Eric Zemmour, extreme right-wing candidate for the French presidency

Below is a very good video from Britain’s THE TELEGRAPH investigating Zemmour’s startling ascension in France. I do not support him. During the filmed interview with the editor of the Conservative magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, the editor said that Zemmour’s ideas were “reassuring” to many people. I don’t agree; to the contrary. One of Zemmour’s role models is extreme right-wing populist Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary. He also claims, and has said so publicly many times, that during World War II, Marshall Pétain who served as Chief of State of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944 (and who collaborated with Nazi Germany), protected and saved French Jews. It was only the foreign Jews, he says, that were rounded up and sent to the camps. Not true. Why on earth would Zemmour, a Jewish man himself, say such a thing? After the war, Pétain was tried and convicted for treason. 

But what does this have to do with the current problems and preoccupations of France today?  Zemmour is a timewaster, has never served in any political capacity, and has no viable solutions to any pressing problems.

Zemmour in Marseille just last week giving the middle finger to someone through his car window. Is this the image we want of a French president? Zemmour …dégage !

PROFILE (from Wikipedia) –

Early life

Born on 31 August 1958 in Montreuil, at that time in the Seine department, now part of Seine-Saint-Denis. His parents were Berber Jews from Algeria with French citizenship who came to metropolitan France during the Algerian War. He grew up first in Drancy and later in the Paris Château Rouge quarter. The son of Roger Zemmour (a paramedic) and his wife Lucette, a housewife, he has said he admires his mother and grandmother, as his father was often absent; he was raised by women “who taught [him] to be a man”.


Zemmour graduated from the Institut d’études politiques de Paris in 1979. He subsequently failed twice to gain admission to the École nationale d’administration (ÉNA). Despite his failure to gain admission to the ÉNA, his status as a political journalist allowed him to be a member of the admissions committee of the school in 2006.

Personal life

Since 1982, Éric Zemmour has been married to Mylène Chichportich, a lawyer of Tunisian Jewish descent who specialized in bankruptcy law. She maintains a low media profile and never comments on her husband’s controversies. Together they have three children, two boys and a girl.

Here’s the video –

flag day, to honor the victims of the November 2015 terrorist attacks

To honor and pay tribute to the victims of the horrific November 2015 terrorist attacks that took place in several different locations around Paris, the good citizens of France were invited to hang flags from their windows and balconies. And if a flag wasn’t handy, well…use your imagination!

bras3 chairs3 towelsflag fourflag eightflag sevenflag oneflag sixflag and hands

Incidentally, President Macron recently changed the color of the French flag, but no one noticed. The blue is now a darker, navy blue.

Gudrun Sjödén

Cult Swedish designer, Gudrun Sjödén, opened her first store in Stockholm in 1976. Her eco-conscious, fanciful designs have been called Pippi Longstocking: comfortable, colorful clothes crafted from natural fabrics and with a Nordic design. Tunics, loose-fitting trousers, generous-sized tops with scarves, leggings and the layered look. When I popped over to London on the Eurostar, I’d make sure to visit her boutique near Covent Garden and buy an outfit or two. Gosh, I miss London. I haven’t been since August 2019 (mainly because of COVID.)

There’s also a Gudrun Sjödén boutique in Soho, NYC at 50 Greene Street. But not in Paris. Years ago, I bought a tunic top that I’ve worn and washed so often it now has a hole in it. Which is why I’m looking to order another one from their website. You can too!

lunch at the Bistro St. So in Lille

I’ve been taking the kids to the “parc rouge” (the red park) for thirteen years now, ever since the eldest son – now 20 – was seven years old. Now it’s his little brother, 9 years old, who I take to the park and then to lunch across the road.

It’s not really called the red park, we call it that because the metal gates surrounding it are painted red. Its official name is Le parc Jean-Baptiste Lebas. The weather was autumnal: crisp, cool and sunny, the lawns littered with fallen leaves.

Directly across the road is the Gare Saint Sauveur, a former goods station with some of the buildings converted into an exhibition area and a terrific bistro that I love. Great food, service and ambience at reasonable prices.

The evening before, I had taken my 9-year old companion to a DVD shop at around 7 pm. It’s a place that I frequent often (I have a huge DVD collection) because there must be over 100,000 DVDs on offer, all years, all genres, all nationalities. I could spend hours there. But after about 20 minutes my companion complained that his back hurt because he was standing for too long.

“What?” I exclaimed, flipping through a row of DVDs. “You’re 9 years old and you’re complaining of back pain?” I suffer from lumbago. I’ll tell you about back pain, my little friend. (He confessed later that his back didn’t hurt, he was just bored and wanted to leave.)

So I quickly bought two DVDs: Bunny Lake is Missing (a 1965 British psychological drama film directed by Otto Preminger) and The Grifters (a 1990 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Stephen Frears) and out we went into the night in central Lille. We ended up in a pocket-sized sushi restaurant. We both agreed that it wasn’t as good as the sushi we had in Paris in August.

The Bistro de St So is a super casual, welcoming place filled with young parents and their kids who are encouraged to run around in a safe place while the parents catch up with their friends. Incidentally, the good people from Lille are twenty times friendlier and more relaxed than Parisians.

I chose the roast chicken with stuffing, mushrooms and roasted squash because it looked autumnal. My companion had the children’s menu of fish and chips.

I couldn’t resist the dessert which was a sort of butternut tart with a citrusy cream and chantilly (whipped cream). Eating it was a beautiful experience.

Back to Paris on the Sunday afternoon train.

off to Lille with homemade cinnamon raisin bread

One of my favorite activities is to stand in my small kitchen space, listen to the radio or a good podcast (or an author interview on BBC Radio 4), and make or bake something. I find it relaxing and de-stressing. The reward at the end is something delicious that you made yourself.

In view of my trip to Lille tomorrow morning (a city in the north of France, not far from the Belgian border), I decided to make two cinnamon raisin loaves, one for my friend and his kids, the other for another friend who Photoshopped something for me. I wish I knew how to use Photoshop, Inkscape and all the other graphic design software. If I had my career to do over again, maybe I’d be a graphic designer, I don’t know. It’s true that you can teach yourself, but what with my full-time job and my book-writing on the weekend, who has time?? I barely have time to read a book and am actually looking forward to the train trip tomorrow (it’s only an hour) to crack open a new novel I recently bought: Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers.

There are many excellent recipes on the internet for this bread. I prefer whole-grain flour rather than white, as used in The Smitten Kitchen’s recipe (link below).

whole-grain cinnamon swirl bread