Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

French voluntary rules… comme ci, comme ca

Merde! My Normandy Monet trip is in the balance after the UK imposed a two-week quarantine on travellers late last night.

In balance, oui. Because there is the option of going and just quarantining on the way back.

Because work for many of us lucky enough to find any is confined to our computer in our office/bedrooom.

And remember to check out if you are covered by your Travel insurance.

Bravo: On World Cup final day at the French Embassy in Paris

Insure you’re ca va

Or what your holiday providers will do for you if you are caught short out there.

Or because there is the slim chance that the infection rates may dip in the next two weeks and France may yet be taken off the exempt list.

But equally as important is whether France impose Le Tit pour Tat.

No, not a porn film But a reciprocal two-week quarantine.

Le Tour: And I’ve made it to the top

Don’t treat us like enfants

The insouciant French have opted for voluntary quarantine thus fat…

France is leaving the choice up to ‘the public’s sense of responsibility’.

For now the greatest evacuation since Dunkirk is upon us as Britons try to get back before 4am tomorrow morning, Saturday 15, August.

Chic: On the French Riviera

Ferry good

These days thankfully we don’t have to resort to fishing boats, and have Brittany Ferries instead.

I have been looking forward to Brittany Ferries and Normandy Tourisme‘s trip to Normandy ever since it came in.

To extend my French education which includes Paris, Strasbourg, Saint-Raphael, Mandelieu, Lourdes and the Pyrenees and Biarritz.

We’ll leave that to the UK Government. And judging by their record on education an algorithm will probably extend the quarantine to toujours.

Malta and Amsterdam too

Get on your bike… if only we could

And let’s not forget that Malta and the Netherlands are in the soup as well as Monaco but then who among us can afford to holiday there?

We did on our much-storied post-school trip to Saint-Raphael on the French Riviera, taking a very scenic train journey out.

You won’t be able to though because… guess what, our politicians have banned us both ways.


Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, Flying, UK

Holiday Snaps – We’ll all be safer in Tobago

Life was so much simpler and safer in Tobago in December when I was standing in the Nylon Pool… and it is again.

After the Tobagonian island was granted a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Which means it is a standard-bearer for health and hygiene.

In fact judging by my own experiences out there you’re more likely to have your goat run away from you or fall out of your hammock.

Give me a call next time Boris

Everything in the garden is rosy

I could give you five minutes if you didn’t waffle and got to the point… Boris Johnson should make a special case for the Canaries and Balearic Islands.

So when will our politicians start following the best practices of our neighbours over localising quarantines?

The Canary Islands have had just 2,483 COVID-19 cases over the pandemic, while the Balearics have recorded just 2,290.

And have been proportionately below UK rates.

I just hope the rest of the world don’t think we’re all of us Europhobes in the UK.

And where else?

Of Corisican

And hard on their heels France, Germany, Greece were flagged up by scaremonger broadcasters.

A daily increase of 931 in France, 305 in Germany and 31 in Greece have spooked our communicators of information.

The two European superpowers are mainly mainland but Corsica is proudly independent if not politically so.

While France owes the Med island for giving them their biggest hero Napoleon.

There’s an island over there

There are a plethora of small islands too and St Patrick and the Cistercians had the right idea setting up a monastery in Saint Honorat, off Cannes.

And a scattering too of German islands in the Baltic too which you can spot in your Fjords cruise from Kiel. Oh,, they’re off to.

An island of my own… on Kythera

And Greece. Well, this is the best argument of all.

Six thousand islands. And while Greece has been ahead of the curve our politicians would surely be only too quick to shut tem down too.

And who would visit my honeymoon island Corfu and my getaway island Kythera.

Stars of Ireland

And this garden too

Ireland has a galaxy of stars and in the 13 years I was there one shone brighter than any!!

But it also has beautiful uncluttered and unpolluted skies where the night sky lights up.

The Mountgreve Gardens in County Waterford is one such place. And they are hosting their first Star Gazing night in their 70 acres site on August 15.

Why then? Well why not?

But also because that’s the date of the most spectacular meteor shower of the year, the Perseid Meteor Showers.

Tickets are €12. The Harvest Shop will provide hot drinks and snacks.

The evening runs from 8.30pm-11.30pm and is for over 12s. Pre-book.

Countries, Deals, Europe

Happy Bastille Day France

A revolution is needed… does anyone know of a prison to storm?

Even if it only has seven inmates, that’ll be enough particularly if it has weaponry.

Jim sandwich: Jim Gallagher, Muriel Bolger et moi

Today we commemorate Bastille Day in quieter fashion than usual because of COVID-19.

Flower girl

And we reflect on a new world order that we must build for ourselves.

Embassy guest

Quieter yes.

Quieter certainly than that unforgettable Bastille Weekend two years ago.

Bravo: Bandanaman and Danny, French Travel Writer award winners

We were invited back the following day to watch the World Cup Final between France and Croatia.

Pop the Champagne

Oui Paris: Today

Well, where else would you want to be than sovereign French territory drinking French Champagne and canapés?

And dancing and whooping in front of a big screen.

Croat of arms

Full disclosure here and I had been invited to take breakfast with the Croatians of Croatia Tours that morning.

You see I was straddling both horses but then I do love them equally.

Les Bleus won. And I was chanting Vive La France.

Now seeing that today is their national day I’m flagging up how we all get back out there again and where.

Paris: We’ve come a long way from our first billet on a post-school camping trip.

There we were propped up against our rucksacks in Paris Gare St-Lazare.

Until pistol-toting gendarmes awoke us with a kick to the ribs.

The Bel Epoque Peninsula Paris Hotel is located just steps from the Arc de Triomphe.

Giants of gastronomy

Now you’ll be feasting in rich company, the well-vaunted ‘dinner of a lifetime’ attended by Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso and Stravinsky.

There is a range of diverse restaurants with the piece de resistance the rooftop L’Oiseau Blanc with its stunning views of the Eiffel Tower.

Provence: Le Lockdown has had La Scary Une et moi talking about where we dream of going.

A passionate jardiner she would love to see the lavender in Provence.

Airelles Gordes, La Bastide is palace-classified.

Stars align

And they have introduced a range of initiatives.

It includes complimentary e-bike rental, stargazing, rooftop yoga and open-air cinema evenings.

And they’ve even thrown in a wine and olive oil tasting experience.

You’ll find it at the sister property, the Chateau D’Estoublon, just sn hour’s drive away.

Check out this deal… stay for three nights or more and get a complimentary upgrade to full board and a Sisley spa treatment.


Saint-Tropez; The Chateau De La Messardiere is the chic resort’s largest hotel.

There are 25 acres of glorious grounds overlooking the Cote D’Azur and Provence.

Jardin air

Their trademark domed cupolas and turrets mark it out.

As does the glamorous beach club Jardin Tropezina on the beach of Pampelonne.

And here’s why I love the French Riviera The Boat D’Azur, The Lourdes prayer and

And remember that France and the French are celebrated the world over.

And I know that the Australians are struggling with renewed lockdown but they know how to be big, bold and francais…


Un nuit at l’opera