Video, Writing

Burkini Bodies


The terror attack in Nice last year was devastating and horrifying. I love France and have nothing but fond memories of the Promenade des Anglais and the week we spent in Nice a few years ago.  Watching the aftermath on TV I was distraught at the fear which would now be endemic in such a beautiful and welcoming area. An area which over the centuries has seen migration (and occasional occupation) from across the Mediterranean resulting in an exciting diverse culture which takes bits of French, Italian, African, British, Spanish and many others.

Then in the weeks and months after another disaster unfolded, this time the victims weren’t strewn across a famous boulevard but instead, they were on a beach, beside their children, with police surrounding them. Women, doing nothing more than enjoying a day with their family, were harassed, insulted and demeaned into removing the clothing they were comfortable in wearing because people were scared that they looked different. Scared that they looked Muslim.

In my fury at the knee-jerk reaction of the French politicians and security forces, as well as the empathy I felt for the women affected – who are as much victims of Islamic terrorism as the western, Christian people targetted that night in Nice, I wrote the poem below, Burkini Bodies.

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Thoughts

Holiday highlights part 1 – Nice and Monaco


Ah France. How I love thee. I’ve been to France a couple of times before (a stag weekend in Paris for the 6 nations and a bus ride through the country on a school trip to Switzerland) but this was different. This was a whole week in that most foodie of countries and I had something important planned while I was there.

I was going to do a detailed report of the whole week but I’d already gone onto four A4 pages by the start of day two which a) took far too long to write and b) no-one really wants to read. So instead here are the highlights part one: Continue reading “Holiday highlights part 1 – Nice and Monaco”

News

Back from holiday


The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed some tweets on my twitter bar mentioning places in the south of France over the last week. We’ve been on a well-earned break to Nice for a week with a couple of little day trips while we were there; including a fantastic day in Monaco (where I got all caught up in the moment and proposed to my girlfriend).

I’ve got a couple of special posts coming up about the trip but for now here’s a couple of pics of the first thing I did when we got home. Aside from wine I took home some jars of tapenade and rillets so when I got home and had some time to kill I decided that some freshly baked bread would be perfect to try with the tapenade.

Recipe

Pissaladiere


I’m starting to get really excited about our upcoming holidays. I’ve wanted to go to the south of France for ages and in a few weeks we’ll be heading off to Nice for a week of living it up on the Riviera. There’s been a lot of time spent drooling over descriptions of restaurants in guidebooks and on TripAdvisor while I imagine all the delicious local specialities I’m going to gorge on. One speciality I don’t have to wait to try as I have a recipe for i already – Pissaladiere.

This is yet another Stephane Reynaud inspired dish. Sorry if you’re getting bored with me referring to him all the time but his books are fantastic. Continue reading “Pissaladiere”