France is now seeing widespread political disaffection, dramatic growth in support for the far-right National Front (though they too regularly endure their own scandals), and Hollande's government is regarded by most people as beyond useless. The scandal-riven republic seems to be seriously malfunctioning.
Montreuil is to witness an area forming a modern and distinctive French identity, an area of low-to-middle incomes, of diverse cultures, and of conspicuous political organisation. It is also home to a growing Muslim community, owing in part to its significant Malian population. It is to areas such as Montreuil that the French ban on the face veil, introduced in April 2011, has directed itself most vigorously...
The First World War is not normally remembered for its epic battles outside the tranches of Europe, as there was nothing Ypres-like about, say, 'Edwardian' Southeast Asia. We just don't associate it to be as globally engulfing as World War Two. Yet, it would a mistake to think that there were geographical limits to the range in which this first (only if one discounts the Seven Years War) recognisable 'world war' was fought.
Ah, Paris! You're oh so beautiful, so romantic, and also, somewhat expensive. The chic boutique hotels, the mouth-watering steak frites, un vin rouge along the Boulevard Saint-Michel - just staying, eating and drinking in the French capital can be a costly experience before you even add on the 'must-see' sights of the city.
One of the most enticing aspects of renting someone else's home in another country for a little while: the chance to live in your fantasy house/castle/boat/apartment without the type of income that drives you to wear a paper bag over your head and pontificate about sardines in the manner of dear, humble Shia Le Boeuf.
I made Limoges my base for the trip, with its long and rich history there is enough to hold any visitor's attention and there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy the most avid gourmet. Also, despite the fact that our own Black Prince massacred the city's population in 1370, I got a warm and friendly welcome.
The modern day full-back is tasked with pressing forward and overlapping the attack-minded players as a means of providing an offensive outlet to his team, but also having the fitness levels to return to their starting position to perform defensive duties. Mathieu Debuchy and Ricardo Rodriguez, of Newcastle and Woflsburg respectively, have exhibited these qualities this season and are two prime examples of how a right or left-back should operate.
Whilst many of the transfer sagas in Britain are protracted, for the most part they are intense rather than bitterly unpleasant. The same could not be said across the channel, where France's longest running saga of last summer finally ended on deadline day after months of acrimony and strikes. Florian Thauvin was the man at the centre of attention.
If you believe Nicolas Anelka, his use of the 'quenelle' was a conscious and deliberate "up yours" to the French establishment in support of friend Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala. But, for many in this country, the 'quenelle' was almost unheard of, and many still argue that it is an apolitical rejection of the state and Zionism. However, it is a ghastly reminder of modern anti-Semitism.