Friday, 17 August 2012

Health and Safety? Non.

Don't be jealous, but I am currently sat on a clifftop in Biarritz watching the French enjoy la plage with great enthusiasm. The usual things are happening. People are topless, eating ice cream, smoking cigarettes, surfing, and running and diving with complete disregard for their bodies into waves reaching six feet or more. All of these are potentially dangerous activities (except eating ice cream I suppose) but I am struck in particular by the lack of any health and safety displayed in and around the Atlantic surf. There are several rules I am sure should be followed. Diving into shallow surf is dangerous and an easy way to break your neck. Not in France, apparently, where everyone is lining up for a synchronised plunge. Letting small children play alone in big waves? Pas de probleme. The sea eventually spits them back out somewhere along the beach, spluttering, gasping, but importantly still alive. Heeding the lifeguard's safety messages? Qui? There is a tanned fellow on a raised platform who I assume is the lifeguard. Occasionally he blows a whistle or does some vague waving and is completely ignored by one and all. Health and safety? Non. In a few minutes I fancy joining my European cousins and most probably becoming the first pasty and useless casualty of the year. At least the lifeguard can earn his money.


  1. I love the French attitude.So relaxed. Good luck with that dive into shallow surf ....

  2. the problem is not teh lifeguard being lazy, he is maybe fed up with people not obeying me, because french people have a tendency to avoid simple example? once at our shop, the lights we had no lights, so no customer was allowed to enter the shop? I was at the entrance, and what hapenned? even if i told them they were not allowed to go in, they laughed at me and still visited the shop....and of course, no use of force allowed ;) wonder why i move out of France ;)

  3. Ack, where's the like button? You so can Write. Keep going with your "Robbery, murder and cups of tea." I'll be waiting.