22.5k on the bike, and 16km on the feet, putting the runthomasrun cat among the pigeons on the Janathon leaderboard and putting me within sniffing distance of sixth. I AM SNIFFING YOU.
Thankfully tonight’s run was an altogether more pleasurable affair. Not because it was any easier (as each day goes by I get more and more fatigued, and slower and slower) but because I experienced it at a natural brightness level (it was still dark, but not ultra-dark).
Because the phone call came through at about 10am this morning.
A morose man – with a tone of voice suggesting he was about to announce that my entire extended family had been wiped out in a gas explosion – informed me that my glasses were ready. ONE DAY ahead of schedule. Admittedly the schedule was already running 7 days and 23 hours longer than I expected, but you need to take good news where you can find it.
Back on the bike, and back into the local town I went. I figured nothing could possibly go wrong again. It didn’t. I am now the proud owner of a new “stylish” pair of glasses, with incredibly thick cheap lenses, that nip my right ear like a beaver and are so small that my world has become vertically letterboxed.
Still, mustn’t grumble. At least it’s bright again. I’m sure the OAPs of France will rest easy in their beds once more.
All the talk in France today is about the credit rating downgrade. If you don’t follow world economics basically Europe is up poo poo creek without a paddle. France is taking a battering from the credit rating agencies, and the National Front are on the rise ahead of the presidential elections in four months time. As a foreigner in this land with a long, tortuous blog complaining about the country I expect I’ll be first against the wall when the next revolution comes. Still, I figure if the firing squad need regular eye tests I’ll be safe for a while yet.
That said, with a potential shooting in mind, I thought I’d say something positive about the French today. That’s what I thought. When it came to action, things became trickier.
I finally remembered the thing I admire most about the French. It is the fact that they produce some absolutely cracking budget range crisps. I’m not saying the UK doesn’t do a decent entry level potato based snack – in fact we may be the world leader – but France does some terrific stuff too. I will warn you upfront – if you’re thinking of taking a voyage into French crisp heaven you need to steer clear of their nut flavoured crisps. Who in their right mind wants a peanut flavoured crisp? Wrong.
But where France beats the UK is in the provision of economy crisps that don’t really taste of anything. You might think that’s a bad thing, but France have nailed a number of crisp lines that feature a sort of anti-taste. These wonderful crisps taste of mouth, which means you can eat loads of them without feeling sick/full/satisfied.
It’s like sex with Sting.
The French have perfected Tantric Crisps.
With a Tantric Crisp you have an extended promise of a taste orgasm, but ultimate disappointment. But Sting will tell you the voyage, of course, is where the pleasure is. Only with a French Tantric Crisp can you truly experience an extended sensual experience unmatched by any Quaver or Monster Munch.
Probably the best example of Tantric Crisps are the miraculous Sabor Bacons. These crisps are only available from L’Eclerc (the French equivalent of Tescos) in their budget range. They are 38 eurocents for a surprisingly large bag and look a bit like a fat Frazzle. If you were grading crisps on taste from 10 to 1 these would need a score assigned on a different axis. They literally taste of nothing. Put a handful in your mouth and you wouldn’t know. In fact sometimes you can have a few in your mouth and suddenly realise 4 hours later when you lie back to go to sleep and start choking.
There is simply nothing on God’s snack based earth that compares with a bag of Sabor Bacons. I would go to war for a bag of Sabor Bacons. They truly are one of the greatest things the French have given to the world, and yet only a handful of people know about them.
Now, admittedly, as a first entry on our list of great things about France perhaps a bag of economy potato chips isn’t what a nation would aspire to, but we have to start somewhere.
Mainly because it’s the only thing I can think of at the moment.