Just wandered into Flers for supper. It's a complete contrast to la Rochelle - lots of ethnic bars which mostly feed the owners' families, I suspect: Turkish, Italian, Vietnamese. The whole place is a bit stark - but - it is genuine. It has a sort of grubby pride in itself, and real people doing real things. We actually chose a little hotel in one of the squares, Saint Germain, which turned out to be Turkish, with an owner/waiter of great charm and friendliness (not at all French), whose name was Genghis. Nice light supper, all good.
He did not have on the menu the local speciality - Flers Beak and Duck Pie. Thank God.
Now, while we wandered around looking for which place to go to, we passed a group of cops on the pavement. There were seven or eight of them, young, fit, serious. This is the second such group we have seen in France. All gathered, ready for a swoop. This time, in their clutches, was a guy blowing into a big breathalyser machine. He was calm, dark, looking a bit pissed off. His car - a Porsche - was black and shiny and about 30 years old, maybe more. Classy. He must have failed to appease them because shortly afterwards we saw a little cortege going past - a cop car with several of them inside, and then the Porsche, driven by a cop and with the man in the passenger seat.
Earlier today, we saw a headline in a newspaper clipboard: Les gendarmes cherchent une arme dans l'étang Cops search the lake for a gun.
You don't often see British police gathered in public for a sting or whatever they call it. We saw about eight local French police two days ago doing that when we went for lunch with my sister at Valence d'Agen - there the group of cops had with them an electrical engineer and we speculated they were going after someone doing meter-fraud. Who knows? The days of Dixon of Dock Green or Maigret are long gone. Bonjour, bonjour, bonjour...... I don't think so.