Lots of stuff is going right past me in the political and social arenas of Nice. I am blithely ignoring all of the excitement and eagerly reading the blogs of my friends who are covering it so beautifully. http://www.bestofniceblog.com/ and http://www.frenchrivieratraveller.com/.
For example , the FRench just had a preliminary election and it was the first time that a modern FRench president did not win the first round. It will be a hard battle between conservative Nicolas Sarkosy who got 25 % of the preliminary vote and Francois Hollande the leftist candidate who won 27%. And the anti-immigrant , anti- islamic France candidate Marine Le Pen came out with a surprising 17 %. But perhaps not so surprising because the first vote is traditionally a thump to the head of the current president and a protest vote.
Sarkosy who has Jewish, Hungarian, Greek and French parentage is somehow already not FRench enough for some voters. Hollande, on the other hand has an unfortunate name for a French president!!!
Hollande is regarded by many as an affable moderate whose quiet - some might say dull ( his nickname is Flamby) ways contrast sharply with the intensity and glamour of conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy. But will Hollande, who has never held a national government office be able to steer a way through the European gloom?
We live in exciting times, no doubt. We will soon know the outcome of the French national election on May 6 or 7. In the meantime....
I recommend that we temper our political and fiscal nightmares with a little bike ride. It will clear the brain....especially if the sea beckons like a sirens call as it does just now.