mercredi, décembre 31, 2008

Happy Recessionista Year

Despite what I wrote on my previous post, I couldn't help having a look at Topshop during my visit to Scotland over the holiday period. The temptation was to hard to resist : in the recession-hit UK economy, you would have difficulties finding an item that was not reduced. In most shops, you get discounts at no less than 50 %.

Poor old Woolworths, which is to close for good on January 5th, is even selling its display shelves. (For an update on the UK retail stores troubles, check this article in The Guardian.)

And with a pound sterling dropping in value, Euroland consumers are in for some great deals.

So on December 22nd, I bought boots and a bag at Topshop for 75.70 euros (you have the opportunity to choose your currency there) at a rate of 1.1 euro to the pound, instead of 1.5 euro until recently.

Does that make me a recessionista or what ?

Au Royaume-Uni, la récession n'est pas un vain mot. Les magasins massacrent leurs prix jusqu'à -75% et le pauvre Woolworths, condamné à fermer le 5 janvier, vend même ses étagères. Quant à la livre, elle est tombée à parité avec l'euro, contre 1,5 euro jusqu'à récemment.

Bonne année quand même !

jeudi, décembre 18, 2008

I hope you won't be too credit-crunched this Christmas...

Well, it's that time of the year again. I'm off to Scotland for a week of mince pies, mulled wine, spiced apple herbal tea and much more... I'll see how the financial crisis is affecting my friends across the Channel but one thing's for sure : if the credit crunch could be the opportunity to stop the mad British shopping sprees as soon as the turkey is digested, it wouldn't be so bad. There's more to life than consuming, guys.

Have a lovely time over Christmas everybody, whether you believe in it or not.

mercredi, décembre 17, 2008

10 great bedtime stories

After the top 10 DVDs for kids, here's my list of recommended books for bilingual toddlers. Quite handy before Xmas, isn't ? (Pepette, they might come in handy very soon !)

1- The complete works of Beatrix Potter. A friend gave me the collector box for the birth of my first child. A requisite in any baby's bedroom.

2- Petit Ours Brun. Little Brown Bear on the potty, Little Brown Bear doesn't want to have a nap, Little Brown Bear says no... All kids under three will identify to these neat square books.

3- Katie Morag. Charming stories set in the Hebrides.

4- Winnie the Pooh. Before I had kids, I thought Winnie the Pooh was only a naff bed cover pattern. But it's originally a very nice set of stories written by A.A. Milne back in 1926.

5- Pat the Bunny. An American vintage classic that kids can touch and play with.

6- Maisy. Or Mimi in French : the perfect companion to learn colours or shapes.

7- Les aventures de Tintin. Even if they can't read, children love the adventures of the Belgian reporter, thanks to the realistic drawings and all the animals, countries and means of transport that fill the pages.

8- Le livre des bruits. L'âne fait hi han, le rhume fait atchoum. Et l'escargot ? Il ne fait rien. Soledad Bravi's minimalist design is a must.

9- Shhhh ! Don't speak loud or you will wake up the giant. A superbly drawn album and a great suspense too.

10-Sock Monkey goes to Hollywood. The woolly puppet is invited to an award ceremony. But it has to have a bath !

Feel free to add your suggestions.

samedi, décembre 13, 2008

Journalistes de tous les pays, unissez-vous

Les hommes du président d'Alan J. Pakula, 1976. Aujourd'hui, Carl Bernstein et Bob Woodward auraient-ils le temps d'enquêter pendant des semaines sur un scandale d'Etat ?

Les temps sont durs pour tout le monde et loin de moi l'idée de faire pleurer dans les chaumières sur le sort des journalistes sous prétexte que je fais partie de cette corporation.

Mais lorsque j'ai lu cette information la semaine dernière, je n'en ai pas cru mes yeux : Newsquest, le groupe qui édite trois journaux de Glasgow, The Herald, The Evening Times et The Sunday Herald, a licencié TOUS ses 230 journalistes en les invitant à postuler à de nouvelles offres d'emplois, moins nombreuses, et communes aux publications papier et internet.

La mutualisation des contenus est une tendance de fond de la presse. Alain Weill, le patron de La Tribune, RMC et BFM en France, en a fait le coeur de sa stratégie d'entreprise. Les journalistes de presse écrite sont désormais censés écrire pour les sites internet de leurs publications, voire produire des vidéos etc... Mais cette mesure autoritaire de Newsquest est en outre destinée à briser la résistance du syndicat, le National Union of Journalists, opposé aux changements.

Alex Salmond, le premier ministre écossais, est lui-même intervenu pour protester contre ce coup de force.

Désormais, il ne faut plus parler de journalistes mais de producteurs de contenus... Times they are a'changin'.

Le prochain post sera plus léger, promis !