EditorialPredictably this issue contains articles and pictures covering the visit by our friends from BNM in June. There are some nice articles and photographs supplied by members and I would take this opportunity to say a big "Thank you" to them. It is always good to receive input from EVTA members for this publication.
As stated in your July update, we really do need your support for the forthcoming events. Apart from the fact that it is always great fun to get together, we also need to replenish our funds following the visit by BNM, so pop the dates into your diaries and come along whenever you can. You will not be sorry!
Chairman's MessageFirst, a big Merci Beaucoup! to everyone who helped to make the June weekend with our French visitors such a success, particularly all the hosts who so warmly welcomed their guests into their homes and the present and former committee members who put all the detailed arrangements in place so effectively. From the feedback received to date our French twins thoroughly enjoyed themselves and our mutual friendships were further strengthened.
So now we can look forward to our return visit to Beaujolais in June next year when it would be great if we could muster a party of comparable size. I know they were somewhat disappointed last year when our party barely reached double figures and they had put so much effort into the event. With this in mind, I am keen that we should recruit many new members in the coming year and the best way this can be done is for us all to be EVTA ambassadors and encourage some of our local friends to join.
Why not invite one or two of them to our next event, the Plonk and Petanque afternoon at the Duke of Cumberland, Barham, on 28th August? I'm sure this will be a fun event and an excellent taster of our social activities. Then before our traditional Christmas dinner there's also a Treasure Hunt in October and a Wine & Wisdom evening with a distinctly French flavour in November to look forward to as well. I look forward to seeing you all at these events!
A jolly gathering of regular walkers met up with the twinning party outside the Red Lion in Bridge on 8th May. The twinners had enjoyed an excellent lunch in the pub and tried their French on the Breton chef, but substantial lunches didn't slow them down as we headed out across the fields of Bifrons Park towards Patrixbourne with its architectural gems. The grand mansion which once stood at Bifrons has disappeared but one can still see the avenues of limes and wellingtonias which lead to the house and a pretty ornate bridge indicates that this was a fine estate.
"Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis"
Our mini exploration of the north of France was inspired by the film show we saw last year at the Forrest's….."Welcome to the Sticks" (ie. rural northern France!)…..we'd laughed so much at the film we decided to go and see for ourselves just how does it measure up to the sunny south.
We'd stuck a pin in a map somewhere close to the Château of Pierrefonds (right) which we'd promised ourselves for years that we would visit one day. The pin landed on the town of Soissons, well positioned for a number of interesting places to visit. Soissons was the old capital of Clovis, King of the Francs, who, the legend says, never forgave one of his warriors for breaking the treasured vase of Soissons, and waited years to exact retribution and break the warrior's head.
The Beaujolais-Nizerand-Morgon visitIt would seem that the French enjoyed their stay, and their company was enjoyed by their hosts.
We have feedback from two hosts:
The BNM weekend in pictures
BNM visit to Chatham Dockyard, Sunday 12th June 2011
Have you ever thought that whether there is room or not, one should not swing a cat? The origin and true meaning of this expression and many others became clear during our enlightening visit of the Ropery, one of the highlights of our outing to Chatham Dockyard. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide explained the history and gave a practical demonstration of rope making, ably assisted by Peter Beales, Geoff Macdonald and Martine Cheutin.
As we watched the demonstration, with all its intricate twists and turns, our guide told us he was "not spinning us a yarn'. Sailing ships had huge numbers of ropes and it took new conscripts a long time 'to learn the ropes'.
Life on board ship was highly regulated with codes of conduct strictly enforced. Infringements were dealt with swiftly and brutally. Punishments were conducted in front of all the crew and officers. The guilty sailor had to make his own 'cat of nine tails' for his flogging, which the bosun wore in a bag around his waist until the time came for the public flogging. In the meanwhile everyone was on their best behaviour in case the bosun should 'let the cat out of the bag'.
Floggings were always carried out on deck, as the restricted head height below deck meant there was 'no room to swing a cat'.
On the subject of ropes, Adrian makes the following comments:
Sue, Adrian and Anne
Rather than using the last page for a recipe, for a change we have printed two photographs for which we would like you to submit captions. The best ones will be printed in the next edition of Le Jumelage. Please do have a go, it is all in fun and we do have permission from Anne to use these photographs (her twisted arm is getting better!). Please e-mail your captions to me at paulinedavis42[at]yahoo.co.uk
Editor: Pauline Davis, 24 Hog Green, Elham, Canterbury CT4 6TU. Tel: 01303 840367 e-mail: paulinedavis42[at]yahoo.co.uk