as she couldn't watch the Late Late Show and Vincent Browne, we buckled. Mr Getrealfrance was sent to the attic to fiddle around with cables and voilá, the big screen in the corner lit up magically.
Now, as predicted, we're all addicted.
Albeit against our will , it is guiltily pleasurable to snuggle up of an evening when the wind is howling outside, warm the toes by the fire and watch the ole goggle box.
No- body appears to actually watch anything on the telly though, they just tweet about whatever nonsense is going on. You couldn't get a word in when #Charlie (Haughey) was trending the other night. Sitting on the couch tweeting on the twitter machine, it's the new going out, doncha know?
Anyway, last night, after first day back to school and kids in bed at a reasonable hour, I camped down to watch 'How to be Happy' with Maureen Gaffney, sorry, that's Dr Maureen Gaffney to you, darling.
It struck me that this was a program that should be aired in France, should be on the syllabus in French schools even. Like the youth being wasted on the young, France is wasted on the French, who râle their way through every day, spoilt brats who have always been handed everything on a plate, surrounded by beauty, they are never flippin happy!
Dr Maureen informed us that our happiness can be explained by a pie chart ( the French LOVE pie charts too!). 50% of the state of your happiness is down to your genes, 10% is down to life circumstances ( Hmm, tell that to the homeless and hungry) and 40% is totally controlled by you!
So how do you control your state of happiness?

In a nutsehll:

Be grateful
Do kind things (without expecting anything in return)
Smile and laugh aloud
Do things you love
Dress in bright colours
Be mindful
Rewire your brain to think positively

Know any really happy French people?

#100Happydays - who is up for the challenge? Quelqu'un?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's beginning to look alot like ....

Astna Square - Clonakilty

The Flower Basket Clonakilty

Options Boutique Clonakilty

Kevin O'Regan's Clonakilty

Keep it local in Clonakilty this year and support the fantastic local businesses that keep our town alive!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Apartment for sale in France - SOLD!

My sister is selling this bijou apartment in the centre of Perpignan. Situated conveniently close to the train station, the apartment is a couple of minutes walk from the centre of Perpignan with all amenities, shops and restaurants on your doorstep.
This one bedroomed apartment is situated on the 2nd floor of a small residence with just 5 apartments. Charges are low as there is no management company. The apartment is very bright - ideal for a small investment or your pied a terre in France.
A steal at 39,000euros
See link here for more details or email suzorl@hotmail.com for more information

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

One Year Down

Well, we survived it!
We've been back over a year in Ireland now after moving back from France where we lived for over 11 years. We left our lovely home near Perpignan with our fabulous Mediterranean lifestyle, wonderful friends and cheap wine to come and live in a little town on the South West coast of damp little ol' Ireland.
And we are loving it.
Friend and foe eagerly await to hear how we are getting on .. what do we miss about France.. when are we going back .. do we need our heads examined..???
The thing is Mr Getrealfrance and I were ready to desert, after sitting on the fence for a number of years, and both of us being Irish and on the same page did help matters immensely. We've finally come home.
 I do miss my lovely friends and family who are still there and of course, the divine wines - the weather has been pretty good since we moved back which has helped enormously and we are embracing all the things we missed about Ireland.
It's all the little things that make life so much nicer here - we feel like we have won the lotto here in Clonakilty, so nice and friendly are the locals.
However , I never intended this blog to be a French bashing forum, and France has been very good to me. What is with all the French bashing in the media these days..what is it with this love/hate fascination with France and her politics and lifestyle that the Western world love to negatively wax lyrical about?
'France would be great, if it wasn't for the French' is a line that has been thrown at me more than a few times..quite the generalisation!
It seems every time I open a newspaper, there is an article bashing the French. Everyone in Ireland has an opinion on French politics, on Hollande or Sarkozy - yet hardly anyone can tell me the name of the Spanish or Italian presidents .. both countries of similar size in nearby Europe. People who have never set foot in France love to mock their ways and snigger at their politics.
In fairness, France is relatively resigned in her back lash - Imagine the furore if the French media started to relentlessly bash Ireland or the UK? Imagine a bunch of French expats in Ireland moaning and groaning about all things Irish and the way they do things here ( Look at any expat forum in France). Imagine the indignation and the outcry!
Laissez La France tranquille!

Friday, September 12, 2014

French for little francophones


CONTACT : KAREN O'REILLY : 087 - 9722498

(L'atelier de francais-FLAM est une association a but non lucrative dont le mission est de proposer des cours de francais aux enfants francophones)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Canned air for sale

Who says there is no such word in French for entrepreneur? Who says the French are stuck in the past and not open to new ideas?
Well, one enterprising young man from Montcuq is certainly bucking the trend and has come up with a product that is flying off the shelves in France .. L'air de Montcuq (sounds like mon cul, or in other words, air from my ass) is collected in Montcuq, a small commune in the Lot department in the South of France.

Air from my backside
Sold in tin cans , according to his website, L'air de montcuq is 100% organic, must be consumed immediately and tins must be kept closed to conserve freshness.
What started off as a bit of a joke, young Antoine Deblay from Montcuq, launched his idea on kisskissbank and before too long had crowd funded enough euros to sell his tins of fart. Now, one can order his original product online on his website for the perfect gift for that special someone for Christmas. They are available for delivery only in France and cost only 5euros (€5.50 with postage) .. I think it is going to be énorme!!!!!!
Now, what didn't I think of that?
See his website here

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Falling in Love again

One thing I miss about France is, that in Ireland, I am completely invisible. In France, men openly appraise you - they look you up and down and comment on what they see 'beh, t'as maigri Kar-Hen!' they exclaim 'J'adore ton look aujourd'hui ma cherie' - very gay I know, but then it is hard in France to tell who is gay with the straight guys wearing white suits, tight capri style pants, pink scarves and more hair product than Jedward on a down day.
In France, a man will meet you for the first time with a flirtatious 'Enchanté' ( Enchanted to meet you - don't you love it?) while their eyes sweep over you, hovering openly on any assets you may have on display. In Ireland, you may get a handshake but the Irish dude will barely look you in the eye. Once you have broken eye contact and are not looking at him, he may, if he is feeling cheeky, chance a sneaky glance at your bum.
Flirting in France is a national pastime and for the most part, harmless, adding a bit of excitement and frisson to one's day. Flirting in Ireland, as far as I can see, only happens after 15 pints when the lads get brave and the lassies get brazen...
In the meantime, I'm busy falling in love again ... with Ireland, the only one seducing me these days! Vive L'Irlande!
Road to Eyeries from Allihies

Colourful Skibbereen

Broad Strand

Simon's Cove
My son's dream house 10 metres from the sea


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