Saturday, 21 May 2011


It always takes me a while to get used to something, but once I get used to it, I hate it when people feel the need to change it. A good example of this frame of mind is the logo of the Intermarché, a supermarket chain, which operates throughout France. The shops are simply called Intermarché, but the chain has some form of surname as well, “Les Mousquetaires”. Why they chose this name is beyond me, although it is quite well possible that they are piggy-backing on the popularity of Dumas’s novel “The Three musqueteers”. Whenever we approached one of their shops, we could not get around looking at their logo, which was prominently displayed on the shop facade.
It took me quite a while to figure out that the Logo was actually a picture of a musqueteer. Hold on, one? No, it was not just one musqueteer, and lo and behold, there were also not just three. After a thorough count I noticed 16 of these brave soldiers. Or, again, 16? I counted 16 foils, but only 8 noses. But maybe these brave young lads were carrying one foil in each hand....
Anyway, it shows how observant some clients are when it comes to “reading” adverts. However, after a number of years I got used to the logo, and what is more, I got somehow attached to it as well!
One can imagine my surprise when I found out that Intermarché was undoubtedly advised by its marketing specialists that they should modernise. And of course, my beloved logo was the first victim. It is in the mean time replaced by a symbolic musqueteer. And even though it still says clearly “Les Mousquetaires”, there is now only one brave lad. Do I like the new logo? Or don’t I? Well, I think in another years time I will get used to it. But I must honestly admit, that without knowing the old logo, I would never have recognised a musqueteer in the new one!

The website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Modern times

It was again monsieur P. who managed to turn a normally rather boring ceremony into something slightly more exciting. This time it happened on Liberation day, the 8th of May.
Although there were more people attending than a week ago, the amount of attendants was still a bit disappointing. Fortunately the Sappeurs Pompiers turned up in great number, thus making the parade look more like a parade than just 10 people strolling along the main street. At the monument in front of the church monsieur P. took a little stool out of his car, followed by the modern amplifier with built in CD player. After the minute silence (French minutes, I have noticed, last not more than 35 seconds) and the speech monsieur P. squatted behind the amp and started to fiddle around with the knobs. After two international minutes from 60 seconds each the crowd started to get a bit restless. No trace of the French national anthem yet. Monsieur P. appeared red-headed from behind his devilish machine and asked the flag bearer, monsieur N. for advice. Finally, after a good 4 long minutes, the Marseillaise sounded across the church square.
Next the parade, this time motorised, moved off towards Bois Dernier. Now monsieur P. did not take any risk. After he had installed the amplifier, het took over the flag from monsieur N., who, like an experienced DJ managed to elicit the Chant des Partisans and the Marseillaise from the CD player. With a sigh of relief the meeting broke up, and everyone, light at heart and glad about this happy ending went to Les Blés d’Or for a bite, and more important, for a drink….

For our own website click here.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

!What the folk?

The fact that the French are very keen on plays on words is something that does not stop to amuse me. Sometimes they come up with something more or less clever, like “Aux Berges de la Grosne” (On the borders of the river Grosne) which is pronounced identically to “Auberge de la Grosne” (Inn on the Grosne), for a restaurant that closed its doors last year, close to that little stream. It is getting worse the moment the French get the urge to abuse the English language (not the way I do, as a non-native speaker, but to be witty). Last year a supermarket was opened in Tournus bearing the name of “Simply”. What better slogan could they come up with but the meaningless and grammatically incorrect “Be simply, be happy”? Some other organisation organises an open air festival centred around mainly children’s games, which is called “On the road a game”. This jewel was clearly based on the hit by Canned Heat (1968) “On the road again”. The best one in this genre is undoubtedly "!What the folk?", the name of a band around here that specialises in folk music; also note the use of punctuation marks! I do not think this one needs any further explanation.
If there would be a contest for the maximum “jokes” one can embed in an advertisement, I might know who could well be the winner. “Le Papillon”, a beer bar and tea room in Bissey-sur-Fley, is moving from there and will re-open soon in the former “Aux Berges de la Grosne”. Not only did they change the spelling into “Le Pap Y llon”, where the Y could be used to impersonate a frothy glass of beer, but they did more, as the sign shows.
Where the word “Bièrexquise” comes from, I do not know (maybe from “Exquisite beer”?), but “convivialithé” is undoubtedly linked to the conviviality that is inherent in drinking tea. This one is almost better than the "Spéciali-thés" on the old sign! I am waiting for the owner to come up with something like “Our beer is bièrey, bièrey good!”. By the way: after having written this blog I found out that the owners of “Le Papyllon” were not French at all, but German!

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