Glancing at the Independent today, I did a double-take, that was followed quickly by a sense of déjà vu.
The headline read "Provençal bar is two steps too close to God"
Now where have we read before about a vexatious proximity between wine pichet and communion cup (vexatious, at any rate, for the French, who, with their tidy minds, like to keep things in their separate compartments) ?
Was it not ex-Telegraph journalist Colin Randall, writing on his Salut! blog ?
Indeed it was, and he is now spreading his wings further as a freelance journalist, reporting for the Independent on the foibles of our occasionally perplexing French neighbour.
(He has other blogging interests too, notably Sunderland football club and folk music, but we'll come back to those another day - or, there again, maybe we won't).
I warmed to his opening paragraph:
"For tourists passing through the idyllic Provençal village of La Motte, the Bar des Cascades is a convenient watering hole on a drive round the spectacular Gorges du Verdon."
Why ? Because although Jane and I have still to visit La Motte we made our first visit recently to those Gorges du Verdon, the subject of a post. What a spectacular region that is, and so handy, as he says, for a day trip from the coast.
Anyway, it's good to see Colin continuing to establish himself as an independent with "un doigt en beaucoup de pies".
Operating as a freelance after the security of salaried employment is no easy task, as this writer (and fellow victim of Mammon) knows from his own experience.
Incidentally, visitors to his Salut! will find yours truly has posted Part 2 of his guest blog. It tells of our our recent mission to Tuscany in search of a strategically-sited location for a planned late-life "gap year".
Well, I freely admit to the latter. It is quirky, but I don't like my readers to be puzzled, so a brief word of explanation is in order.
Colin R has suffered in his career, no doubt, at the hands of editors wielding the blue pencil. The original script I sent him was prefaced with a warning that my script was organized as a "conversational Möbius strip", my having borrowed that term from a recent article by that clever and effortlessly (?) eloquent A.A.Gill.
I assumed that most folk would know what a Möbius strip was, but Colin, wearing his no-nonsense editorial hat, appeared to think otherwise.