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LE CHAT QUI PECHE (THE CAT THAT FISHES), ARGELIERS: RESTAURANT REVIEW

You would think that after over five years of searching for restaurants serving good food at reasonable prices, I would have made my way to Le Chat Qui Peche before now. After all, it's only about ten minutes from our house, in a beautiful spot along the Canal du Midi. But it took a friend to suggest that we would like the place. So we went. And we did.

Port-Argeliers isn't much a port, just a spot along the Canal du Midi that boats use as a stopping place. Like a town that might be described as just a wide spot in the road, there hardly seems to be a reason for it to exist other than the fact that it does. So Le Chat Qui Peche, at the foot of a narrow but driveable bridge over the canal, commands a view of the canal that can't reasonably be described as bustling and scenery that might best be described as bucolic.

We were among the first to arrive on a lazy summer day, breezy so we chose an outdoor table with less of a view but sheltered. Our server practiced his English…
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STUPID STUFF - EARLY JUNE, 2019: CHICKENS, SPEED LIMIT, BAD WRITING, MORE

The world's most common vertebrate is the broiler chicken, created by humans to be eaten by humans. 23 billion are alive at any one time. If they had opposable thumbs...

Just when I got used to driving at the between-gears speed limit of 80kph on many of the local roads here in France, our department has voted to return to 90kph. Apparently, the French can't make up their minds about important legal matters any better than the Brits.

So I'm reading a trashy novel on my Kindle to pass the time. It's the first of a series of several books. Apparently, the writer thinks that he's got something to say. The protagonists have just been chased south from Virginia to North Carolina. They are holed up in what is described as a cheesy motel in a forgotten town in the hills off the Blue Ridge Parkway. They're hungry, so they go to a takeout place and pick up some sushi. Sushi. In a forgotten town in the hill country of the Carolinas. The definition of Stupid Stuff...

Tru…

SAPORI, LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT, HAMPSHIRE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Restaurants in seaside towns can be a bit tricky. They cater to captive audiences, often providing limited choices. The norm is to serve basic fare at slightly inflated prices, take the money, and count on turnover rather than repeat customers to keep the till full. When our friend Sharon took us to the seaside town of Lee-On-The-Solent not far from her home in Fareham and suggested an Italian restaurant, we were not certain what to expect. We needn't have worried.

Sapori has created a nice space, brick and wood and not too crowded. Service was pleasant and timely. I chose a plate of fried cheese with pesto for a start with a calzone to follow - cheesy with spicy salami and fresh chilis. Enough to share. (I didn't.) Cathey and Sharon chose from the lunch menu of the day, two courses for about 10€. Cathey started with a plate of deep-fried whitebait with a side salad and went on to the fish cakes. Sharon had a plate full of prosciutto and mozzarella followed by pasta with mush…

BEZIERS PLAGE OR GUINGUETTE DU ROY OR BAR BOEUF AND COW OR CHATEAU VAISSERIE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Yeah. I know. It's a strange title. Well, it's a strange place.

We were traveling north of Beziers along the ring road, took a wrong turn, and came across a sign for Beziers Plage. Given that we were on the wrong side of Beziers for any plage that we knew of, and given that I love nothing better than getting lost in order to find my way back to where I'm supposed to be going in new and different ways, I followed the sign. A barely maintained paved lane led to an unpaved parking lot and a sign for Guinguette du Roy. We didn't go in but we noted the name and. upon returning home, checked out the website. I suggest that you do the same HERE. But beware. The tapas bar is apparently only open evenings. We never saw a plage. I think that there may be a restaurant in the Chateau Vaisserie but I'm not certain.

But Bar Boeuf and Cow came complete with a confetti cannon, not operating but apparently fully functional the previous evening given the amount of colored paper scat…

CONGRATULATIONS, DUNCAN AND FIONA: JUNE 1, 2019

We've known Duncan since he was about 5 and were honored to be invited to all of the festivities surrounding his wedding to Fiona. The wedding was held in a magazine converted to a military museum in Gosport. Duncan's dream...a wedding in a place where they used to blow things up. I've never been around so many uniforms.

Live Long and Prosper!

















RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE, PART TWO: BY POPULAR DEMAND

My recent post concerning restaurant etiquette in France caused a bit of a buzz on various social media platforms. Lots of folks pointed out that most of the rules that I had proposed were simply grounded in common sense. Others replied that common sense isn't as common as it used to be. Some readers expressed disappointment that I hadn't discussed appropriate dress or the proper use of utensils or the correct way to taste wine. Rather than deprive my readers of my thoughts on these matters, freely given and worth every penny, here's Part Two.

PROPER ATTIRE: You're not going to wear that, are you?
A rule of thumb might be: The higher the expected tab, the more conservative the clothing.

Denim jeans are ubiquitous in France, on guys and gals alike. And ladies, the more bling the better. Ripped jeans are still a thing. God knows why, but She isn't telling. Don't. Just don't.

Shorts? Fine for lunch at that beach cabana. Long pants for dinner, please. Yoga pan…

IMPEACHMENT: FOR EUROPEANS AND FOR AMERICANS WHO THINK THAT THEY KNOW BUT DON'T

Talk of the possibility of impeaching President Trump is in the news. As an expat living in France, I've had occasion to explain just what impeachment means and how it works to some of my European friends. For the curious among you, here's the down and dirty version.

There are two ways that the American Constitution provides for the removal from office of a duly elected, living President.

Amendment XXV of the Constitution was ratified about 50 years ago and cleans up a couple of lingering questions including the provision of a path for succession should a living President be unable to fulfill the duties of the office through illness or other circumstance. Although there are those who would declare Trump unfit under Amendment XXV, that's really not a serious possibility.

Impeachment, however, is a serious possibility these days. Written into the body of the Constitution is the following:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be r…