EditorialYet another year has flown by and it is time to wish you all Joyeux Noël et Une Bonne et Heureuse Année 2011. I hope you have all had a good year; if not, I hope the next one will be better. As you are all probably only too aware, I have been finding my way around publishing Le Jumelage. I had a very good act to try to follow, but hopefully we are getting there now. Please don't forget that your articles, suggestions and criticisms are always welcome and I have acted on those I have received. At a recent committee meeting it was suggested that we send regular e-mails to all EVTA members to keep you informed and to remind you of forthcoming events. This will start in January so if you change your e-mail address at any time please let us know.
Chairman's MessageChristmas isn't far away now and I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at our Christmas lunch on 11th December at Etchinghill. If you forgot to book please ring me on 01227 831231 and I'll try to add your booking on. We also have the Fête des Rois on 22nd January and lunch at L'Hostellerie 3 Mousquetaires, followed by shopping, on 5th March. I do so hope you will be able to join us at both events. Further details on page 3.
Our friends from Beaujolais are visiting for 2 nights from 11th June. At present their chairman, Didier, is anticipating about 30 people coming which is the largest group yet and shows how keen they are to enjoy our hospitality. Please do give some thought to offering accommodation to our French counterparts where possible as they entertain us beautifully whenever we have been to Beaujolais. For those unable to offer a bed or two, you will be able to help by offering to co-host a meal or help with the driving. We will be contacting you about this again in the New Year. For all those I won't be seeing on the 11th, I hope you and your loved ones have a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.
EVTA French Film Night-Friday 24th SeptemberWet Friday evenings in Autumn-when we were young we went to the 'flicks'! Nothing much has changed over the years and so a crowd of very damp EVTA members shuffled down the garden path to Alan and Diana Forrest's studio for an evening at the movies. An evening with a twist - it was a French film. And what fun it was! We were greeted by an usherette (Diana), who had to light our way as her garden lights had fused in the storm. Fortunately a glass of welcoming wine got everyone chatting while the technicalities of the film were sorted out.
Any fears of not understanding the rapid, colloquial French were quickly dispelled by the sub-titles and marvellous acting. The film, entitled "Bienvenue chez les Ch'ts" - "Welcome to the Sticks", was hilarious. I don't usually laugh that much during English films! The story explored the preconception of the north-south divide in France and the huge prejudices that exist, but the funniest element was the translation of the northern dialect - lots of "sths" and lisps - and the consequent misunderstandings.
Weak with laughter, we revived ourselves with choc ices, and all agreed we must do this again on a wet Friday evening if our obliging hosts are willing!
Lost in TranslationThere was an interesting item in a recent Weekend Telegraph. It was trying to define the word "flanerie", which I can remember our French Teacher, Marjorie, trying to explain to us. It's idiomatic, and there doesn't seem to be an English equivalent. The Oxford English Dictionary's entry of "idling" gives only a partial understanding, and Wikipedia's "strolling", "sauntering" or "loafing" all lack a certain je ne sais quoi.
The author, Richard Holman, says he thinks it's the best way to experience a city: "no guidebooks, no maps; just start walking and see where it leads." He said it led him to an unexpected treasure on a recent visit to Paris, the city where flanerie was invented. "On a morning walk through the 6th arrondissement, the bookshops, ateliers, cafes and bars of the Latin Quarter all provided great diversions. Then, after lunch, a meandering stroll found me in the Jardin de Luxembourg, the Parisians' favourite park." He describes wandering away from its boating ponds, bandstands and fountains to discover, hidden in its south-west corner, a little piece of ancient Paris. An orchard, sited on the vestiges of a Chartreux nursery that existed before the modern laying out of the gardens in 1865.
He went on to explain that "the Verger du Luxembourg is France's national conservatory of apples and pears, and houses 360 varieties of apple tree and 270 kinds of pear. In spring they form groves of blossom and scent." When he was there the russet and deep-red fruits were individually wrapped in elegant parchment parcels while they ripened. "Here there was a love of craft and minute attention to detail that is quintessentially French. Exquisitely trained espaliers, grafted by Giles Bachelier, the head gardener, showed his respect for the preservation of traditional skills, and the names of the fruits - Duchesse d'Angouleme, Belle du Juin, Conseilles a la Coeur, Doyenne - all conjured for me a sense of a rural, romantic and ancient France"
Found by chance by stepping of the beaten track, he found a little oasis of continuity in a changing world, a slow and reflective moment in an age of speed. He summed up by saying that "the finding of it has, perhaps, finally taught me what "flanerie" really means." And needless to say, he'll be returning to see the blossoms in the spring.
Paris is so named because its inhabitant were from the Gaulish tribe of Parisii (parisio may be Celtic Gallic word meaning "craftsmen"). Paris is also referred to as the City of Light. Interestingly this is both as a result of the city's role in the lives of the Enlightened thinkers and also because the city was one of the first to display public street lamps along its avenues. It literally is a city of light in many ways.
Ladies- We have all broken the Law!The following article appeared in the press recently:-
"Why women can wear trousers in Paris - at last!
Forget crimes against fashion. Women wearing trousers in Paris have, until now, been dressing against the law. An edict dating back to 1799 warns that any woman who wishes to 'dress like a man' must obtain special permission from the police-and incredibly, it's still in place. The rule has been watered down a couple of times in its history. In 1892 trousers were permitted 'as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse'. In 1909 it was further relaxed to include those 'on a bicycle or holding it by the handlebars'.. But although the city's mayor asked the chief of police to scrap it altogether in 1969, he was told 'It is unwise to change texts which foreseen or unforeseen variations can return to the fore'. But seeing as trousers are common garb for men and women these days, the Paris council has asked the city police to declare the law officially defunct. Left-wing MP Gerard Charasse said 'It is fundamentally outdated and clearly wrong that this odd rule is still in place. We would be baffled by the motivation of any MP who voted to keep it'. French President Nicholas Sarkozy has said parliament would take a break to look at old laws that should be repealed. It should make life less confusing for Parisian policewomen - another law makes trousers compulsory for them."From The Daily Mail
French Recipe - Recette du Poulet de Bresse à la crème
|Christmas Lunch||Saturday 11th December||Etchinghill Golf Club||12.30 for 1pm|
|Fête des Rois||Saturday 22nd January||Kingston Village Hall||7.30 for 8pm, Price £7.50 for a 2- course meal. Please bring your own wine|
|French Coach Trip||Saturday 5th March||Lunch at l'Hostellerie 3 Mousquetaires to include a 3 course lunch, Kir on arrival & a glass of wine.||Cost 30 Euros. There will also be local coach pick-ups. Price TBA. Total estimated cost £50 per person|
|AGM||Thursday 14th April||Barham Village Hall|
|Spring Walk||Early May|
|Visit by BNM||11th June 2011||Two nights. Details TBA|
Editor: Pauline Davis, 24 Hog Green, Elham, Canterbury CT4 6TU. Tel: 01303 840367 e-mail: paulinedavis42[at]yahoo.co.uk