Monday, December 24, 2012

So Frenchy So Chic 2013

Modern French music with an Australian tinge.  The double CD is now available at the Merimbula Sanity Record Shop.

"It’s nine years on and the So Frenchy party is showing no signs of slowing down. With a successful series of compilations, TV shows, live gigs and now an annual festival, the So Frenchy So Chic name has gathered a passionate following of Francophiles and music lovers who like their tunes just outside the mainstream.

Each year we wait patiently for the next installment of new music fresh from France, and the 2013 edition will not disappoint. Subtitled, “the unofficial soundtrack of the Alliance Française French Film Festival”, it’s also the unofficial soundtrack to Australian summers, road trips and parties.

This year’s collection will introduce you to the heartbreaking voice of Lou Doillon (daughter of Jane Birkin), the 80s inspired pop of Lescop, the catchy whistling hooks of Féloche, the playful rock of M, the irresistible fun of Skip The Use and the relaxed hip-hop of Odezenne.

Spread the love".

Monday, December 10, 2012

French Murder Mystery Wins in Sydney Film Competition

Three months ago, the Sapphire Coast Anglican College Year 9 – 10 French class entered a short film in French under the direction and guidance of French / English teacher Stephane Cordier for one of the contests of the prestigious Sydney Alliance Française. The film script had to be written, memorised and acted in flawless French by the students.
The competition was sure to be fierce, with many of the top schools in the state entering the French short film contest. Erin Hayman, Kiran Rajesh, Brittany Meers, Matthew Sims, Elly Burhop, Lily Sheridan and Alice Cleveley thought of re-visiting the murder-mystery genre in French with the added zest of humour. The French characters were deliciously stereotyped: the chateau landlord, the faithful butler, the jealous wife, the innocent maid, the cook, the baffled detectives and a strange cat were some elements that were woven into the plot to try and articulate an original narrative in French.
After three weeks of script writing, translating, memorising the lines, pronunciation master classes, filming, editing… and many bloopers later the short French film was ready and sent to the judges in Sydney for the competition.
The award ceremony took place on Friday 30th November 2012 and guess what? The Bega students won, in front of the Sydney selective schools, contributing to putting Bega on the map once more (two of Mr Cordier’s Year 9 – 10 classes had already collected awards in 2009 and 2010!)
It was lucky that there was an extra bag in the luggage taken to Sydney in case the students won anything, since the generous Alliance Française de Sydney literally showered the Bega students with presents: 22 kilos worth of French books and jewellery to take home! A well-earned harvest for the crew, congratulations to all of them and a heart-felt “thank you” to the Sydney Alliance Française!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lynne MacMillan's cooking class in France

Member Lynne McMillan took two groups of U3A members (including Alliance members) to Gascony to enjoy learning about French cooking and culture.  Here is an article from a local  newspaper.

If you are interested in joining a similar class (but based in Tathra at a far lower cost!), keep your eyes open for two exciting Alliance Française de la Côte de Saphir events planned for May 2013.  Numbers will be limited.  Bookings will not be possible until March or April next year

If you click on the article you will get a larger, more easily read version.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

French Film Festival dates

Now in its 24th year the Alliance Française French Film Festival is set to rekindle its love affair with audiences when it returns in 2013 with 40+ spectacular films.
Proudly presented by Peugeot, the Festival, which is the biggest foreign film event in Australia, will enchant the most discerning cinephile with an eclectic selection of the finest movies to emerge from France over the last 12 months!

Bargain boules!

Jan and I just bought a set of 8 petanque boules (with cochonet and measure) in a strong plastic case at Sport Scene in Merimbula for $29.95. This was a special pre-Christmas price - they also have the same set in a wooden case for slightly more. It just occurred to us that this was a very good price for members who may need a set.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Free e-book: "Explorations and Encounters in French"

Click the book above to download the e-book (it's free). 
Welcome to the electronic edition of Explorations and
Encounters in French.
The book opens with the bookmark panel and you will
see the contents page/s.  Click on this anytime to return to
the contents.  You can also add your own bookmarks.
Each chapter heading in the contents table is clickable
and will take you direct to the chapter.  Return using the
contents link in the bookmarks.
The whole document is fully searchable.  Avoid quote
Bonne lecture.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Coupe d'Antibes

Mandeni Resort proved to be a popular venue for members of the local Alliance
Française last Sunday. Almost 50 members and friends from Bermagui to Eden
gathered for the Christmas festivities and annual pétanque competition. The
game of pétanque is having a revival in popularity around the world, and here
on the south coast is no exception. The finals were exciting with the winning duo
Mike Coghlan and Bruce Watkins narrowly defeating Brigitte Leroy and Jessica
Wyers to win the Coupe d 'Antibes. While the traditional pétanque piste (or
court) is made of compressed gravel, playing on grass for some players proved
somewhat challenging. However, the gourmet feast which followed, brought all
players together and the winners of the tombola were announced. Thanks to
those businesses and individuals who donated goods as monies raised are to be
donated to the local Mumbulla Foundation.

Carmen Coutts-Smith

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Raymond Blanc - The Very Hungry Frenchman

As you will know if you've read last month's La Mouette, Jan and I spent a wonderful 2 weeks this year house-sitting for our friends Brigitte and Marc in Franche Comté. When we saw that the new SBS series "Raymond Blanc - The Very Hungry Frenchman" was starting off with Franche Comté, we were naturally delighted. This is an excellent show - you can find the details here:

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, here is the first episode on DailyMotion - by clicking the square next to "DailyMotion" you'll get a full screen video. If you click DailyMotion in the bottom right corner of the player, you'll get access to the whole series. The video can take a while to start, but it's worth the wait!

Raymond Blanc: The Very Hungry Frenchman S01E01... by educkling

Friday, November 23, 2012

French Films showing locally

Just a quick note to let you know that the very popular French film "The Intouchables" is currently playing at The Picture Show Man in Merimbula. Session times until Wednesday (closed Monday) are 9.45 and 4.45.
You can read about it here:
Jan and I saw it yesterday and found it very enjoyable.


Brigitte just contacted me to say:
"There is another French film shown locally in Narooma at the Kinema. The film is called 'Tu seras mon fils' (You will be my son) about a father-son relationship  to do with the inheritance of a famous vineyard in Saint-Emilion near the Bordeaux region. I haven't seen it yet but had some very good feedback about it from some of my students."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pétanque and Annual Coupe d'Antibes

It is time to start preparing for our Alliance's Annual  Pétanque Contest which will be held together with our end of year function on Sunday 25th November.  We have decided to host a BBQ picnic at Mandeni following the pétanque.  You are welcome to bring guests, especially if they are interested in joining our AF.  Cost of the BBQ and salad for members is $10 and $15 for guests.  Bring your own drinks and perhaps cake to share. We are hoping to see you there for an enjoyable celebration of our year.
Bookings to Kerry Hunting 64959463 - email
Payments by cheque to PO Box 3 Merimbula or EFT - please contact Kerry for EFT details.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Thanks to everyone who came along to the A.G.M. to discuss the future of our Alliance and to elect members of our 2013 committee. It was a good crowd, with around 50% of our members able to attend.
There is a full report in this month's La Mouette, but in the meantime, here are some photos.

2013 committee: Kerry Hunting (Treasurer), Narelle Sheridan, Gai Jacobs, Hugo White (Hugo is our Public Officer, and not a committee member), Fiona Stafford, Neil Porter (Vice President), Carmen Coutts-Smith (President), Margaret Gaunson (Secretary). Missing from the photo are: Dorothea Polonyi and Rex Speller.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Paris-based guitarist at Bermagui

We have just received a note from member Anh-Thu Stuart bringing to our attention that her son, Paris-based guitarist Alex Stuart, will be featured in a concert at Bermagui on November 11th this year. All details are here, and the personnel certainly makes this sound like a good place to be if you like good jazz. Hope to see some of you there to support our member Anh-Thu and her son.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Our Alliance is very pleased to announce that Raymond Johnstone from "Art Holidays In France" has kindly donated a painting of Napoleon as a prize for this years Mumbulla Foundation raffle at our Bastille Day Dinner.
Please visit Ray's site here for information regarding his books and art holidays in France.  La Petite Galerie is a large village house in a completely private, walled garden in the village of Mézin in SW France.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bastille Day Dinner

Are you a Marie Antoinette or a Charles de Gaulle or a hunchback of Notre Dame, or maybe you’re a Brigitte Bardot or Louis XIV? 

Our theme this year is “Personnages de France” so get as dressed up as you wish and come as your favourite “personnage” (real or imagined) to help celebrate Bastille Day on Saturday 14 July.   

When and where? 6.30pm Upstairs at the Wharf Restaurant, Lake St Merimbula  

Price $57 for members and $63 for guests includes canapes and a glass of bubbles on arrival, 2 course dinner with some French red and white wine, tea and coffee.

Music by well known favourites Margie and Tony Fullerton. 

For Bookings please contact Margaret Gaunson as soon as possible, on 6495 3515 or

Payments must be received by Thursday 11 July either by cheque (payable to Alliance Française de la Côte de Saphir) posted to the AF de la Côte de Saphir at PO Box 3 Merimbula 2548
or by EFT:
Account name: “Alliance Française de la Côte de Saphir"
BSB and Account Number 082 697 and 168279527 
Please put your name in the “comment” section so we know who has deposited the funds.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tour de Mandeni

A great day was had by all!  Thanks to Kerry for her number and cake-making skills!   Thanks also to Glenys, Greg and Fiona for their assistance!

Participants warming up for the TdM.
Kerry presenting prizes to the winning team - Mike and Marianne.
Winner of the "Robin Hood" award - Neil.
Wendy on one of her many hole in one shots.
Final scores - only an accountant ..................

Thursday, May 17, 2012

French Food Safari returns

In case you missed it last time, or simply want to experience it again, SBS's French Food Safari returned to TV tonight (Thursday) at 7:30.  You can catch up on Episode 1 here.  It is very highly recommended if you are interested in French food, French language and France in general.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

“Tour de Mandeni” Triathlon

Join in our triathlon – archery, pétanque and mini golf! No prior experience is necessary, as instruction in all sports will be provided. Small teams will be formed to compete for prizes. In addition to the ‘competitive sports’ there are many other activities available at Mandeni, such as bike hire, golf, pitch and putt, pedal-boats, jumping pillow and miles of walking trails. Weather permitting we can all stay afterwards for a byo BBQ or picnic.

When: Saturday 26 May, starting at 10am – ie our usual pétanque Saturday.
Where: Mandeni Resort, Sapphire Coast Drive, north of Tura Beach, turn off just next to the “Stonehouse Cafe”; at the fork in the road, take the right-hand branch.

Cost: Entry fee for the ‘Tour de Mandeni’ is $10 for members $12 for non-members. There is no cost to
non-competitors, and jumping pillow and walks are free. BBQs are free, too. Normal Mandeni costs
will apply for all other activities.
Bring: Hat, sunscreen, picnic or BBQ lunch, family and friends. This is a good opportunity for anyone
interested in joining the Alliance to get to know us a bit better.
Please contact Kerry Hunting on 6295 9463 or before Wednesday 23 May if you are interested, so we can confirm numbers with Mandeni.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Library news

A number of new video titles and the latest Bien Dire magazine were added to our library at the Sapphire Aquatic Centre in Pambula this morning.  Members can borrow by presenting their membership card to the pool staff member at the main desk to get the key to the cupboard.  Please be sure to record your name and any resources you borrow in the book provided inside the cupboard.

Friday, April 27, 2012

French Movie at Picture Show Man Theatre this week!

Romantics Anonymous

Classification information
Director: Jean-Pierre Améris
Starring: Benoît Poelvoorde, Isabelle Carré and Lorella Cravotta
Genre: Comedy | Romance (French)
Running Time: 1hr 18min
What happens when a man and a woman share a common passion? They fall in love. And this is what happens to Jean-René, the boss of a small chocolate factory, and Angélique, a gifted chocolate maker he has just hired. What occurs when a highly emotional man meets a highly emotional woman? They fall in love, and this is what occurs to Jean-René and Angélique who share the same handicap. But being pathologically timid does not make things easy for them. So whether they will manage to get together, join their solitudes and live happily ever after is a guessing matter.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tomorrow's walk CANCELLED

Unfortunately, due to the inclement weather of the last few days, the potential for more rain tomorrow and the poor numbers, Carmen and I have decided to CANCEL our walk on 22/4/2012.

Hopefully, the walk may be arranged again for later in the year.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Learning French

There are a couple of free on-line sites which are useful when learning French – there are many exercises where you can practice or revise what you have learned.

These sites are entirely in french and may be a little confusing for a complete beginner.

Friday, March 2, 2012

April 22 - Walk from Haycock Point to Barmouth - and return

Date: April 22

Meet at: 10:00 at Haycock Point parking area.  To get there, head south on the Prince's Highway from Pambula and turn left at the Ben Boyd National Park turnoff.  Keep driving (dirt road) until you reach the turnoff to "Haycock Point" on your right.

Description:  This walk leads through dry eucalypt forests and heathlands around Haycock Point, following the headland on the southern shore of the Pambula River estuary. From the headland, you can look north up to Merimbula and across the Pambula River to Pambula Beach.  We will then walk on to Barmouth Beach for morning tea (and maybe a swim) and then back to Haycocks for lunch.  The total walk is a pleasant 6 km - there is potential for those wanting to walk further to do so either at Haycocks or Barmouth.

Bring:  Walkers will need to bring water, something for morning tea and a BBQ or picnic lunch.  As we will be back at Haycocks for lunch, lunch can be left in cars until we return.  Although the track is quite an easy walk, it's advisable for walkers to wear reasonably strong shoes - "runners" would be the minimum recommended.  Weather may still be nice enough for a swim in the calm water at Barmouth, so bring swimmers if you are likely to be interested.

Not Walking?:  If you would like to come for lunch but not walk, we should be back at Haycocks between 12:30 and 1pm.

Please email Neil if you will be coming -  - just so we don't leave without you :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bienvenue 2012!

A part of the good crowd at Fiona and Rick's lovely house for the start of 2012 for our Alliance.

Carmen welcoming members and guests.

What a beautiful venue .........

.. and the lightshow wasn't bad either!

Carmen and Kerrie drawing the raffles.

Neil presented Carmen and Brigitte (in Simon's absence) with their awards for their win in the Coupe d'Antibes in November.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Welcome Party 2012

The first get-together will be our Welcome Party. To ensure it will be memorable, we will
have a complimentary kir royale, items to raffle, pétanque for the energetic or a sociable chat (en français?) to practice your language skills. We encourage you to bring along friends who might also be interested in joining our Alliance and sharing the French cultural experience. 

Time: Friday 17th February, 6pm (Rain or shine)
Place: 115 Cherry Lane Wolumla.
Directions: Travelling north on the Princes highway from Merimbula to Bega, the
       lane is on the left, a few kilometers north of the turn into Wolumla)
What to bring: BYO drinks, a plate of food to share – let’s make it à la Française, 
      please -  rug, chairs, boules, raffle money and good humour.
Contact:  Fiona Stafford on 6494 9945. Please ring Fiona before Tuesday 15th Feb for
    organizational purposes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Alliance Française French Film Festival

The Alliance Française French Film Festival 2012 is coming soon! 

Sydney 6 - 25 March
Melbourne 7 - 25 March
Brisbane 14 March - 1 April
Canberra 14 March - 1 April
Adelaide 20 March - 8 April
Perth 21 March - 9 April

Organised jointly by the Alliance Françaises of Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, this Festival is a great opportunity for us to spread and promote the French language and culture in Australia.

Approaching its 23rd sensational year, the festival offers an ambitious national program over 5 weeks including 40+ films - action, romance, comedy, thrillers, children’s films, animation and documentaries - which have been commercially released in France the previous year.

With more than 130,000 national viewers for the 2011 edition, the Alliance Française French Film Festival has become one of the most important film events in Australia and the largest festival of French cinema in the world, outside of France.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Far flung French get vote and a voice in homeland

FRENCH citizens living in Australia will soon be represented in the National Assembly in Paris.
Eleven seats are being added to France's parliament, with electoral boundaries spanning continents and even hemispheres. Canada and the United States will share one representative, while Britain joins nine other northern European countries.