Xmas spirit

The Xmas market just opened

Chez Laure

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🏥 Health news

The ninth wave of Covid-19 is becoming clearer in France. According to SantĂ© publique France (SPF), 68,382 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Wednesday 30 November (+39% over seven days). This increase is partly due to the emergence of the BQ.1.1 sub-variant, a sub-variant of BA.5, itself a sub-variant of Omicron, which SPF describes as “ubiquitous”. BA.5 represents 93% of the Omicron viruses circulating in France. It should be noted that only the Omicron variant is currently circulating in the country.

The specialists interviewed for this article agree that this BQ.1.1 sub-variant is largely responsible for the “resumption of circulation” of Covid-19 observed by SPF.

đź—ž Latest Titbits


🔸 Britain has lost its position as Europe’s largest stock market, as Paris overtook London for the first time since records began in 2003.

According to Bloomberg, the combined market value of primary listings on Monday on the Paris bourse ($2.823tn) surpassed that of the London Stock Exchange ($2.821tn) – finally closing a gap of around $1.5tn which has been narrowing since the Brexit referendum.

In response, one recently-departed member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee – which is warning of the longest UK recession since the 1920s – lamented that leaving the EU has “permanently damaged” not only the City of London, but “the UK economy as a whole”.

The milestone shift came as French stocks were buoyed by optimism over the demand for French luxury goods in response to China’s slight easing of Covid-19 restrictions, while the sharper fall in the pound’s value against the dollar compared with that of the euro this year has also played a role.

🔸 The fourth fastest supercomputer on Earth is a quantum-ready juggernaut from France.

Local (sort of…)


Kind if re-discovered this medieval town and its weekly market every Monday. Went there twice in recent weeks.

Pleasant market and great atmosphere. To be combined with a “tapas-like” lunch with a cheese and / or charcuterie plat.


The planning for the planned holiday in French Polynesia this coming March is almost complete. All travel arrangement, all accommodations and all car rentals, where needed, are booked. Now looking at activities to be planned and I am having difficulties trying to rent a small boat so that we can explore the lagoons in Bora Bora. Working on it.Also open is a list of possible restaurants on each of the island we are going to visit.

Nailloux Outlet

Had to go to Toulouse airport a couple of times lately so it was decided to stop at the “Village des Marques” for some Xmas shopping on the last Saturday of November. I have never seen the car park so full, however it is such a big place that shoppers dissipated in the village itself.

TheXmas and personal shopping was quite successful.

🛍 Local shopping – Xmas ideas

I do not normally advertise, especially if I am not paid to do so but I have come across a few sites which might be of interest. All located in Occitanie.

🎼 My month in Music (from Deezer).

Quite a heavy month listening to music with over 36 hours

🍏 Fruits and vegetables of the month

Talking about food, I had another excellent lunch a couple of days ago at the Domaine d’Auriac. The Michelin star restaurant did increase the prices but the quality makes it still worthwhile.

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Protected: Reunion de la Bande 2023

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Une fois

Day 1

Made it to Belgium

Uneventful flight to Charleroi where we picked up the rental car we need for the coming 6 days.

It is a short ride to Liège and our friend’s house where we spend the night.

Day 2

Slept like a baby… It has been a long time since that happened. Fit for a small breakfast after which we hit the road for the short hop across the border to the Netherlands.

First Maastricht for a spot of lunch and a walk around town

More media here

A few kilometers away is our final destination for the day and namely the Hotel Valkenburg in the town of the same name.

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The Who

Last night I did something I have not done in a long time. I actually listened to an album from start to finish. I have to add that it was great.

I remember when « Tommy » came out and when I bought 🫰it at the start of the summer 1969. I spend many many nights listening to it in the semi darkness of my bedroom. I knew it by heart.

Listening to it again tonight brought back a hell of a lot of nostalgic memories.

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Missing personnel

I simply do not understand where the real issue is. Are people simply too lazy to work, is there a lack of qualified people? Pharmacies are or were notoriously an area where money could be made. Someone has to explain to me what is going on.

Dans les officines, les pharmaciens manquent de plus en plus à l’appel

Les pharmacies ont de plus en plus de mal Ă  recruter des salariĂ©s diplĂ´mĂ©s mais aussi, hors des grandes villes, Ă  trouver repreneur. 

© Le Monde


« C’était devenu difficile ces dernières annĂ©es mais, depuis le Covid, c’est catastrophique. Â» Au comptoir de la pharmacie de Donzère, dans la DrĂ´me, Brigitte Boyer, 68 ans, soupire un instant, avant d’enchaĂ®ner, dĂ©pitĂ©e : Â« En trente ans d’officine, je n’avais jamais vu ça. Autrefois, on parvenait Ă  recruter en un mois ! LĂ , ça fait un an et demi que je cherche, sans succès, un pharmacien adjoint. Â» RĂ©signĂ©e, la pharmacienne s’est finalement rĂ©solue, cet Ă©tĂ©, Ă  fermer son commerce les samedis après-midi. Une dĂ©cision prise Ă  contrecĹ“ur, mais Â« nĂ©cessaire Â», pour Â« soulager un peu les Ă©quipes Â», Ă©puisĂ©es par la charge de travail.

A 400 kilomètres de lĂ , scĂ©nario semblable dans la rĂ©gion dijonnaise. Â« C’est la mĂŞme galère, constate cet autre pharmacien. Pour la première fois, j’ai vu des confrères baisser le rideau pendant les vacances estivales, faute d’avoir trouvĂ© des remplaçants pour garder la pharmacie ouverte pendant les congĂ©s de leurs salariĂ©s. Â»Lire aussi :  Article rĂ©servĂ© Ă  nos abonnĂ©s  Avec la pĂ©nurie de gĂ©nĂ©ralistes, 11 % de personnes n’ont pas de mĂ©decin traitant en France

Entre les prescriptions médicales, le conseil aux clients et les nouvelles missions de santé comme la réalisation de tests Covid-19 et la vaccination, l’activité des pharmacies a bondi ces dernières années. Mais, après avoir accueilli avec enthousiasme l’élargissement de leurs responsabilités, les officines, confrontées à une pénurie de plus en plus criante de personnel, dépriment.

« Les difficultés de recrutement se sont accentuées. Il manque actuellement 15 000 préparateurs et pharmaciens dans le réseau officinal. Aucune pharmacie n’échappe aujourd’hui à ce phénomène », confirme Christophe Le Gall, président de l’Union nationale des pharmaciens de France. Même les territoires ultramarins sont à la peine. « Malgré une rémunération très attractive, un contrat de trente-cinq heures, et la prise en charge du billet d’avion et du logement sur place, on ne trouve personne », explique un pharmacien hors de la métropole. Sur la Toile, les annonces postées sur les sites de recrutement et les réseaux sociaux témoignent de cette quête effrénée : « Nous recherchons toujours un pharmacien », « nous avons besoin de vous », « pharmacie désespérée »…

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🍇 FĂŞte du Vin

Even if I do not drink at the moment (it will be 4 months tomorrow since I stopped) I shall go to the Place Carnot later on today. I know most of the gang depicted on this morning’s local paper.

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iPhone 14Pro

Has just been delivered

Currently setting it up and testing

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In fact I could do with another large screen to use with my main computer. There are some tasks which are much easier. Fortunately my main screen is large enough I can have split screens.

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What ever happened to Nokia?

Looking for a long lost phone memory dongle, I came across my old Nokia E71 phone. I remember clearly the day I purchased it in the duty free in Hong Kong airport on my way back to Shanghai.

Apart from the fact that some of the keys were in Chinese, it probably was the best phone I ever had at the time.

One of the best features in thoses days was the fact that one could take the battery out and change it if needed.

Now, if I could find the charger, I would try to start it up…

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