The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Monsieur may be waiting a while for that train...Live from central Paris, in the news for today's traditionally French transport strike. In fact, your blogger is lucky enough to live on a line that had a skeleton service this morning - at 7a.m. we hopped on a full (but not crowded) train and arrived at Gare Saint Lazare to be greeted by a swarm of journalists hoping we would look suitably disgruntled (and is anyone except your breakfast show DJ ever on chirpy form at seven in the morning?). No such luck - most commuters generally accepted the inconvenience and understood the train drivers' position.

Central Paris this morning looked like Beijing - the streets were full of cyclists. Some had succeeded in the wild-eyed search for public bikes; others had blown the dust off their old boneshakers and were wobbling precariously across the road, their first time up on a bike since the days of Bernard Hinault. And the taxi drivers are delirious...

Fortunately, the weather today is fantastic - a crisp, sunny day that really shows Paris at its most beautiful. A lot of people walked to work for the first time this morning - and many people we met have told us that they'll continue their new habit. After all, walking for thirty minutes through Paris is no hardship at all. Your blogger might stroll home this evening, stopping in some nice café in Square des Batignolles along the way. Again, no hardship in that.

Today's strike doesn't enjoy mass support; few other unions have joined the transport workers .Strangely, the staff of both the Opera and the Comedie Française (Paris's most prestigious theatre) have stopped work in solidarity.

No such strike contagion at Dublin's premier French entertainment, French Friday at Thomas House. However, we understand that tomorrow night's edition will be the last at its current location and for the near future.

We've only heard rave reviews from our Dublin friends who've been along, so we've no doubt that French Friday will return very soon. If you're heading there tomorrow night, bonne soirée.

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.