France

I was relishing the lockdown a week ago, but now I need urgent hospital treatment

11 April 2020 9:00 am

In France the rule for going for a walk stipulates an hour in duration or a kilometre in distance. We…

Could coronavirus lead to Frexit?

4 April 2020 7:01 pm

Is France flirting with the idea of Frexit again? Coronavirus is currently provoking a chorus of ‘reprendre le contrôle’ (take…

Had the entire village population been wiped out since last week?

4 April 2020 9:00 am

With my signed and dated laissez-passer in my pocket, I trotted down to the village to see if I could…

Annie Ernaux looks back at her teenage self – and sees a stranger

4 April 2020 9:00 am

How can you recover the teenage girl you were? Not just recall the memories and recount the events — this…

Liberté, égalité and fraternité are being put to the test in France

4 April 2020 12:29 am

When I left my apartment for my morning run today I saw that someone had scrawled on the courtyard in…

Is France being pushed to breaking point?

30 March 2020 8:46 pm

As France prepares to enter its third week of confinement the Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, has warned that ‘the fight…

France’s downward spiral of coronavirus repression

24 March 2020 11:48 pm

In France there is a palpable sense of administrative and political panic in how to deal with the coronavirus epidemic.…

Catherine Deneuve is at her most Deneuve-ish: The Truth reviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

To tell you the truth about The Truth, even though it stars Catherine Deneuve at her most Catherine Deneuve-ish (i.e.…

My love affair with Hannah Arendt

21 March 2020 9:00 am

The three of us — me, Catriona and her daughter Skye — were having a wash and brush-up before going…

Shrieks, shots and broken china: a visit to my rural French GP

7 March 2020 9:00 am

On a hard chair next to the waiting-room door, I sat for an hour defusing thoughts of my own demise,…

British police must learn from France in dealing with Extinction Rebellion

19 February 2020 10:06 pm

I’ve always been a fan of the French police, in part because when I lived in the south of the…

Le bromance: Macron has fallen under Boris’s spell

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Macron has fallen under Boris’s spell

All forecasts are off if Iran shuts the Strait of Hormuz

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… Late last year, a range of forecasts…

Islamists have opened a terrifying new front in their war with France

6 January 2020 11:51 pm

France has endured an appalling series of Islamist terror attacks in recent years. One might feel a sense of relief…

Hell is an expat dinner party

7 December 2019 9:00 am

I just don’t understand it. Emigrating from Britain to France is a big step. Shifting from one culture to another…

nato

Trump is saving Nato

5 December 2019 4:32 am

It’s almost Nato as usual when Emmanuel Macron calls Nato ‘brain dead’. It’s Nato as usual, and Donald Trump as…

Meet the unrivalled Sun King of early music, William Christie

23 November 2019 9:00 am

It’s morning in the garden of William Christie, and he’s talking about home improvements. ‘I planted three pines up there…

Could this self-made billionaire become France’s first Muslim president?

12 October 2019 9:00 am

The French writer Michel Houellebecq has a disconcerting habit of correctly predicting unsettling events. In 2001 in Plateforme he predicted…

Emmanuel Macron will regret his failure to crack down on Islamists

8 October 2019 1:11 am

It beggars belief that Mickaël Harpon was employed as a computer expert in the intelligence department at police HQ in…

Labour is following in the doomed footsteps of the French left

27 September 2019 7:57 pm

The left no longer exists as a coherent political force in France. Embarrassed in the 2017 presidential election, the Socialist…

The French city zones where police rarely escape unscathed

12 September 2019 7:11 pm

In December 2015, Donald Trump claimed parts of the French capital were no-go zones for the police. ‘Paris is no…

The mysterious ways of the French

7 September 2019 9:00 am

These new tablets that will save or at least prolong my life have unpredictable side effects which only now, a…

yin

Trump’s yin and yang game with China

24 August 2019 8:12 pm

It should be obvious by now — but somehow isn’t. Whenever @realDonldTrump says something wild, you can bet the real…

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak (Getty)

Why you can’t let Brexit affect your life

24 August 2019 9:00 am

A couple with a first baby sought my advice: they had accepted a low offer for their cramped London flat…

Will the Mistral drive me to murder?

11 May 2019 9:00 am

So far this latest Mistral wind has blown for two and a half weeks. The Mistral is said to blow…