Quality of life  

Sunday, 19 August 2007

It's very difficult for an Englishman to admit that the French are in any way superior. But equally I find it impossible not to tip my hat and acknowledge that in terms of standard of living, the French win hands down. We in England like to think of ourselves as being fairly European in our outlook,and reasonably civilised in the food and drink department. But spend some time in a place like Nice and the gap between our aspirations and reality becomes all too obvious. While we in England seem to have followed the American model of pre-packaged, sanitised and commoditised shit passing for food, the French have retained freshness, local produce and real variety. Take a look at the vegetables on display in the local supermarket. All fresh, all local and seasonal. This is repeated on the fish counter, the meat counter, the cheese section and the deli. It's an absolute delight. People still bring wheely baskets to the shops and there are still real bakeries and real butchers. Suddenly I realise what we in England have lost in the last 20 years. Can it be that our standard of living is actually travelling in reverse?

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