Postcard from... Paris


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Holidaymakers were pouring back into Paris last night. The city empties in August and those of us left behind might be less surprised to see a ball of tumbleweed rolling down the Boulevard St Germain than a column of traffic. Shops, bars, restaurants – even some doctors’ surgeries and offices – remain shut. I for one haven’t been able to settle my rent as my landlord is en vacances, perhaps with the entire staff of my bank and the local baker.

The French are surprisingly tribal about their holiday destinations – Corsica, Brittany and Normandy are popular choices. I was lucky enough to be invited to quintessentially French resort La Baule, just north of Nates on the Loire estuary, known as a summer bastion for well-heeled residents of the 16th arrondissement, rather than sunburnt British tourists.

A once sleepy seaside town with quaint avenues and sloping Breton roofs, La Baule’s high street is now crowded with Parisian boutiques. Sarkozy is said to take lessons at the tennis club. As we sat on the beach, a small plane flew up and down trailing a banner which read: “Hollande, resign!”

As far as we know former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg, who sank the government a week ago, was not in the pilot’s seat.