Saturday’s Telegraph column: are the French actually more polite than us Brits?

Having spent a month in Provence writing my new book, I wondered this big question. The Brits love being rude about the French (or some Brits, I should say), but are their manners better than ours? Read it HERE. Also, because my Tel col now goes into the Saturday paper, letters can go into the Monday paper, which is exciting. (It’s a slightly confusing journalism thing, but most Sunday papers are run separately from their weekday/Saturday editions. And in fact when I was worked for the Mail, we were in direct competition with The Mail on Sunday, trying to get the big stories before they did. So previously, any letters in response to my column would have had to wait a week and go into the next Sunday Telegraph. Got it?)

I agree with Sheila and Jill to a certain extent. But it’s not just London. There are PLENTY of towns across Britain where you keep your mouth firmly closed and avoid eye contact when you pass someone. When I first returned home from France a few weeks ago, on my first lap of the park, I quite forgot myself and smiled at every other person I saw. Presumably they all walked on thinking ‘Deary me, who is that poor woman grinning like a halfwit? Must have escaped from somewhere.’