CONSTANTINE AND DISTRICT TWINNING ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2008
WELCOME CONSTANTINE! And what a welcome! A full programme of events was laid on by our hosts and we were made most welcome by both our individual hosts and by those involved at the centres visited. The beautiful cake below was presented at the closing event of our twinning weekend in May.
CONSTANTINE QUICK GUIDE A pictorial whizz through our recent trip to Pont Croix Page 2 Two essays on the trip, one from a novice and one from an ‘old hand’ Page 3 Annual Lunch at the Budock Vean Hotel. Menu and details Page 4 Letter from the Chair Page 4
PONT CROIX CHURCH REOPENS After ten years of renovation the lovely village church at Pont Croix has been reopened. Notre Dame de Roscudon was a collegiate built in the 13th Century and has had a variety of additions and changes made to it over the centuries. Such was the importance of it’s design, there is a ‘School of Pont Croix’ upon which many other churches in Brittany are based and, it is suggested, across the Channel in Great Britain, in particular in Wales. Partial stained glass windows from the 16th Century have also been restored.
Every Tuesday in term time - French conversation classes for beginners and intermediate in the Tolmen Centre. 7pm 8.30pm The Annual Lunch will this year be held at the Budock Vean Hotel on Sunday 22nd February 12.30 The AGM of the association will be held on 11th March 2009 at the Constantine WI Hall at 7.30pm The French Twinners will be with us from May 20th - 24th 2009!
E-MAIL QUEST We desperately need to update our data files so please send your current email address to email@example.com. Thank you!
CONSTANTINE AND DISTRICT TWINNING PICTURES FROM TWINNING VISIT With thanks to contributors!
Marie-Jeanne explains something to Jenny Nias
The tall and the short of it! Charlie gets a lesson in the fine art of Petanque!
Sheila Reynolds and Peggy Shepperd at the factory for the disabled
Members of Trengilly Singers, the Church Choir and friends entertain with some Cornish music I was delighted to see Marguerite who was the first Chairman of the Pont-Croix Twinning Association. I remember her with affection and a grin, as a Joan of Arc figure, rallying her troops (the twinning members!) for the grand parade round the city of P.C at the initial visit when the Charter was signed.
The Paella evening - their English teacher is in the green dress For me, this last visit to Pont Croix was one of the most attractive. Both twinning partners have matured. We no longer feel the need to impress one another with beautiful chateaux, or grand country houses. We do simple local things. This years visits to a wood product factory, and the Maison de Cidre, each employing handicapped people, were interesting and impressive. Everyone enjoyed the pĂŠtanque competition.
Although her enthusiasm for the Twinning has never failed, her health has. It was a great effort for her to come to meet us this But for me, the new additions to our party, and their enthusiasm, was very year. Remembering her visits to our house in Constantine she stimulating. And the final superb dinner of paella with lashings of wine, and the presented me with flowers from her garden. A sweet way to say beautiful singing by a few members of the Trengilly Singers, followed by most of â€œThank You". I was moved. us (not me!) rendering Camborne Hill et al, will remain with me always. Jean Tucker
ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER NOV. 2008 THE “JUMELAGE” After months of expectation, suddenly the twinning weekend “est arrivée.” Unfortunately, due to being in the middle of my A-level exams, we met our French hosts the morning after the official arrival of Constantine en masse. Not a moment was wasted though, our bags had hardly touched the floor before we were welcomed down for the first lunch of the weekend. What a pleasant omen of things to come it was. A beautifully presented tart filled with “Fruits de Mer.” Foolishly we tucked into seconds being quite hungry from our travels, assuming this was the main course. Suddenly a huge bowl of potatoes and beans was produced, chicken pieces in cider, salad and dressing, cheese and a variety of tarts. Afterwards, it was all we could manage to sit talking with our new hosts and let our French come back from the depths of our memory. The party then split, Mum went off to the rousing debate with French ministers and politicians and other local worthies. Dad and I were kindly shown the best surfing spots by Yves, whose son turned out to be a keen surfer. “Great” we thought, although we didn’t have our kit to hand, “tomorrow we can get a surf or two in”. Little did we know that that would be our only chance, though not for lack of trying! We joined together with the whole group on the first evening, where those who had endured the debate seemed to be glad to be on the receiving end of their apero. The choir of the local music school gave us a short concert and then another feast began. I was sitting with the “youth.” Having dropped French in place of Spanish after GCSE, what ensued was a feeling of total fear and incomprehension as I tried to pick out one word in every hundred. Laetitia, Matthieu and the younger kids spoke at 100mph in French with a healthy mix of Breton and “Vers Allons”. Trying to grasp French is hard enough, without some of the key words being shortened and spoken backwards! Having been slightly educated in this bizarre mix I can give you the example - if you wish to express a like of music, normally you would say “J’aime la musique” in “Vers Allons, you reverse “music” giving you the phrase “ J’aime la siquému.” Hopefully you can now appreciate my problem! However, by the final dinner it had come back to me and I ending up talking about types of boats and sailing in a confusing mix of English, French, Spanish and drawing on scraps of paper as the method of communication. For me, Petanques was one of the active highlights, having never played before I didn’t know that proper rules existed. After a quick explanation from Pierrot and Ronan, we were split into pairs with our French counterparts. I really enjoyed the
VISIT TO PONT-CROIX
experience, the only low point was a game when the Chief organizer of the club turned out to be my opposition. I feel it was a slightly forgone conclusion, “n’est-ce pas?” Not being the strongest English player I had to hide my immense relief at managing to throw the boule in roughly the right direction The most interesting visit for me was the Cider Farm, we were told that 60,000 bottles of cider and 20,000 bottles of jus de pomme were produced a year. This seemed an amazing feat for a small farm with 15 employees only, and a fair number with considerable disabilities. The whole complex provides jobs for people in the community with disabilities and it was a really interesting place to visit. The only downside of the size of the place was there had to be two tour parties, meaning that the first group had considerably more time for the “degustation du cidre”,. leaving us poor people from the second party having to muscle in to sample the produce. Though everybody left with even more “samples” to take home. The last evening had a distinctly Spanish flavour as we were welcomed to the “espace culturelle” for Sangria and speeches from Gia and Christine (Madame Presidente of Pont Croix’s twinning). After moving into the main hall for a dinner of paella, everyone sat talking and laughing together. It was brilliant to see the two towns mix so fluidly, with everyone looking and feeling well at home with their French counterparts. Although I myself didn’t take part in the Breton dancing, I did hear tales that it was a good laugh. I was outside playing football with the local youth. After our number reached 5, I understood that a game was being suggested. “Oh dear” I thought, as I knew it meant trying to puzzle through as I had the rules explained to me by an enthusiastic French boy named “Nonna”. After slightly lying about how much of the explanation I’d understood we began. I laughed to myself as I realised that wherever you go in the world, games are games. It was a favourite of ours at school, sort of like squash but with a football. They seemed rather impressed about how quickly I managed to pick it up! I have to admit that it seemed quite an effort to rise in time to depart for the ferry, the weekend’s food and activities having caught up with me. I can honestly recommend the twinning, as will anyone who took part in this weekend. Although I have been to France with my family and on school trips, experiencing it from this new perspective with our welcoming hosts was an eye opener, as well as a stomach stretcher. I can’t wait for next year, and another weekend of feasts and activities. Charlie Saunders
23RD – 27TH MAY 2008
It was great to see so many “first-timers” in Pont-Croix this year and to think back to my first visit there in 1991. Like them, I was amazed by the hospitality received and the warmth of their welcome. Although during most of my visits I have stayed with Marguerite, Marie Jo Claquin was the fifth host I have stayed with, and there has, therefore, been great variety for me with each visit. It now seems to be much more normal for groups to get together for meals, which certainly helps if there are people who speak very little French or English. Peggy Shepperd and I had a most enjoyable meal with Jenny Nias and Francoise Evenat, and later, the Belgians, Myriam and Florimond, in their beautifully converted farm buildings. They produced a sit down meal for 16 with no fuss, and we all chatted away till nearly 1 a.m. As I have found on previous visits, it is an added bonus to get to know the Cornish as well as the Bretons. On the Sunday, Marie Jo invited Marguerite to join 5 of us to lunch, and we were very pleased her sparkle had returned and she seemed more positive. Without doubt, she is in a lot of pain when she walks, but she brought a magnificant cake with her for desert with “18 ans de jumelage” on it, and a happy mothers’ day message in the corner! After lunch she drove round to the sports field where the Petanque matches were in full flow, and was able to chat with many members of the Reynolds family, Jean Tucker, Gia, Jenny Nias, and other friends she knew. She said that she has already bought the candles for her 60th birthday in summer 2009 ! All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable visit with a trip to Audierne market; hearing about integration within the E U; taking part in the church service led by lay people in the beautiful Pont-Croix church which has been closed for ten years for renovations; visiting the Museum of the Marquisat and walking around the town; taking part in the Petanque championship; visiting the carpentry factory, cider factory, and restaurant run by the handicapped, etc. Finally, what we will all remember best, is the meeting with good friends, and the endless eating, drinking, and laughing that accompanies it. Dilys Gardiner
ANNUAL LUNCH MENU
Sunday 22nd February 2009 Budock Vean Hotel 12.30
Apologies and thanks are due. Firstly apologies for the lateness of this newsletter but thanks to Mike Maguire who willingly offered to take it over when David Freeman asked to be relieved of responsibility for it. Our thanks go to David for many years of sterling work on the newsletter, often without much copy to include.
Fanned Galia Melon with a red Berry Compote and Crème Fraîche Locally smoked Salmon with Avocado, sun blushed Tomatoes, Capers and Herb oil Cream of Tomato and garden Sage Soup
Roast Sirloin of locally farmed Beef with a Yorkshire Pudding and Basil infused Gravy Roast leg of Cornish Lamb with a Rosemary scented Jus Grilled fillets of locally landed Plaice with a Lemon and Parsley Butter Served with a selection of Seasonal Vegetables and Potatoes
Dark Chocolate Brownie with Cornish Clotted Cream and fresh Strawberries Strawberry Pannacotta with a Raspberry Coulis and fresh Berries Lemon Syllabub Lemon flavoured whipped Cream served in a Tuile basket with fresh Raspberries
Fresh Cafetiére of Coffee and Mints
£15.95 per person, inclusive of VAT
Would you please confirm with Marian Saunders as soon as possible whether you will be attending and how many there are in your party. Menu choices will be taken on the day so do not worry about advance booking! Cheques for the number of guests in your party should be made out to Constantine Twinning Association and sent to: Marian Saunders Manor Mill Ponjeravah Constantine TR11 5PX
This will be our first e-newsletter and as such it will save some paper and considerable legwork from committee members. There will of course still be some paper versions available for those without email but it is certainly where the future lies. On that note, please could those who have not already given their email address to Mike or Marian please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org? We had a very successful trip to Pont-Croix this year with 33 twinners going, and at least half for the first time. Everyone seemed to have a great time and it was really good to see so many new members enjoying the varied programme that the French had prepared for us. You will see several photos of the visit in this newsletter and a lovely article from Charlie Saunders (our youngest twinner there). I have a feeling that we will have a large number of French wanting to come over next year, (note the date: May 20th – 24th), so we will need volunteers to host please. Until then have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. We shall, as usual, be having our Annual Lunch in February. This will be held at the Budock Vean Hotel in 2009 and we are looking forward to the change of venue. Our AGM will be held as usual in the WI Hall and will be on Wednesday March 11th. It will then be full on with preparations for the visit in May. Any offers of help or hosting will be very welcome. Gia Shaw