OK, I was on holiday, and the sun shone (most of the time), but I still can't help feeling that the French have played their hand much better than the Brits over the past 50 years. Whereas we seem to do everything to squander our national interests, the French, of course, don't. So they have arrived at their social paradise, which is strongly socially conservative (in the Sarkosy mode) and feels like the legacy of de Gaulle, although it is of course the legacy of Mitterand. Two World Wars and one World Cup? Try three volume domestic car producers and and one World Cup. A nation where supermarket chains close for lunch from 12-2, and which don't try to eliminate local artisan bakers (because they know they can't). A nation where national identity is valued, rather than derided.
But all holidays have to end, so how can I make this one last, as the tan starts to fade and most of the sand has been vacuumed out of the car? For all it's attraction, I don't think I'd want to live in France permanently, so I've decided to try to be a little more French, on the inside :-)