Paris What do you think when you hear the word ‘retirement’? Heaps of spare time? Waving goodbye to your mind-numbing commute? Well, you might want to keep hold of your CV for a little longer because an ‘anti-retirement home’ run by French feminists is paving the way towards a new way of living for the elderly. The female-only home was set up three years ago by 20 French feminists, nicknamed the ‘Babayagas’ after the wild and mythical women of Slavic folklore who represented wisdom and power in their communities. The Babayagas’ house is based in Montreuil, just outside Paris, and houses women who want to live in an affordable community while maintaining their independence through activities and workshops. Residents undertake 10 hours of chores per week and are selected for what they can contribute to the community. It seems girl power has no age limit.
Marseille Soapmakers in the south of France are in a flap over how the famous Marseille soap should be made. On one side are the traditionalists, who stand by their 600-year-old recipe made from vegetable oil, sea water and soda ash. On the other are manufacturers, led by cosmetics company L’Occitane, who want to add perfumes such as lavender oil to the recipe. Traditional manufacturers sought to protect the soap from imitation by implementing a ‘geographical indication’ label. It caused such an uproar that an official inquiry has now been launched to determine the true recipe. What a pa-lather.
Paris The French government are looking to implement new measures to eliminate sexism in video games, according to a report by French newspaper Le Figaro. The French minister of digital affairs, Axelle Lemaire, is considering financial incentives for video games that present a positive image of women. Labels identifying which games are taking part in the initiative are also being proposed, while those who decline may be categorised as discriminatory and forced to adopt an age rating of 18. Lemaire is also considering incentives to include more women working in the industry. We certainly hope other countries are taking note.
Granville The French are known for having a fairly relaxed attitude to life – except when it comes to elephants. A new study by travel company lastminute.com has revealed 10 of the most peculiar French laws – including one banning elephants from being on the beach in Granville, Normandy. The law was introduced in 2009 after a herd of circus elephants visited the seaside resort. Traces of their droppings were found in the sea and inspectors issued a warning over health standards. So if you’re visiting Granville, don’t forget: no trunks allowed.
Paris If you want to be a true on-trend Parisian this summer, ditch the vélo and embrace Cityscoot’s electric scooter instead. The new initiative – endorsed by the capital’s mayor Anne Hidalgo – saw 150 scooters introduced in central Paris last month, with plans to roll out 1,000 more by March. The scooters, introduced in a bid to reduce the number of cars and pollution in the city, can cover approximately 105km over five hours. The bikes are available between 7am and 11pm every day at a charge of 28 cents (23p) per minute. What’s more, no driving licence is needed and all helmets are provided. Vite vite!