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LEAVING THE UNITED STATES, PART 2: CHOOSING A DESTINATION

LEAVING THE UNITED STATES: A NEW YOUTUBE SERIES

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…

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…