It seems that the divide between 'sophisticated' Paris and country bumpkins, i.e. the rest of France, is alive and well. Technikart, a Paris-based monthly recently published a piece called "Cow pats or Life...a survival manual for the fashionable of the countryside". It begins: "Gueret is almost a dead town...there are yokels, old farts and too many cows...'" On it merrily goes, stating that finding young people there with dress sense is like "finding a needle in a haystack", etc. etc.
Back came the locals fighting: a Facebook page called 'Les Cruesois against Technikart' had 1,5000 followers who equally did not mince their words. "Much more interesting things happen here than in the Parisian grime" wrote one of them. And that was the polite sort.
Apparently the mayor of Gueret has invited the magazine to a barbecue, though what exactly will be barbecued is not divulged.
Gueret by the way is in the Creuse, north of Aubusson and just off the E62 motorway.
I shall go on championing the Auvergne in the Massif Central. Of all France's rural areas, it's probably one of the most backward, and there are plenty of cow pats. But it's far more dramatic than the Creuse which can be a bit flat, the people are charming, and in many ways much more civilised than those dreadful Parisians...Oh dear, prejudice is catching.
Image: A remote village in the Auvergne