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?

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