….a quick glance at the latest local news with Caroline Manson

The heat is (still) on

thermometer hot

Temperatures hit well over 30°C this weekend – more than 8°C over the normal temperature for this time of year.  Night-time temperatures have also remained over 20°C, which is considered ‘tropical’.  The unprecedented temperatures are due to the southerly wind from Africa – which has also brought with it the sand and desert dust. The warm weather is set to last until at least the end of the month – so my headline on the last news report that ‘Summer is Over’ may well have been premature…

Elderly man dies in fire

house fire

Firefighters were called to a blaze in a ground-floor apartment in Argelès sur Mer last Monday. Around 48 pompiers were engaged in this important intervention but unfortunately a 97 year old man lost his life in the fire.  Two other elderly victims were transported to the Clinic Saint Pierre in Perpignan in a relative state of emergency, and two other people were rescued unscathed.  The fire was contained in the ravaged apartment and did not spread to the neighbouring apartments but the cause of the fire is as yet unknown.

Cock-fighting witnessed in Perpignan

rooster coq

A group of people studying in the library on rue Emile Zola were disturbed by the noise of ‘chickens’ in the street outside.  Looking out of the window they saw a group of young people trying to force two roosters to fight each other.  When they contacted the national police they were told that ‘it was not their responsibility and they had more important things to do’.  One of the witnesses, who happened to be an animal activist, went down to remonstrate with the young people and ask them to stop their ‘game’ but they were not keen on being educated in this way, and admitted that this type of ‘game’ took place regularly.  When contacted by a journalist, the police later confirmed that while they had no feedback on this particular case they took the problem of animal abuse very seriously, and confirmed that it can be punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a fine of 45,000€.

A new way to queue


You know the stress of ‘picking the wrong queue’ in the supermarket – you make the judgement and then end up behind the person who has forgotten their wallet or wants to slowly write out a cheque or buy something without a barcode – well Carrefour has the solution!  In two of their hypermarkets (Chateau Roussillon and Claira Salanca) they have inaugurated the system of single-one queuing.  Instead of eyeing up every cash register to gamble on the quickest queue you line up single-file and a host/hostess and screen will then direct you to the next available cashier.  Despite this system being in place in airports, banks and many other shops throughout the world, customers were said to have been initially ‘intrigued’ but since then have given good feedback.

Holiday-makers cancel All-Saints holidays in the P-O

Despite the fact that the weather is perfect for tourists who had planned to spend the ‘Toussaints’ holiday here in the P-O, as many as 40% have now cancelled and hotels are facing occupancy rates of just 20 – 25%.  This is a direct result of the national fuel shortage as people are not prepared to risk driving long distances if they cannot guarantee being able to fill up with fuel for the return journey.

And finally…

They say that ‘football is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen’ – but there was no sign of any ‘gentlemen’ during a match between the junior teams of Etoile Sportive Catalane and the US Thuirinoise at Argelès last week.  At the end of the match, players from both teams embarked on a fairly violent fight between themselves, which then involved members of the public in the stands.  The clashes required the intervention of gendarmes who dispersed the crowd with tear gas.  The Disciplinary Commission of the Rugby League of Occitania has opened an investigation and demanded that the Thuir and Argelès clubs explain themselves.

Caroline Manson is an independent Property Consultant – for advice on buying, selling, renting or renovating, don’t hesitate to contact her at

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