Christmas Drinks – 21st December 2013

18 revellers including Anglophone members, friends and neighbours made merry with Karen for Pre-Christmas drinks on Saturday 21st December.

The mulled wine flowed, the  festive foods were admired, the mince pies munched and the pastry nibbles devoured.

 

Most of the revellers spoke French for the evening but there were plenty of people to help with translations whenever necessary and English could be heard in some corners!

An enjoyable evening was had by all.

Christmas Lunch – 6th December 2013

On a cold but sunny day 17 of us (including 4 welcome additions from the Twinning Association) were warmly welcomed at La TourneBride restaurant in Gratot with an aperitif and canapes.
We had a choice of menu with plenty of wine and cidre to accompany each course.

During the meal we enjoyed a couple of fundraising activities for our sponsored charity (Les Petits Freres des Pauvres) including a fiendish quiz that had us all puzzling away between courses.

As has become the custom, we played “Heads ard Tails” with the usual amusement and hilarity, with our worthy winners each won one of the four beautiful  table decorations, once again made and donated by Annette Leblanc.

The remaining two table decorations were auctioned off to add to the funds, which when added to the proceeds from the raffle will go to our charity.

Some of our winners on the day:

Lunch & Petanque – 14th September 2013

On Saturday September 14th Mike and Jean Battey opened their house and garden to a buffet lunch and our first (and maybe annual?) Petanque event!
Gazebos had been erected in the garden to cover the tables just in case but the weather decided to cooperate, and Mike and Jean’s plan B was unnecessary!

Jean had prepared a sumptuous buffet which we all tucked into, and the conversation, along with the cider and wine, flowed. The delicious desserts were supplied by Janet, with Karen contributing her wonderful meringues that went into the Eton Mess. There was even cheese for those who still had room!

Suitably fortified, the serious business of Pétanque began. It was a knockout competition with 7 teams and three rounds. The close- fought competition produced laughter, frustration and light-hearted “ringer” accusations, but the final winners were Kenza and Karen (Kenza being the darkhorse expert!!).

To keep us occupied in between the tournament games, Mike had laid out a croquet course for us to try. Mike and Jean’s beautiful garden provided perfect surroundings for what was a lovely lunch and a fun afternoon.

Car Treasure Hunt – 8th August 2013

On a lovely sunny afternoon (following a couple of rainy days) Garth and Linda  sat outside le Parvis in Coutances enjoying a cold drink whilst waiting for cars and their passengers to collect the clues to the car treasure hunt.

Eight teams entered and we all set off at 5 minute intervals. The answer to the first clue could be found on the outside of the Cathedral in Coutances. Answer no. 2 was inside the Cathedral and, unfortunately, a service started at 2 o’clock which meant
we couldn’t wander round inside searching. So clue 2 was cancelled and the cars then departed on the mystery tour!
We travelled far and wide, got lost a few times, met up with other teams at difficult clues, visited Quettreville, Mont Martin Sur Mer, Regneville-Sur-Mer, and everywhere in between!

Some of the clues were found relatively easily, some were misunderstood as directions and ignored (points lost for general stupidity!) and others really tested the little brain cells and made us use our eyes to see things you wouldn’t normally look at.

We finally found Garth and Linda in a cafe next to the beach at Hauteville-sur-mer where we all discussed how clever/stupid we had been when we found out the answers over a very pleasant drink in the sunshine.

All in all a great afternoon and many thanks to Linda and Garth for all their hard work in creating the treasure hunt.
It was won by Anne Piper and Karen Longden who were amazed that they won as they had thought they were aiming for last place!!

Chateau and Garden – Pirou – Saturday 6th July 2013

On a sunny afternoon on July 6th a good number of Anglophone members gathered at the Chateau de Pirou, looking forward to finding out about this local attraction from our charming, English speaking guide.
We were not disappointed. Starting with the first of the 5 gateways that historically served to protect the chateau inhabitants, we learned how the chateau was
first built and how it then evolved over the centuries.
After climbing to the top of one of the towers and admiring the panoramic view, we descended to terra firma again and went across the inner courtyard for a well earned cup of tea and a selection of tasty tea time treats supplied by members of the committee.
Suitably refreshed, we were shown the Pirou tapestry and the story was told by Annette Leblanc in a most articulate and informative manner.
For some of us it was then onward to a garden. Following Annette, our group arrived at a house that is privately owned by a couple who open their beautiful garden to the public to raise money for research into a rare neurological condition.
It was a truly lovely and tranquil place with so much that caught the eye and gave pleasure to the senses. A fitting end to an enjoyable and informative outing.
Our thanks to Annette for organising it for us.

Boat Trip – River Douve – 25th May 2013

On Saturday May 25th a group of us went on a boat trip on the river Douve.
We met up in Carentan for lunch, which was eaten at an extremely pleasant restaurant on the marina.
Thus fortified, we made our way to the embarkation point for the boat. We, and a fair few other people, were ushered on board by a smiling captain who then introduced himself. The ropes were untied and we were away!

The afternoon was sunny and quite warm: most of us had come prepared for all eventualities though! The river was fairly high so we could easily see the landscape as we
travelled through the marais.

The captains commentary was in French but between us
we managed to understand and it was very informative, with amusing asides as well.
Fish, coypus and birds were spotted as well as being able to handle other fish skulls and a
stuffed coypu, which has amazingly soft fur.

At the halfway point we moored up and had the opportunity to go to a bar for a little light
refreshment. It was a very peaceful spot and an enjoyable place to walk around.

The journey was a very pleasurable and interesting way of spending a sunny Saturday
afternoon.

Anglophone Association 20th Anniversary Hog Roast – 5th June 2013

The day dawned cloudy and cool just to worry us but thankfully the sun came out just as everyone arrived and the rest of the afternoon was lovely, sunny and warm.
The Hog Roast people had been busy all morning preparing our lunch and we started with onion bhajees (which disappeared very quickly), followed by the pork, crackling and roast potatoes. 

 

The committee surpassed themselves with the variety of desserts, which everyone enjoyed.

There was a Guess-the-weight-of-the-cake competition and a Guess-the-number-of-sweets-in-the jar competition, both of which raised money for this year’s sponsored charity – Les Petit Freres des Pauvres. Our winners for these two competitions were John Darlow and Monique Metge.

There was also a raffle – some of the winners are pictured here:

David Farr compiled a quiz for us :

Our hog-roast quiz presented an intellectual challenge and I admit more of a challenge than I’d anticipated, this being my first one.
It did provide some invaluable insights into the way our members think. The question concerning a number of points awarded almost invariably produced answers concerning motoring offences!
We also discovered that the International Space Station doesn’t orbit below the height of a 747 and that the lowest point on the earth’s surface is not the bottom of Garth’s pockets!
Congratulations go to our worthy winners, Sue and John Condon, who were a couple of points ahead of the main field. Thanks to everyone who took part, raising a few laughs and also 30€ for our charity!
David.

Coffee afternoon and Plant Swap – 1st May 2013

Despite the cold wind, the sun shone on our plant swap and coffee afternoon at Rod and Liz’s.
There were lots of plants available and many different varieties to choose from.
Plenty of good company too with some new and potential new members alongside many long-standing ones and, of course, lovely tea and biscuits provided by our hosts Liz and Rod.

Annual General Meeting – 17th April 2013

Our AGM was held on Wednesday 17th April at the Mairie in Coutances.
The meeting began at 10.30am with 14 members in attendance. Our President, Stevie, summarised the events from the last year.

Our Treasurer walked us through the accounts and answered questions.
Stevie then presented a cheque for €275 to Jenny Luck from CSF Basse Normandie, our
sponsored charity for 2012. Jenny gave us a short but very interesting talk on the work of CSF Basse Normandie and the type of things the money we raised would help with.

Stevie introduced Mike as the Club’s new Secretary (to replace Tom O’Malley who has returned to the UK) and also announced that Caroline Long has stepped down due to pressures of work. Stevie thanked her for all her hard work during her time on the committee and for those lovely summer walks – which she has promised still to organise for us when work permits.

Jean was nominated as a new committee member and she was seconded and elected.
We then voted on the nominated charities and this year we will be supporting Les Petit Freres des Pauvres.

The raffle was drawn and the meeting closed at 11.30am.

Fifteen people then headed off for lunch at Don Camillo’s nearby.

Coffee afternoon & Easter Egg Hunt

On a cold but sunny Easter Sunday afternoon eight of us met at Karen’s for this month’s coffee afternoon.

Yvonne brought some deliciously devilish chocolate cakes – all of which quickly disappeared, along with all the other tasty nibbles!

There was a short interlude between the busy and enjoyable chatter, when we all popped out into the garden to search for hidden Easter eggs.

Having found all of them, we came back inside for a short prize-giving (chocolate eggs everywhere!) for the winners.

Another successful coffee event!