Gilles Lefèvre patron and chef of La Baratte Restaurant, Saint-Denis-LeYêtu, together with his wife and team gave of their best to look after the 35 members who came to our Christmas lunch.
It was a happy combination of good food with good company. A welcome drink was followed by greetings from Louise. At the table there were crackers to pull supplying us with Christmas hats, gifts and jokes.
After the meal the raffle (which included a handmade gift from Danielle Poullain) was held with prizes won by Monique, Max, Joan, Kenza, Sue and Jean. Annette had donated the table arrangements and these were auctioned by Jean Christian. Stevie and Caroline were successful with their bids. It was very enjoyable and thanks go to the committee for organising it.
Write up courtesy of a member.
Here is a review of the above book by one of our members:
This novel was chosen as a way of introducing the group to a French author. This was a novel the chooser had first read in 2009 and had found it to be a story that resonated with her, and the general consensus was that this was an extremely well-written story, enjoyed by all. However, we all agreed that when we first read the dust jacket we were all concerned that this would be a rather ‘scandalous’ text in the ’50 Shades of Grey’ vein; but we were all wrong!
This was a very ‘real’ story of a love affair between two very different people that spans the years from their late teens up to their 50s. There is some quite detailed description of their sex lives but this is real sex not the idealised ‘swinging from the chandeliers’ sex that many novels seem to describe. The author manages to keep a sense of realism and humour (‘soggy chips’ spring to mind) throughout, which we all appreciated. We also felt that this sense of realism comes across so well because of the quasi-autobiographical nature of the novel.
A lively discussion followed about the importance of sex in the novel, and a consensus was reached that whilst it was an important factor in the lives of the two main protagonists, this was only because of the time that passes between their meetings; in the end it is only a part of what binds them together. We also discussed the elements that separate the pair: George (without an ‘s’) comes from a well-off family living in Paris, and becomes a highly-acclaimed academic; whilst Gavin remains a ‘simple’ Breton fisherman (albeit a successful one). Again, the author very cleverly manages the tensions that these differences bring about and this was very much evident in the approach each takes to the trip to Disney. For some of us, George’s reactions very much mirror our own!
The author has produced some well-rounded characters, and whilst we did not all like George, we appreciated her need for love, and we loved the way Gavin’s character developed through the novel.
There was some debate regarding the title, as in the original French, ‘Le Vaisseaux du Coeur’, there are many meanings and we wondered why the editors had felt it necessary not to offer a more literal translation. The same issue arose regarding the name of the male lead; all the other characters retained their original names whilst his was changed from Gauvain to Gavin. That said, this was a novel we could all engage with and one we enjoyed and would recommend.
One fine Wednesday in October (yes, really, it was a lovely day!) twenty Anglophones paid a visit to the Haras National Stud Farm in Saint Lo.
The centre concentrates on breeding the Selle Francais (the French warmblood horse), Percheron and the Norman Cob (a grey work horse).
The architecture is stunning and the space is immense.
We followed up with lunch in a local restaurant.
Our June event saw 20 of us head for Condé-sur-Vire and the Velorail.
Having glimpsed our mode of transport for the next hour or so, we were all eager to get going.
With 4 to a cart, the 2 cyclists adjusted the seats and took up their position, whilst the other two sat back an prepared to enjoy the ride!
We cycled for about 5.5km when we reached the end of the line.
After turning the carts around, there was time for some quick refreshments before we all headed back.
A very easy cycle even for inexperienced riders.
Having arrived safely back at the start point, with no injuries and no exhaustion, we returned to our cars and drove to a nearby picnic site where another 4 members joined us.
We unpacked our picnics and enjoyed the sunshine, the company and our favourite picnic food for a couple of hours before we all headed for home.
An extremely enjoyable day and one we must repeat.
Your starter for 10!
Which weapon appears on Mozambique’s flag?
Which two British women made the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list in 2013?
Which 4 UK cities have underground transport systems?
These were just some of the questions testing our grey matter at the bring-a-plate and quiz event held at Les Unelles in Coutances on 20th February (answers below). 21 members attended and each brought a plate of food to share for lunch. And what a delicious spread it was. Tuna tart, onion bhajis, mini quiches, salads, cheese, tiramisu, lemon drizzle cake and coconut cake were just some of the dishes we tucked into.
Once lunch had been consumed and tea/coffee had been served, the afternoon’s entertainment began. Quiz master Kerry and adjudicator Janet quizzed us on a variety of subjects in what turned out to be a very close call. Three teams tied in second place but were pipped to the post by one point by the winning team of Anne, David and Stevie. The consolation prize went to Michael, Shirley, Stan and Sheila.
A very enjoyable and entertaining event. Special thanks to Kerry and Janet for compiling the quiz.
How well did YOU do?
AK47 (rifle) ; JK Rowling and Queen Elizabeth II; Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Our February coffee afternoon was hosted by Karen.
The weather on Sunday afternoon was pleasant enough to tempt 12 members out for the afternoon and they were treated to home-made crumpets toasted on the open fire.
A pleasant afternoon was had by all as they chatted away and caught up with friends over a cup of tea or coffee.
This year’s events kicked off hot and spicy at the ever popular curry lunch hosted by Janet and John. Several members of the committee and John had created the very tasty meat and vegetable curries and rice whilst Karen, Janet and Kenza supplied a non-curry main dish and the delicious desserts.
All the dishes were well received with people having second and third helpings – there was very little left over!
As ever, Janet and John were perfect hosts and a big thank you goes to them for letting us have a taste of India in the lovely environment of their house.
New member Valerie welcomed members to her home to start our new year with the first coffee morning. Valerie spoilt us with an array of tasty treats, including lovely homemade cheese scones, and an abundant supply of coffee and tea. A very enjoyable morning. A big thank you to Valerie.
Each year the Anglophone Association supports a charity which is voted on at the AGM. Our chosen Charity for 2015-16 is le Centre Francois Baclesse
It is a cancer treatment centre in Caen. Its mission is to ensure care, research and teaching exclusively in the cancerology field benefiting all Lower Normandy.
If you would like to find out more about them, you can check out their Website: http://www.baclesse.fr Telephone: 02 31 45 50 50
Throughout the year we raise money at events through raffles and other fun fundraising games for our members and, at the end of the year, this money is donated to our supported charity.
Previous Charities we have supported:
2014-2015 – Association Solidarité Coutances Rwanda and St Lo Memorial Hospital
Association Solidarité Coutances Rwanda
This charity is based in Coutances and supports deprived villages in Rwanda. The charity is run locally and the money they raise goes straight to the people who need it with no middle men. They raise money to supply schools, teachers and all the books and pens and other facilities needed to enable the schools to run.
St Lo Memorial Hospital
The Franco-American hospital has a new project to raise €2 million Euros by 2016 to modernise the hospital’s cardiological and neurological facilities.
2013-2014 – Les Petits Freres des Pauvres
An International non profit organisation created in 1946 to aid people over 50 years of age. They provide practical and emotional support for those alone, handicapped or poor. Volunteers make home visits, meet with the elderly in nursing or retirement homes, and they staff telephone call-in lines to relieve loneliness.
2012-2013 – Cancer Support France Basse Normandie is an association affiliated to Cancer Support France, a group of regional associations, created to help English speaking people, wherever their origin, who are affected by Cancer.
For further information about CSF you can visit their website: www.csfbassenormandie.com/