Wednesday, June 7, 2017

From the President ‘en France’

Chers Amis
Our first port of call in Europe was Geneva and we were so impressed by the city and Lac Leman that I feared that I had made a big mistake and that French countryside would suffer by comparison. That was until we arrived in Annecy. Annecy is also located on a lake but the medieval buildings and streets of the old city, the confusion of shops, cafes and restaurants, and the clean fast flowing river which runs right through the centre give the place a charm and beauty which is hard to describe. We stayed in an ancient hotel overlooking (overhanging?) the river and were up early each morning for a walk along the lake foreshores followed by coffee and croissants for breakfast. The food in restaurants was well priced and so good that we will spend the first month back in Australia on a diet to lose all of the weight we have put on. Next stop was Bourg d'Oisans and the famous Alpe d'Huez for a bit of bike riding. Lost some of that weight! We are currently in Bergerac, a beautiful town in the Dordogne staying in a b & b built in the 17th century. With its creaking floors and low ceilings and crude structure you think you have been transported back to the times of Charles Dickens. Again the food is stunning. Maybe we'll have to go back to Huez. Photos of Annecy streetscape, our Annecy hotel, top of Alpe d'Huez, Bourg d'Oisans streetscape and our b&b in Bergerac are shown in the June 2017 edition of La Mouette. Next stop is Bordeaux then on to the UK.

Amities, Robert

Thursday, May 4, 2017

From the President

Chers Amis
I would like to send a big thank you to all who came along to see our French film La Famille Bélier.  The film lived up to the excellent reports we read about it and everyone enjoyed it immensely.  Refreshments were served to members and their guests on arrival and this provided a good opportunity to chat and meet new members.
Early in the month we had our second meeting of the French conversation group at the Tura Library.  Wolfgang provided an impromptu talk on renovations being carried out on an historic building in France.  The work being carried out includes all of the traditional trades including stone masonary, blacksmithing and carpentry and is done by volunteers using tools and work methods employed by the artisans who constructed the original building.  A big thanks to Wolfgang for a fascinating talk.  Next Friday morning Mareta will be giving us a talk about the history of early European settlement on the NSW South Coast.
Our next big event will be dinner at Ritzy’s at the end of May but unfortunately I will miss this as I will be en vacances in France.  More details about the dinner are provided below.  I wish you all well as winter sets in on the South Coast as I head off to Spring in France!

Amities, Robert McCombie

Saturday, April 1, 2017

From the President

Chers Amis,
April is here and the warm nights of the last few weeks are becoming a distant memory as we cover up more in bed at night and wake up to much cooler mornings. It won’t be long before many of our members are away, searching for the northern hemisphere sun and the delights of France and the rest of Europe. Gail and I will be lucky enough to join them and we will be away from mid May to the end of June visiting the Dordogne region in France and part of the UK.
The 28th of March was our French film night and was attended by over 30 members and friends who enjoyed ‘La Famille Bélier’, a comedy about a young girl and her eccentric family. Guests were greeted on arrival with a choice of wine, cheeses, pâtés and biscuits and most stayed on afterwards to enjoy dinner at the Top Pub.
Our next event will be a tapas dinner at Ritzy’s at the end of May. Full details will be provided in the May newsletter.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

From the President

Chers Amis
Here we are at the beginning of March and what we thought was the new year is already well on its way, as are the activities of your Alliance Française. Petanque has been going since the end of January and we have had our inaugural meeting of our fluent French speakers which will be repeated on the first Friday of each month.

Our first big social event of the year, the Welcome Party, was held at Mike and Lilias Warren’s house on 11 February. This was a very well patronised event with the largest attendance at such an event so far. Everyone was greeted and made welcome on arrival with a glass of Kir Royale. Much work had been done by Mike and his volunteers to ensure that everyone had a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the vast array of food available, and a suitable ‘French’ atmosphere was created by an abundance of French and Australian flags and two attractive murals. The success of the day was ensured when the weather turned out to be sunny and calm and the heavy rain we were all expecting went somewhere else. A big thanks to all of those who slaved over their French recipe books to produce the wonderful entrees mains and desserts, and particularly, to Mike and Lilias who were so generous in opening up their lovely house to us and making us so welcome.

What a great start to the year!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

From the President

Chers Amis

2016 is now long gone, the new year 2017, is well on its way and I expect that we are no longer looking at a predictable progression of one year to the next. World events in 2016 will make this particular transition from the old to the new one which will be somewhat out of the ordinary. Hopefully, living as we do on the far south coast of a country at the bottom of the world, the impact of this transition will be softened by distance and time.
One thing for us which will be predictable and reassuring is the strong program of events which your Alliance Francaise is preparing for you in 2017. We will continue to provide all of the cultural events and activities we have given you in the past.
We are not a Language teaching Alliance but we are lucky to have a number of local teachers including Brigitte Leroy, Benedicte Moreau and Jan Porter giving private French language lessons. Our friends at the U3A also offer French language courses.
Thanks to the involvement of our new Committee member Hilaire Alba, we are restarting our French language conversation groups. For more details please read the note about this further down.
If there are any other activities cultural or linguistic which you think might enrich our Alliance Francaise please let us know. This is your Alliance and we want it to work for you. On behalf of the committee may I conclude by wishing you good health and happiness in 2017.

Rob McCombie