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French family defend naming their son Canard (duck)

A family from Perigord, the duck-farming region of south west France, have defended giving their baby boy the middle name of Canard after a wave of online mockery.

French family defend naming their son Canard (duck)
A family from the duck-farming region of south west France have defended giving their child the middle name of "Canard" Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP

Baby Dyklan Bret was born in August in south west France, but his middle name only became public when civil servants in the area published a list of the ‘most unusual’ names registered in 2021.

Many people assumed that the name referred to Périgord’s reputation as the duck-farming capital of France, and the family were mocked on social media as “cas sociaux, alcooliques” (alcoholic social-work cases).

But in fact, the name has a very different origin, which the baby’s grandfather has shared with French TV channel BFM.

“It’s a tribute to my mother, a war orphan,” he told BFM.

“In 1943, she was abandoned in front of the church in Châtellerault (Vienne) because she came from the traveller community. She was then taken in by social services, and then adopted seven months later by a man called Georges Canard, a French soldier who later worked on the railways and was involved in the resistance.

“For my son, it was a mark of respect towards his grandmother. We wanted this surname to live on through the new generations even though it is no longer our family name, as women often lose their surname when they marry.”

French courts have the power to block certain baby names if they are deemed harmful to the child – among those refused are Nutella, Deamon and Fraise (strawberry).

READ ALSO The French baby names the law won’t allow

Until 1993, French parents had to choose from a list of acceptable names. This has now been scrapped and parents can make their own choices, within certain limits.

Local authorities in Périgord have raised no issues with Canard, which has parents say will not be used on a daily basis, as it is only a middle name.

EXPLAINED is your name ‘French enough’ for France?

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PARIS

Are these the 10 best swimming pool in Paris?

Where is the best public swimming pool in Paris? Well a new book may have the answer. If you are keen swimmer then read on.

Are these the 10 best swimming pool in Paris?

As warm weather flows into France, taking a dip is becoming more and more appealing. If you’re wondering where to go this summer, look no further than the comprehensive guide: “Paris à la nage : Guide des piscines parisiennes” by authors Colombe and Marine Schneck. Together, they tested all of Paris’ 42 pools, rating them on criteria such as: the length, width and depth of the pool, number of swimming lanes, the water temperature, presence of a sunroof, access to outdoor space, cleanliness, disability access, locker rooms, and showers.

They also took note of the architectural history of the buildings, as many fall into beautiful 1920s art deco style.

Explaining her key takeaways from spending a year testing Paris’ pools, author Colombe Schneck said, “They are really clean. The municipality is often criticised, but the lifeguards are great, the entrance workers are always friendly and the rates (3.50 euros, 2 euros for those under 26, free for the unemployed) are very affordable.”

Here are each of the authors’ top five pools based on the criteria outlined above:

Colombe Schneck’s Top Five

1. The Butte-aux-Cailles (5 Pl. Paul Verlaine, 75013 Paris)

Listed as a historical monument, the Butte-aux-Cailles swimming pool bears witness to “the modernity of the architecture of the 1920s,” says Colombe Schneck. In addition to the indoor pool of 33m, the establishment also boasts an outdoor pool of 25m.

2. Blomet (17 rue Blomet – 75015 Paris)

Located in Paris’ 15th arrondissement, the Blomet pool is 50m large, which is “rare enough to be noted.” The building has a “pure 1925 style” with large concrete arches were replaced by a glass roof in the 1960s, making the establishment all the sunnier.

3. Keller (14 rue de l’Ingénieur Robert Keller – 75015 Paris)

Also located in the 15th arrondissement, this pool was built at the end of the 1960s for postal workers. It was bought by the city in 2002 and renovated in 2006. It is a 50m pool with an opening roof, which is a huge plus during summer! “Swimming in the sun, looking at the sky, is quite unexpected in Paris,” said Colombe Schneck, in her book.

4. Georges-Hermant (15 rue David d’Angers – 75019 Paris)

This time found in the 19th arrondissement, located near Buttes Chaumont, the piscine Georges-Hermant is “worth the trip for the beauty of its 50m pool, which is almost outdoors because the canvas roof opens in the summer,” said Colombe Schneck.

5. La Plaine (13 Rue du Général Guillaumat, 75015 Paris)

Built in 1967 by architect Jean-Pierre Sevaistre near the Parc des Expositions, this pool has very large windows. To Colombe, it offers “an almost Californian luminosity. It’s like being in Los Angeles in the 1960s.”

Marine Schneck’s Top Five

1. Édouard-Pailleron (32, rue Edouard Pailleron, 75019 PARIS)

“It’s the pool of the 21st century,” said Marine Schneck, who praised it as the perfect mix between a 33m Art Deco pool from the 1930s and now part of a contemporary building (2006). The pool is luminous, with a paddling pool, a large, round children’s pool and a Jacuzzi.

2. Roger-Le Gall (34 Bd Carnot, 75012 Paris)

A beautiful swimming pool that in the summer becomes open air, the Roger-Le Gall pool is complete with a waterside cafeteria, lawn, and deckchairs, this pool is located right near to Porte de Vincennes. “It gives you the impression of being on vacation in the countryside!” says Marine Schneck.

3. Jacqueline-Auriol (7 All. Louis de Funès, 75008 Paris)

Inaugurated in 2014, the pool at the Beaujon sports centre, with its large bay windows, offers a 25m stainless steel pool and a smaller one for children. Beware however, “the showers [were] installed facing the pool, without walls and without modesty!” notes Schneck.

4. Les Amiraux (6, rue Hermann Lachapelle, 75018 PARIS)

Built in 1927 by the architect Henri Sauvage, the 33m pool of Les Amiraux, is classified as a historical monument. It almost resembles an ocean liner with two-story hallways above the pool! It was recently renovated in 2017.

5. Thérèse-et-Jeanne-Brulé (1, place Edith Thomas, 75014 PARIS)

Opened in February 2020, this swimming pool is brand new with large bay windows that allow the sun to reflect off of the aluminium pool (25m-long). On sunny days, you can visit the lovely solarium and enjoy its deckchairs!

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