Archive for fire-fighter

total respect

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2022 by xi'an

a week of fires

Posted in pictures with tags , on March 9, 2021 by xi'an

Last week, in a freak coincidence, both my 81-year old aunt, who lives near Hyères in the South of France, and my 79-year old next-door neighbour suffered from a home fire, alas destroying most of her house for my aunt and fortunately remaining confined to his garage for my neighbour, thanks to the quick and super-efficient intervention of the local fire brigade which did much better than our weak attempt at hosing down the flames. At least, no one got hurt in either case, but these close crises reminded me how quickly even a small fire can turn out of control…

local mayhem, again and again and again…

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2019 by xi'an

The public transports in France and in particular in Paris have now been on strike for three weeks. In connection with a planned reform of the retirement conditions of workers with special status, like those in the train and metro companies, who can retire earlier than the legal age (62). As usual with social unrest in France, other categories joined the strike and the protest, including teachers and health service public workers, as well as police officers, fire-fighters and opera dancers, and even some students. Below are some figures from the OECD about average retirement conditions in nearby EU countries that show that these conditions are apparently better in France. (With the usual provision that these figures have been correctly reported.) In particular, the life expectancy at the start of retirement is the highest for both men and women. Coincidence (or not), my UCU affiliated colleagues in Warwick were also on strike a few weeks ago about their pensions…

Travelling through and around Paris by bike, I have not been directly affected by the strikes (as heavy traffic makes biking easier!), except for the morning of last week when I was teaching at ENSAE, when I blew up a tyre midway there and had to hop to the nearest train station to board the last train of the morning, arriving (only) 10mn late. Going back home was only feasible by taxi, which happened to be large enough to take my bicycle as well… Travelling to and from the airport for Vancouver and Birmingham was equally impossible by public transportation, meaning spending fair amounts of time in and money on taxis! And listening to taxi-drivers’ opinions or musical tastes. Nothing to moan about when considering the five to six hours spent by some friends of mine to get to work and back.

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