(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Monday, August 12, 2013

while you were out

poking around in my blog, trying to get a sense of my level of inspiration ... which is always a petite flame but hard to ignite.  Lo and behold, I have acquired about 15 new followers in my absence! this makes me chuckle ... of course one or 2 appear to be circling vultures waiting to attack the carcass ... but others seem to be legit.

Which leads me to wonder, is the secret to interest not writing at all? or just slagging off for months at a stretch, adding to the mystery of my so-called glamorous life? hmmmm.

it has been and up and down summer.  Cold wet weather was with us clear until June, I even had to ignite the heater in June!  July brought unfathomably hot heat, in the hundreds for days ... canicule (heat wave), which is nearly as devastating for merchants as the cold.

See, tourists skip the region for their summer visit if it is cold.  If it is hot, they may arrive but they can only muster the courage to visit the river, the lake, the beach and in the evening the terasse.  So restaurants might do ok (if they are by water) but the rest of us are in the shit.  Who wants to try on clothes and such when you are sweltering, drenched in sweat?  (of course if you have a/c, you might fare a bit better, but few do).

Pile on the economic woes of the region and the fact that probably 50% of French are not even leaving during their vacations and it makes for a challenging year.

Rumor (somewhat verified) has it that a score of shops and restaurants in Brantôme will close by winter.  I am sure that will be at least half a dozen.  This is sad.  Of course, we are a popular spot so other candidates will emerge in their stead.  I hope that those that quit are those more fly-by-night affairs who flung open their doors with the idea of making it big in a month or 2, and not those merchants who have been soldiering it on for years.

The Bohemians will persist and hope for better in 2014.  Next year is the 400 year birthday of our town's name sake, the author Brantôme (Pierre de Bourdeilles) and it seems there are a number of village festivities planned.  I hope those attract a larger number of visitors....and that our weather is improved and more even-keeled throughout the summer.

It is the year of the mayoral elections (2014) so that too will be interesting to observe and report upon.  I see pros and cons to our little village's administration, which I will share more about in the future.

Signing off for now and thanks to you newfound followers, hope you had fun poking around in the cobwebs.  Only 1 more to reach that nice round 100 mark.... perhaps I should wait a few months more before writing again, just to be sure we make it....