An indulgent international adventure of monarchical proportions…

Tag Archives: france

Day 2: Cleaning!

This was a messy time. Years of accumulated dirt and rust needed to be cleaned off before I could even start to really take the bike apart. Screws are rusted into place and caked with dirt. I am slowly deconstructing the bike but at the moment I can’t say I’m really enjoying it…


Well hello there gentle readers,

This is a post from exactly one year ago that stayed as a draft. This tends to happen a lot to me as I have moments of inspiration and then I lose my motivation after writing half a blog. So here is last years post in all its half completed glory…

My most recent exploits haven’t involved riding a bicycle which I am sure many of you will be greatly disappointed with. However my only way to counter this is to say that I went to France and it was Fucking Awesome! I quite like the way those two words look. It’s like they belong together both capitalised, standing proud. I am Fucking Awesome! Yeah I like it.

Anyways I was in France, I ate cheese, I drank wine, I ate crepes and drank cider, I danced by the moonlight…


I also got attacked by a goose.

This was no ordinary goose, it was one pissed off mutha fucker! Going into attack mode against any human who dared come within 20 metres of it or its partner. Aline first found about this angry bird when she decided to go on a lovely walk on a sunny afternoon a few days previously. At the time, she had’t been to this park in a while and was consequently unaware of the avian perils which lurked angrily in her path. Consequently Aline decided it was a good idea to bring me back to teach the bird a lesson. When we arrived at the park on Friday afternoon, the birds were initially quite far away from us however they must have heard Aline coming and as soon as the angry birds caught sight of us, attack mode on. Head low, neck outstretched, honking wildly. We ran, Aline screamed, it was quite the adrenaline rush. The goose also decided to scare the shit out of a dude jogging, and also attack an elderly couple while we watched and laughed. Good times.



Galettes and crepe were consumed on Sunday as a lazy day reward after venturing to the markets. And this is a picture of prune liquor. A Brittany specialty. It’s strong and delicious and comes with a fun Breton flag. Hooray for regional pride!

So as my adoring fans all know I am living in France and currently unemployed, consequently I have the time to indulge some of my passions. Amongst my many loves is one of beer. Not just drinking it like a college kid in the hope of getting drunk, but the appreciation of fine quality artisan crafted beer.

There are levels of quality of everything, and as a conscious consumer I make it my goal to appreciate and enjoy as high quality as I can afford for almost everything I consume. Though France is obviously more well known for their wine, they also produce a variety of excellent beers and ciders. In my opinion many of their better beers are inspired by their neighbour Belgium and have a higher alcohol content and more complex flavour. The beer I am reviewing today is …

2013-12-02 15.51.48

Bellerose Superior Blond Beer / Biere Blonde Extra

I have noticed that many French and Belgian beers relish and embrace the alcohol content of their beers, with some companies even naming the beer after the alcohol content. Leffe brewery have the Ritual 9 which is very tasty and strong with its 9% alcohol, another popular beer in Brittany/Bretagne/Breizh where I am living, is the 8.8 Celtika which as you may have guessed is 8.8% alcohol. 

Now onto the review. The Bellerose is 6.5% as it openly states on its label, however it does not taste like a strong beer. It has a very refreshing fruity flavour, which the brewery describes as Litchi and Citrus and they are not too far off. The three types of hops they have used result in a flavourful tropical cocktail of a beer with distinct Belgian-esque influences. They do not disclose which types of hops they use as I don’t think they are quite targeting that level of beer enthusiast. Their label design does however indicate a consciousness about the type of consumer they believe will enjoy their beer.

2013-12-02 15.54.50

The beer style, and consequently label, is influenced by the 1950s era of beer production where heavily hopped beers were the norm. Interestingly the brewers decided to include some spices in the ingredients. I am not sure what spices they have used and it is difficult to detect any distinct spicy flavours coming through. Presumably the hops they used were not entirely satisfactory so they added some spice to enhance the flavour. This is what I do with cooking so it doesn’t feel like such a stretch to assume this is the case. I appreciate that they did not add any sugar into the brew to ‘artificially’ increase the alcohol content. A few breweries of high alcohol beers are known to do this and I almost feel like it’s cheating.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful golden brew. It has a richness and complexity of flavour without being too intense. I could quite happily drink this beer on a hot summers day as well as during winter time, which it is now. I am known for liking quite strong beers, with my beer style of choice being India Pale Ales (IPAs), however I have really taken to the Belgian style beers, especially when they are strongly hopped like this one. So next time you think of France don’t just assume its all about the wine and cheese. Their beers are alive and well and delicious.

Hey so its been a little while since I posted anything of any value. Well maybe a long while, possibly even ever, and this post may not even turn out to be that filled with value either. I start each post with the greatest intentions, feeling inspired just wanted to write to really stimulate my brain. To create. To let others know my thoughts, how I feel about issues. But then I start writing and the madness sets in. Maybe not madness, maybe its more like a lack of motivation, or a lack of direction because I don’t have a set topic. The title of this blog betrays some of that. So lets try and get to a point.

I am currently living in France, and since I am a lazy native English speaker I have not quite mastered the French language. Not living in Paris this can create a few problems. In Paris there is a large tourist population and consequently a large English speaking population. Its an international city as everyone knows, so its much easier for the lazy English speaker to get by without needing to be fluent in French. I however live in Rennes. A much smaller and easier city/town, with a population around 220 000. So I have taken French classes and am learning online, but its a long process.

I had hoped that the whole immersion thing would enable me to just absorb the language and this happens to a point. I can read menus, and know what most of the fruits and vegetables are called. This is due to me being a house husband who does the shopping and cleans our apartment while my beautiful wife is at work earning the euros. For the moment this is ok but without certain creative outputs and inputs it becomes slightly mundane after a while. I go for runs which is a nice way to explore a new city and I have a bicycle so I ride around and go to cafes and meet my wife for lunch.

Of late I have watched a lot of TED talks in order to inspire me, which has resulted in the development of a business plan for a future company. I like the TED talks but I feel slightly restless just sitting around watching shit on the internet. In the end I’m sure I’m going through the same thing most unemployed people go through. Questioning your abilities, trying to find things to do, wasting days, doing a lot of something to distract yourself. I have also started watching The Newsroom. It’s a really good show, written by Aaron Sorkin who did the West Wing and The Social Network.

Maybe I should become a TV critic. Maybe not as I dont have the patience to watch crap. Does anyone remember the Dragon Ball Z movie? Probably not. I tried to watch that and it was awful. Worse than anything I had seen before. I don’t even think the lead actor had acted in anything else before, they just found him on a street. He didn’t even look at all like the character he was playing. Honestly whoever gave that film the go-ahead should be made to watch it over and over and over until they go insane. I turned it off after 20 minutes. I kept wanting it to get slightly better as I thought maybe the action scenes would be cool. But no it was all terrible.

Ok so that was my first official movie review. How did I do?