A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
The two iconic pocket knives of France are The Opinel and The Laguiole.
The Opinel (the ones with the wooden handles) are probably the most common pocket knives in France. Hardly a home in the entire country would be without at least one. Invented by a M Joseph Opinel in about 1895; well over 20 million have been sold (I myself currently have at least 4). They have simple beechwood handles, and traditionally a high carbon (not stainless) steel blade. They are still made by the Opinel family in the town of St-Jean-de-Maurienne in the Savoie. Personally I always buy the No 8 size knife; they seem 'just right'.
The other classic pocket knife of France, and produced much closer to home, is The Laguiole. Not a single factory, but a group of manufacturers in and around the town of Thiers in the Aveyron who all produce knives of a similar design. This knife was invented by a M Jean-Pierre Calmels in 1829; the small corkscrew being added in 1840 as a result of requests from local waiters. The Laguiole usually has a simple horn handle with a stainless steel blade.
I am hardly ever more than a few feet away from an Opinel (there's usually one in my pocket), and it's my knife of choice for everyday usage. Surprising how many times in the day that one has use of a length of string and an Opinel, a man and his knife should never be separated..
Total Eclipse of the Blog
Hello, dear readers! Are you in the path of the eclipse? Did you buy the
special glasses? I am sort of in the path and bought glasses . . . however
6 months ago
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 45 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), a Border Collie/Black Lab' cross called Bok, a cat called Freddie, plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!