Musing over two flagship engineering achievements in the spotlight in October - the Channel Tunnel Rail Link's opening and Concorde's departure - you can't help but feel that there must be something special about the marriage of British and French technology.
Perhaps there's value in the emotional conflict between us that means we give of our best?
Or maybe Gallic flair perfectly complements British caution?
No doubt it explains Brunel's success as engineering's 'Greatest Briton' in the recent BBC poll. He was himself of course the product of an AngloFrench partnership.
Jon Balley (M), Littlecote, Two Dells Lane, Orchard Leigh, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 3QZ