La Plume May 2009

Document Sample
La Plume May 2009 Powered By Docstoc
					                    NUMBER 2                    MAY / MAI 2009

         LA PLUME
                                 39th Lorient Interceltic Festival
                                       31 July - 9 August

24 Hours Le Mans - 13-14 June

                                 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix
                                           24 May

 96th Tour de France 4-26 July
          Elections - Polling Day. - Sunday, 7th June
Polling stations will be open: from 8.00 to                VOTING / STANDING FOR ELECTION
18.00 (or 20.00 by order of the prefeture).
                                                        Right to vote: All EU citizens aged 18 and over
Counting of votes: Vote-counting will start as
                                                        who are domiciled or long-term resident in
soon as the polling stations close.                     France and have full voting rights are entitled
Estimation / publication of results: Sunday             to vote. Voting is not compulsory in France.
                                                        By voting in EP elections, you choose who
Provisional results and publication: The
                                                        influences your future and the daily life of
Member States may not officially make public
                                                        close to 500 million fellow Europeans. If you
the results of their count until after the close of     don’t bother, somebody else will - and decide
polling in the Member State whose electors are          who represents you at the only directly elected
the last to vote’.
                                                        Pan-European assembly. Elected MEPs shape
Final results: Monday at 12 noon
                                                        the future of Europe for the next 5 years. Get
      REGISTRATION OF CANDIDATES                        the Europe you want! If you don’t vote, don’t
Deadline for registration: Opens on 11th May            complain.
2009 and closes on 12th May 2009.                       Thanks to Europe, we can easily travel, study
Deposit: Lists of candidates are to be lodged           and work abroad. The EP works tirelessly for
with the Interior Ministry. They must have twice        a cleaner environment, safer chemicals, better
as many candidates as there are seats to be             services and jobs. It is an ardent defender of
filled, in each constituency. (This is to prevent       consumer rights, equal opportunities and
the list being used up if there are too many            human rights both in the EU and abroad. The
vacancies, as there is no possibility of holding        EP meets in full session in Strasbourg for one
by-elections).                                          week every month. The rest of the time, the
Conditions: Lists must be made up of men and            Members of the EP (MEPs) work in Brussels
women alternately (Law of 6 June 2000).                 and meet in specialist committees.
Representations:                                        In June 2009, You will have a unique
The law has stipulated eight constituencies for         opportunity to go to polls along with 375
the European election:                                  million fellow European voters. What for? To
    · for metropolitan France, complete regions         elect both the world’s only directly elected
        have been grouped into constituencies;          transnational and multilingual parliament,
    · for the Overseas Territories, one                 and the EU’s only directly elected institution.
        constituency covers all the departments,        Elected by the people since 1979, European
        territories and communities.                    Parliament represents today almost half a
Number of MEPs: France will have 72 seats.              billion citizens.

                   French Classes
         Christian Calmont - La Chapelle Neuve - Conversation & Grammar - all levels
         tel: 02 97 2723 11/06 84 42 81 91 email:

         Rose Gore - Mohon - Conversation & Grammar, all levels
         tel: 02 97 73 40 17 - email: website

         Frederique Marshall - Rohan - Conversation & Grammar - all levels
         tel: 02 97 47 18 33 / 06 33 68 50 58 email:

         Catherine Roussey - St Yves/Bubry - Conversation & Grammar - all levels
         tel: 02 97 51 34 64

     MAY 2009                             Message From
Edited, Printed & Published
                                          The President
                               I hope you enjoy this edition of La Plume
     Valerie Davenport
 Ty Planche, 56310 Bubry       de Pontivy as much as the last one; I would
    Tel: 02 97 39 75 44        like to thank Val and the contributors for
           Email:              making the newsletter such a success.       With the membership living so far apart it
                               means that any visits or outings we may
                               organise will mean a long journey for some,
                               in fact this is the reason we decided to only
         Articles              hold one meeting a month, unlike a lot of
    Christian Calmont          other clubs. We will try and arrange a visit somewhere in the
     Anthony Dyson             Pontivy area, in early summer, and see what the response is
       John Harris             like before we get more adventurous.
      John Keeping             I should perhaps remind you that at the AGM this year
                               in September, we should elect a new President as my
                               two years are up (how the time has flown, I have really
     Book Reviews
                               enjoyed my term!) In view of the dealings with “head
     Anthony Dyson
                               office” in Lille, I feel someone whose French is better
      John Harris
         Horus                 than mine (not difficult) would be appropriate. You may
                               like to give this some thought before August when we
                               will be asking for nominations. While the present
        Recipe                 committee have indicated their willingness to continue
      Raye Glossop             in office if anyone else would like to “volunteer” we
                               will be only too happy to consider their offer.
                               I understand that the talks programme for 2009 is now full
  Restaurant Review            which is really good news. We have some very interesting
      Nick Dent                talks lined up and we are holding some in reserve in case of
                               last minute problems.
      Wine Review              You will all be glad to hear that Arthur Curtis’ knee operation
       Sam Melier              went well but other problems have now arisen but let’s hope
                               that we can encourage him to return to the club in the not too
                               distant future.
     Virtual Library                                                           Geoffrey Baldock
      Stuart Parnell
                                            Probus Club de Pontivy 2009 Committee
                                            Chairman:                   Geoffrey Baldock
 Ties, Tie Pins & Stick                     Vice-Chairman:              Stuart Parnell
                                            Treasurer:                  John Harris
   Pins are available
                                            Secretary & Webmaster       Valerie Davenport
  to purchase at the
   Probus Meetings                                     CONTENTS
                                 Elections                    2     Vehicle Registration         9
Deadline for AUGUST              President’s Message          3     Recipe - Lemon Cheesecake   10
 Edition is 22 JULY
                                 Que se passe-t-il chez les         Wine Suggestions            10
All Submissions to Editor        Britanniques de Bretagne? 4        Wines of The Loire          11
     via Email or CD             Meet The Members             5     Christian Calmont           12
                                 Restaurant Review            6     RMS Queen Mary              13
  La Plume de Pontivy is the     French Health Service        6     Crossword & Sudoku          15
     official magazine for
    Probus Club de Pontivy
                                 Book Reviews         7, 14, 16     Sport                       17
 Association No: 0562004811      Le Crunch                    8     Chimney Sweeping            18

                               Anthony Dyson
                                    Que se passe-t-il chez les
                                   britanniques de Bretagne ?
Dans l’édition du mois d’avril du Périodique des        vrai que les « brits » étaient prêts à dépenser ce
Notaires du Morbihan, on peut lire la mention           qu’il fallait pour acquérir une propriété en
suivante :                                              Bretagne, la plupart d’entr’eux cherchaient
« De plus, les britanniques, qui appréciaient           plutôt une maison de campagne qu’ils pouvaient
particulièrement le département n’y investissent        rénover à leur aise. Et les entreprises locales de
plus et ceux qui ont acheté veulent vendre et           bricolage en ont largement profité ! Quant à la
rentrer en Grande-Bretagne pour des raisons             disponibilité de telles propriétés, il n’en
économiques (Euro cher) »                               manquait pas, un résultat malencontreux de la
Pour ce qui est l’investissement, ce commentaire        fuite des jeunes vers les villes à la recherche d’un
est valable, car la chute de la livre sterling par      emploi.
rapport à l’Euro, atteignant parfois 35% signifie       Ces habitations, bien souvent rénovées jusqu’à
que les capitaux prévus à l’origine pour investir       un haut niveau, ont contribué à la renaissance
ici n’existent quasiment plus. Mais de là à dire        de villages et des bourgs destinés
que les britanniques cherchent à réintégrer leur        immanquablement à disparaître pour ainsi dire.
pays est bien loin de la vérité. Les motifs qui ont     Les nouveaux habitants, les immigrés, ont donc
milité en faveur de l’élection de leur domicile en      aidé à assurer la survie des écoles, des petits
France restent aussi convaincants que jamais ;          commerces, voire les bureaux de poste.
même plus convaincants encore compte tenu de            Les communes ont été très heureux d’accueillir
la situation désastreuse (sous tous les aspects)        de nouveaux contribuables et ceux-ci ont été très
dans laquelle se trouve leur pays d’origine ! Il        heureux d’avoir acquis une maison restaurée
suffit de noter en passant la surpopulation,            « pimpante neuve » à une fraction du prix qu’ils
l’immigration démesurée, la congestion, la              auraient dû payer dans leur pays d’origine.
violence, l’insécurité, j’en passe et des meilleurs !   Et le travail au noir. Oui, cela existe toujours,
Oui, mais … ces immigrés perturbent le marché           mais beaucoup mois, grâce à des campagnes
immobilier, ils viennent travailler au noir, privant    systématiques de la part de la Gendarmerie
ainsi nos artisans du travail qui est le leur. Ils ne   Nationale, et, faut-il le dire, à une meilleure
cherchent même pas à apprendre notre langue,            discipline chez le « brits » eux-mêmes. La
croyant – quelle arrogance – que tout le monde          nouvelle initiative gouvernementale auto-
se doit de parler la leur … et ainsi de suite.          entrepreneur commence aussi à se faire sentir,
Bon, examinons ces griefs point part point :            et les éléments louches, les arnaqueurs ont aussi
Tout d’abord, l’immobilier. Les uns disent « Voilà      vu le signe sur le mur et ont mis les voiles. Fort
les anglais qui arrivent les poches pleines de fric     heureusement pour ceux qui restent, et qui ont
et font monter le prix de l’immobilier, que ce soit     l’intention de rester coûte que coûte.
le terrain ou les habitations. Ils forcent le marché    Et finalement, la langue. Il est vrai que les
au point où nos propres jeunes ne peuvent pas           britanniques n’ont pas le don des langues, et bon
se payer leur première petite maison. C’est             nombre ne font aucun effort pour apprendre une
honteux ! » Les autres répliquent « Oui mais ce         autre langue que la leur. Il y en a qui ne parle
sont les français qui créent un faux marché basé        même pas convenablement leur propre langue.
non pas sur la valeur intrinsèque ou la vrai valeur     Mais ça change petit à petit. Bien souvent ce n’est
marchande de la chose, mais plutôt sur le               pas la volonté qui manque mais l’aptitude. Il faut
maximum qu’ils peuvent extraire des                     espérer que l’éthique changera. On verra bien.
étrangers. » Ils exagèrent bien sûr, mais il y a        Mais en fin de compte ce que l’on peut affirmer
quand-même un petit élément de vérité dans ce           très sincèrement, c’est que les Probusiens de
qu’ils disent. Mais au fait, on parle de deux           Pontivy se sentent vraiment chez eux ici, et on
marchés sensiblement différents. Tant qu’il est         fermement l’intention de rester.
Who or what made you move to                 Who would you most like to be for the day?
Brittany?                                    Someone who could make a difference.
We fancied a change of life style after I
had been made redundant.                     What is your favourite music/film /book/
                                             TV programme?
Had you looked at other countries?           Elton John/The Good the Bad and the Ugly/
No.                                          Thomas the Tank Engine/Master Chef.
                                             Where would you spend your ideal
What is the biggest challenge you
have faced since moving to Brittany?
                                             The Far East.
Marian being diagnosed with Parkinson’s
Disease.                                     What one wish would you like to have
When you moved to Brittany, was it           That is easy, it would be to take away Marian’s
straightforward?                             medical problems.
Not really, I just had to come over and
‘remarry’ and sign for the house then        What would you do if you won the Lottery?
return for the furniture to be delivered     Enjoy spending it.
all on my own because Marian was in          What is your favourite gadget?
hospital at the time.                        Living in France, it would have to be the
What type of property did you buy?
i.e. one that needed a lot of                Do you have an unfulfilled ambition?
renovation or one with only cosmetic         To see West Bromwich Albion win the Premier
changes required.                            League.
One that needed plenty of DIY but no         What are your interests/hobbies?
major structural work.                       Food and wine, gardening, boules, sport (more
                                             watching than doing these days!), just trying
Who or what was the biggest                  to enjoy life.
influence on your life/career?
Apart from Marian, my Dad.

What did you want to be when you
grew up?

What is the best (or worst) advice
you have ever had?
One day I was asking my boss for time
off, explaining in minute detail how I had
everything at work covered. He said
‘Nick, have you ever put your hand in a
bucket of water, taken it out and looked
at the hole you left behind! Go and take
what ever time you need.’
Do you speak any other languages?
Isn’t English and basic French enough?
What is your pet hate?
Inconsistency.                               Nick and Marian Dent at their daughter’s
What do you like best about your life        wedding on 28 February at Barnsdale Hall
now?                                         Hotel. The Hotel overlooks Rutland Water.
Having time to complete questionnaires       The happy couple, Sarah & Anthony, went
without feeling guilty.
                                                 away for 2 weeks on honeymoon.

                                RESTAURANT REVIEW
                                       Le Bistrot Nick Dent
                                                     31, Route de Nantes, 56860 Séné
                                                               Tel: 02 97 47 25 20
                                                         I would never normally consider recommending a
                                                       restaurant when my only experience was only having
                                                     attended on the opening day, but in the case of Le Bistrot I
                                                            think I am very safe in making the exception.
The reason for my confidence in recommending                         recommendation of the butcher. The restaurant has
Le Bistrot is primarily based on the staff, Erick,                   been tastefully decorated throughout and also has a
Frédéric and the others in the team who were                         large terrace to the rear.
responsible for starting and establishing Cap
Ouest in Vannes. They have now brought their
tremendous enthusiasm, warm personalities and
attention for detail together with a very appealing
menu to Le Bistrot.
Le Bistrot is a new restaurant situated on the old
Vannes to Nantes road about 5 minutes from
Vannes at Le Poulfanc, (from Vannes you pass a
Renault garage on the left and Le Bistro is situated
on the right opposite a block of apartments about
500m further on). It is currently open weekday
lunch times and offers a Plat de Jour with Café                      When Cap Ouest opened it was a place you could
Gourmand for 10.50€ and a 3 course formule for                       rely on for good food in a relaxing atmosphere, I have
13.00€. In addition there is a limited but very                      no doubt that with the same team, Le Bistro will soon
appealing à la carte menu and a daily                                establish the same reputation.

         pticians are not part of the French health service,            Thus, although most ophthalmic prescriptions are
         and they do not ordinarily undertake eye tests.                reimbursed at the rate of 65%, the base rate on which
         They can sell you a pair of spectacles but, unless             they are calculated is so low as to be quite ridiculous,
you have a medical prescription from an ophthalmologist,                particularly for adults. It is rare for there to be any
you will not be eligible for any financial assistance from              reimbursement at all from the social security for
the social security system.                                             contact lenses, laser treatment is not reimbursable,
However, as a result of a change of law introduced in                   and there are significant restrictions on the types of
2008, where you have previously received a medical                      lenses that are eligible for reimbursement.
prescription for glasses then, within a three year period,              If you have taken out voluntary health insurance, you
an optician is able to undertake a new eye test and                     should find that your health insurer will have a list of
prescribe a new pair to you, for which reimbursement                    recommended opticians, and by using one of them,
on the usual terms is available.                                        you are likely to be able to buy lenses at a preferential
An ophthalmologist will be in a position of undertaking                 rate. An optician should provide you with a written
a medical examination and providing you with a medical                  estimate of the cost, and you would be well advised
prescription for glasses, or undertaking any other                      to seek two or three estimates before making a final
medical treatment that may be necessary. You do not                     decision.
need to go through your family doctor in order to make                  The French authorities do not permit the sale of
an appointment to see an ophthalmologist. A visit to the                spectacles over the Internet by French companies,
ophthalmologist is likely to cost around €40 (as most                   despite protestations from the EU Commission that
charge fees above the official rate), of which around €15               this is contrary to EU rules. As a result, the price you
will be reimbursed by the social security system. Prices                will pay from a French optician can easily amount to
as at 2009.                                                             several hundred euros, where the same pair of lens
Nevertheless, as t h e r e i s a s e r i o u s s h o r t a g e o f      and frames might cost you half as much over the
ophthalmologists in France, you are likely to have to                   Internet. Many expats either buy their glasses in their
wait a long time for an appointment.                                    home country, or over the Internet. Clearly, you do
Official rates for glasses and certain other ophthalmic                 not get the professional advice and fitting service you
prescriptions have not been increased for many years,                   might expect from an optician, and it is difficult to
so the actual cost glasses or other prescription far                    judge the quality of the frames and lenses, but that is
outstrips any reimbursement that will be given.                         a choice you need to make.
                                BOOK REVIEWS
               THAT SWEET ENEMY                      - Robert and Isabelle Tombs
           The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present
Frenchwoman Isabelle works for the Foreign Office
in London, teaching diplomats French while he,
                                                                   Reviewed by Horus
an Englishman and a specialist in French history,     France belatedly embraced free trade in 1860 they
teaches at St John’s College, Cambridge. Debating     became also became economic allies, in effect an
sharply, they demonstrate how many                               embryonic EEC. Now wealth would come
of the great historical questions, the                           from trade rather than war and, during
aims and motivations behind British                              the 3rd Republic, the French achieved
colonial and commercial expansion, the                           unprecedented economic growth and
nature and legacy of the French                                  cultural prestige.
Revolution, the degree to which French                           Even after the entente cordiale was
security and German ambitions could                              signed in 1904, Britain avoided siding
have been reconciled after World War                             with France too closely in the run-up to
I, have yet to be settled.                                       World War 1. Despite Germany’s
The Glorious Revolution launched the                             declaration of war on France in August
“second Hundred Years’ War”, and                                 1914, Britain intervened only after
ended with France’s conclusive defeat                            Germany’s attack on neutral Belgium,
at Waterloo. Between 1688 and 1714                               which Britain was committed to defend.
Britain led Frances long-suffering                               During the1920s and 30s Britain
neighbours in a defensive struggle that                          believed that German nationalism was
cost 2 million lives. Late 17th century                          benign, and a natural response to French
France was an unchallenged superpower and             vindictiveness of the terms of the Treaty of
Britain a bit player. Britain’s naval contest with    Versailles. John Maynard Keyne’s pro-German
France was the largest, longest, most complex and     analysis that unfair reparations led to the Second
expensive project ever undertaken by the British      World War is widely accepted on both sides of the
state and society and demanded a transformation       Channel. Most economic historians, however,
in public finance. This spurred the commercial and    disagree with Keynes, and the authors robustly
industrial revolutions that propelled Britain to      defend that much maligned peace treaty. The
economic and geopolitical ascendancy. 18th century    French were equally slow in realizing the Nazi
France was mystified by British military and          danger, and were complicit in appeasing the
financial might. Owing to the wars against France     Germans.
between 1689 and 1815, Britain raised taxes by        Britain’s wartime contribution is often overlooked
1,600 percent, and government borrowing               by the French, who tend to think the Resistance
increased by 24,000 percent. Britain’s ability to     and the Free French ousted the Nazis almost
raise cash was no mystery. Being dependent on         unassisted. The chief architect of that myth was
revenue approved by Parliament was not a              Charles de Gaulle, who told an SOE officer during
weakness, as the French assumed, but strength.        the liberation of Paris: “You have no place here!”
Britain’s tax system had a legitimacy that an         That rebuff set the tone for post-war decades. See-
absolutist regime did not.                            sawing British decline and French prosperity in
After 1815, peace brought the two countries           the last 40 years contributed to driving the two
together but the French continued to dream of         countries apart.
military grandeur colonizing Algeria in the 1830s,    The 624 pages of this tome are an intellectual
and clashing over British-ruled Syria in 1840. The    feast, and even those who think they know
1848 Revolution was pivotal in improving Franco-      everything about either country will relish it. But
British relations and the two countries teamed        it does not tell the whole story about these two
together against Russia in the Crimean War. When      edgy neighbours – how could it?

                                                                                      What If ....
                                                                                Ikea Took Over Skoda!

             LE CRUNCH                 – LA SOLUTION
                                   Burnt Fingers

     had intended to submit a report for the       and since Crystal had only lost 33% not only
    previous edition but I was suffering from      had she done well but she was entitled to a
    a bout of RSI (repetitive strain injury)       bonus! Needless to say the clients had no
brought on by constantly switching between         say in this decision. I am afraid I missed
the buy and sell buttons as I read conflicting     Crystal’s thoughts on the budget whilst I was
“experts” reports earlier this year.               reflecting on this earlier conversation.
Today my report has been delayed because           Of course the government, the banks,
I chose to listen to our beloved Chancellor        financial advisers and other self proclaimed
delivering his budget. I managed a couple          experts tell us that nobody could have
of minutes moderate concentration before a         foretold the financial problems that we are
strong urge to doze overcame me.                   now experiencing. Well is that so? I recently
Periodically I awoke to hear him droning on        came across après cutting which talked of
but despite such blinding insights such as         the ballooning debt in Britain. Here are a few
“we are in a Global recession and the next         extracts. “Our collective debt has been
year (or ten ?) will be very tough” or “some       likened to an economic iceberg. Many
people may lose their jobs” (2 million             consumers are going to founder on this
already have) I could not fight off the urge to    financial hazard which bizarrely remains
sleep.                                             almost completely submerged from most
When I awoke eventually I realised that I had      people’s view, including the Chancellor’s it
discovered a solution to one small problem.        would seem” “… have a slump the likes
Over recent months many of my friends had          of which we have not seen for more than 15
become so worried by their problems in             years. ALL THE SIGNS ARE THERE.” And
terms of redundancy (actual or feared)             again “Mr B…. ‘s legacy will be this ugly
negative equity, stock market losses, reduced      fallout from the decade of debt….but the
investment income etc. that they were having       careers of a few politicians are nothing
real problems sleeping. Surely a full length       compared with damage about to be visited
recording of today’s parliamentary delivery        on the United Kingdom from it’s debt-fuelled
would solve their problem? Of course there         spending binge”
is the distinct possibility that they might then   Now is that clear or is it not? And the date
have nightmares.                                   of this article in the Daily Telegraph was
This morning I happened to spot my former          February 14th 2006 !!
investment adviser Crystal Ball on the train       Well that’s enough of the past and certainly
so I asked her for her take on the situation.      the gloom of the present, what should those
Now Crystal is a very bright lady. She has a       few fortunate enough to have any money left
Ph.D. in astrophysics and holds a very senior      to invest do with their money now? Putting
post in one of the leading investment banks.       it in the bank at .25% interest is hardly an
I was enormously impressed recently when           option. Under the mattress the pound still
she told me recently that she had a good year      loses its value against most currencies, so
in 2008. I thought her clients must have been      why not gamble? Don’t let Crystal and her
really pleased. However in subsequent              likes persuade you that this is investment but
conversation it transpired that a “good year”      instead recognise that particularly in the
meant that she had beaten the benchmark            present climate buying say BP Ordinaries
for her sector (financials) based on the           is like putting your money on the favourite
average of all the other “experts”. The            in the 3 o’clock at Haydock Park.
benchmark was -38% ! Thus any adviser who          Personally, against all recent experience,
had lost less than 38% of their clients money      I would back a banker and a builder.

        new system of vehicle registration has been          The new plates will comprise seven characters,
       introduced in France, ending a system based           formed of two letters, three numbers and two
       on departmental identification.                       letters, as shown in the following example. The
In future, a vehicle will have a registration for life,      new plates will all be uniformly black lettering
replacing the previous system under which each time a        on a white background.
vehicle was sold to anyone living outside of the             The first registration plate out of the system -
department of the current owner it was necessary to          AA-001-AA - has gone to a vehicle museum on
change the licence plate. This was because the               the French colony of Reunion.
registration of each                                                                          Existing owners
vehicle was based on the                                                                      are not being asked
department in which the                                                                       to change the
owner lived.                                                                                  registration plates
The system lead to an                                                                         of their vehicle,
enormous growth in the                                                                        which only need
number of registration numbers. Whilst there are             occur in the event of sale by the new owner. The
around 40 million cars on the roads in France, there         new system will be operational for second hand
are 150 million registration numbers in existence!           cars with effect from 15th June.
Car owners who disposed of their vehicle to the tip          Responsibility for the car registration process has
simply did not notify the préfecture that the car had        also been transferred from the préfectures to
been destroyed and, as a consequence, it continued to        accredited car dealers and garages. On the sale of
be registered with the authorities. Not only did this lead   a vehicle, the dealer will undertake the registration
to the system becoming saturated, it was also                process itself and collect the small registration tax
contributing to trafficking of registration numbers. In      on behalf of the government.
an attempt to reduce the administrative costs of the         The garages will also be able to register those
system, and to combat crime, the government concluded        vehicles sold between private owners, although
that a more practical and secure solution was necessary.     the process can also be undertaken through the
                                                             There has been strong local political and
                                   LOVE                      parliamentary resistance to the introduction of the
                                                             new system, with many politicians reluctant to
                                   YOUR                      abandon the territorial basis of registration. They

                                 COMPUTER                    even formed a pressure group within the French
                                                             Parliament, called ‘jamais dans mon département’.
                                                             In the end, they managed to persuade the
  Accent or Special Character     ALT +          ALT +       government that a departmental number should
  a with grave accent       à     133        À   0192        remain on the car plates, together with a regional
  a with circumflex         â     131        Â   0194        logo, but separate from the main number.
  a with tréma              ä     132        Ä   142
                                                             However, as vehicle owner can have the
  a e ligature              æ     145        Æ   146
                                                             departmental number of their choice the number
  c with cedilla            ç     135        Ç   128
  e with acute accent       é     130        É   144         that appears on the new plates, it will offer no
  e with grave accent       è     138        È   0200        guarantee of the place of residence of the owner!
  e with circumflex         ê     136        Ê   0202        In the event of sale, the new owner is entitled to
  e with tréma              ë     137        Ë   0203        change the regional and departmental
  i with circumflex         î     140        Î   0206        identification.
  i with tréma              ï     139        Ï   0207        Alongside introduction of the new plates, the
  o with circumflex         ô     147        Ô   0212        government have also introduced a new
  o e ligature              œ     0156       Œ   0140        registration document, in an attempt to reduce
  u with grave accent       ù     151        Ù   0217        the falsification of these documents. So the
  u with circumflex         û     150        Û   0219
                                                             traditional ‘carte grise’ will gradually disappear,
  u with tréma              ü     129        Ü   154
                                                             to be replaced by a more secure biometric
  French quotation marks    «     174        »   175
  Euro symbol               €     0128                       document, similar to an identity card.
                                                                                               Lost in France Article

 For the base –
 4 oz (110g) crushed digestive biscuits
                                                                   Raye Glossop’s
 2 oz (50g) butter

 For the filling –
 12 oz mascarpone cheese (available in super
 half oz (10g) powdered gelatine                                        without real cream if you
 2 large egg yolks                                                      cannot get the real stuff!
 2 ½ oz (60g) caster sugar
 Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
 5 fl oz (150 ml) fresh cream OR crème fraiche                     Cooks’ Tips
                                                                     1. You can blend Mascarpone cheese
 An 8 inch (20 cm) flan tin with a loose base,                          and Crème Fraiche to make a
                                                                        double cream substitute.
 lightly oiled                                                       2. Add bicarbonate of soda and a
                                                                        little baking powder to plain flour
Firstly prepare the base by melting the butter                          to make self-raising flour.
and mixing in the crushed biscuits. Spoon
the mixture into the prepared flan tin and                           DIABETIC VERSION
press down hard all over, as evenly as                As previous but replace the digestive biscuits with
possible.                                             your own make (see below), or biscuits of your choice
                                                      from the diabetic counter. Replace sugar with
Put the gelatine with 3 tablespoons of cold           Splendour or Canderel; reduce the amount to about
water into a small cup and stand the cup in a         10 per cent or as the manufacturers advise. In this
saucepan of barely simmering water. Leave             recipe I use 6 grms rather than the 60 of sugar.
it for 10 minutes by which time the gelatine
                                                              To make your own biscuits:
looks transparent. Leave to one side.                 4 oz (100g) butter
                                                      5g splendour/canderel
Put the egg yolks, sugar and cheese in a              6 oz (175)g self raising flour or (use plain flour with
                                                      a tsp bicarbonate of soda) as a substitute. You may
liquidiser, zuz for about a minute, add lemon         also use whole-wheat flour.
juice and grated rind and the gelatine. Zuz
again until everything is mixed thoroughly            Cream butter and sugar substitute until light and
and very smooth. Mix the double ream or               creamy.
crème fraiche until thick but floppy and add          Add the flour and knead until it forms a dough. Roll
to the already zuzzed egg yolk & mascarpone           out on a lightly floured board, cut into rounds and bake
mixture. Pour over the biscuit base, cover            at 210 C, 410 F, Gas mark 6-7 for around 10 minutes or
with cling film or foil and leave in the fridge       until golden brown. Crush and use as a substitute
to set, about 3 hours.                                biscuit base.

                          Readers’ Wine Suggestions
If you have a particular wine that you would like to recommend, please send the details into
  the Editor and then your contributions can be included in future editions. Bargain buys, a
 classic cru or just a wonderful bouquet, send them in and we can all share the experience.
             Below are a couple of wines our Editor would like to share with us:-
                              RED LIRAC
                                                                 GRAVES BLANC
                      It’s a poweful wine with a              A dry fresh fruity white
                    full-bodied structure. It has a
                                                              Bordeaux. The grape is
                       ruby colour and is a firm
                                                              Sauvignon/Semillon. It
                     wine giving off vanilla and               is slightly spicy with
                     peppery notes. The grape is
                                                               mixed fruits coming
                    Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre.                       through.

      Both wines can be purchased from Cavavin, Pontivy

Wines Of The Loire                                                                           Sam Melier

        he Loire is the longest river in France, twisting and turning and gliding for 1,000Km across France from the
       source in the hills of the Massif Central, just 160Km from the Mediterranean. It travels through the agricultural
       heart of the country it drains an area of 117,000 km2, which represents more than a fifth of France’s land area so
it is no surprise that so many different wines are grown along its banks. With over 185,000 acres (750 km2) planted
under vine, the Loire Valley is about two-thirds the size of the Bordeaux wine region. Due to its location and marginal
climate, the overall quality of a vintage has a dramatic effect on the quality of the region’s wines-more so than with
other French wine regions. The most common hazard is that the cool climate will prevent the grapes from ripening
fully and developing the sugars needed to balance the naturally high acidity of the grapes.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the Romans planted the first vineyards in the Loire Valley during their settlement
of Gaul in the 1st century AD. In the High Middle Ages, the wines of the Loire Valley were the most esteemed wines in
England and France, even more prized than those from Bordeaux.
Today the Loire is France’s third largest wine region               often made from the Chasselas grape. Pouilly-Fumé
and links at least three different wine regions which               only produces white wines while Sancerre produces
if not for the common thread of the river might be                  red, white and rosé wines. The white Sauvignon blanc
thought to share little. The wines of the Nantes region,            based wines from this region has characteristic
based on the Melon grape variety, offer fresh limpid                gooseberry and grapefruit flavours with the Pouilly-
neutrality. The Central Loire ,France’s garden as it is             Fumé version typically being more full bodied and
called, linking Anjou, Saumur and Touraine is a                     rich in texture. The red Pinot noir wines are very light
generous dappled landscape where Chenin Blanc and                   in both body and colour. Smaller appellations in the
Cabernet Franc produce a spectrum of wines both white               region include-Menetou-Salon which produces
and red, both stone dry and syrup sweet. The Upper                  white, red and rosé, Quincy just white wine and

Loire finally forms part of the Kimmeridgean limestone              Reuilly white, red and rosé.
chain, extending through Chablis to Champagne’s Aube                        he Middle Loire provides a wide range of wines
sector. Sauvignon Blanc finds its most pungent French                      from the regions around Anjou, Touraine,
expression here in a series of sparely drawn, sometimes                    Saumur, Chinon and Vouvray. The Anjou region
smoky wines of taut ripeness.                                       is situated around the town of Angers and is known
Historically the wineries of the Loire Valley have been             primarily for the rosé wines based on the Cabernet
small, family owned operations which undertook most                 franc grape-including the Rosé d’Anjou and the
of the estate bottling. The mid 1990s saw an increase in            Cabernet d’Anjou. Anjou Blanc made from Chenin
the number of négociant and co-operative to where now               blanc and Anjou Rouge made from Gamay are also
about half of Sancerre and almost 80% of Muscadet are               available. Some of the higher quality wines are often
bottled by a négociant or co-op. Today under the                    labelled with the AOC designation Anjou-Villages.
heading of Loire wines there are close to a 100                     The area around Saumur s the third largest sparkling
appellation under the AOC, VDQS and Vin de Pays                     wine appellation in France after the Champagne
systems. There are also two generic designations that               region and the Crémant d’Alsace AOC with more than
can be used across the whole of the Loire Valley. The               12 million bottles of Saumur Mousseux produced
Crémant de Loire which refers to any sparkling wine                 each year. Unlike Champagne which is made with
made according to the traditional method of                         Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, Saumur
Champagne. The Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France                   sparkling wine is based on the Chenin blanc grape.
refers to any varietally labelled wine, such as                     The region around Vouvray, Montlouis-sur-Loire and
Chardonnay, that is produced in the region outside of               Touraine has some of the most diverse plantings of
an AOC designation.                                                 the Loire region and makes a wide variety of white,
With so many appellations and wines to choice from it               red and rosé wines. The villages of Vouvray and
would be impossible to try to list or describe them all in          Montlouis are the largest appellations in the region
detail; however as has been mentioned, the Loire Valley             and make only white wines from Chenin blanc. The
is often divided into three sections. Each of these areas           wines can vary in sweetness from bone dry (often
has their own classic wines with their own distinctive              appearing as sec on the wine label) to very sweet
flavours from their part of this great river.                       moelleux wines. For years the Touraine region would
The Upper Loire is dominated by areas of Sancerre and               compete with the Beaujolais region for the release of
Pouilly-Fumé. The two towns of Sancerre and Pouilly-                an early bottling of Gamay that would rival the
sur-Loire (where Pouilly-Fumé is made) sit on opposite              Beaujolais nouveau. While the competition is not so
sides of the Loire river with Sancerre being about                  much of a focal point now, there are still some
10 miles (16 km) to the northwest of Pouilly. The Fumé              producers who release early bottlings of the wine
is said to come from the silex flint interspersed with              around the same time as Beaujolais.
the limestone in the area that can give a smoky gunflint
note to the wine. Wines labelled with just Pouilly are                                                        Cont’d over ....

Wines Of The Loire                                                                         Cont’d ....

The area around Chinon, Bourgueil and St-Nicolas-de-           its appellation stipulates a maximum of 12.3% and is a
Bourgueil produces the majority of the Loire Valley’s red      brilliant accompaniment to sea food. There are four
wine based on the Cabernet franc grape-known in this           appellations in the area all producing white wine made
area as Breton. The wines of the Chinon area are the softest   from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. These are Muscadet-
and rich expression of the grape while the Bourgueil area      Sèvre et Maine, Muscadet-Côtes de Grand Lieu,
produces more tannic and firm wines. The St-Nicolas-           Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire and Muscadet- a generic
de-Bourgueil area produces the lightest coloured wines.        appellation covering the whole of the Loire-Atlantique
The wines from this region can achieve a nice purple           department. The wines of the Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine
colour with notes of raspberry fruit and graphite. Unlike      and Muscadet-Côtes de Grand Lieu appellation are often
Cabernet franc from warmer climates, Chinon are                bottled sur lie, that is straight from the tank that they are
typically served slightly cooler than most red wine.           fermented in the following spring without any racking
The Lower Loire that leads to the mouth of the river’s         or filtering. The resultant wine should have just the tiniest
entrance to the Atlantic is dominated by the Muscadet          prickly pétillance, a slightly peppery apricot fruit and even
region. Muscadet is a neutral flavor wine and is one of        be ever so slightly honeyed.
France’s most successful white wines because it caught         The Loire wines provide something for everyone, the
the mood of the time in the mid 1950’s. Muscadet is low        difficulty sometimes can be finding the wine that most
in acid while remaining very dry and can be drunk as           suits your palate and I am afraid the only answer to
soon as the fermentation is finished. It is low in alcohol;    that problem is to keep tasting!

                           CHRISTIAN CALMONT
       French Teacher/Translater/Admin Aid to English Speakers
Je suis français et je vis en Bretagne depuis l’année 2001     I’m a Frenchman living in Brittany and I have a good
. J’ai une bonne connaissance des procédures                   knowledge of the administrative procedure in France. I
administratives. J’ai étudié l’anglais pendant                                  spent six months studying at the
six mois au Centre International des Langues                                    International Language Centre in London
à Londres et j’ai obtenu le diplôme du “Lower                                   and I am a graduate of the Lower
Cambridge University Certificate”. J’ai                                         Cambridge University Certificate. I’ve
travaillé pendant plus de vingt ans pour                                        worked for more than 20 years for foreign
d’importantes sociétés étrangères, dans les                                     companies using day to day English in their
services financiers et clients, utilisant au                                    Finance and Customer services
quotidien la langue anglaise. En charge du                                      Departments. I was in charge of the credit
crédit clients et du “reporting” en devises                                     management and the reporting of foreign
étrangères, j’avais la responsabilité des bud-                                  currencies transactions with responsibility
gets et de la trésorerie, de la négociation des                                 for budget and cashflow, negotiating bank
conditions de banque et de l’ouverture des                                      conditions and opening of accounts. These
comptes. Ces sociétés avaient des clients                                       companies were doing business with
dans le monde entier, nous devions donc                                         customers all around the world, so, we
maîtriser la langue anglaise et être capables de traiter       needed to be fluent in English and be aware of
les problèmes administratifs liés à chaque pays. J’ai          administrative procedures for many different countries.
beaucoup voyagé à travers l’Europe et je communique            I have travelled extensively throughout Europe and I
facilement. J’ai de nombreux amis britanniques et je           communicate well with people. I have many British friends
réalise toutes les difficultés qu’ils rencontrent avec les     and I am familiar with all the difficulties they encounter
problèmes administratifs en France. C’est pourquoi j’ai        with the French administration and bureaucracy and it is
décidé de créer mon entreprise. Je suis très impliqué dans     why I decided to set up my own business. I am very much
des associations locales, Président du club de tennis de       involved in local associations, including being President
ma commune, je suis aussi Président de la commission           of “Chapelle-Neuve” tennis club and President of the
“Cadre de Vie” dans le Pays de Pontivy. Mon entreprise         Commission “Cadre de vie” in “le Pays de Pontivy......I have
s’appelle BAIF, je fais de l’assistance auprès des             lived in “ Bretagne” since 2001, my company is called BAIF.
britanniques, de la traduction et je donne des cours de        I give assistance to the British in France, translation
Français.Lorsque j’étais jeune je rêvais d’être avocat.        and French tuition. When I was young I wanted to be a
J’adore les chevaux et j’ai une magnifique jument.             solicitor. I love horses and I have a beautiful mare.
     Tel: 02 97 27 23 11         -   Email:               -    Website:

    t was June 1957 and I was 22 when I                                             John Keeping
    joined the RMS Queen Mary in
                                                              and passengers shared was the ship’s movement and
    Southampton as a very junior Engineer                     this could be measured by the number of passengers
Officer. I’d just completed my National                       using the restaurant. Some passengers suffered
Service with the RAF in Hong Kong.                            seasickness in calm weather before we had left the
Built in Clydeside and launched in 1934, the Queen Mary       quay! My work could be described as mainly “first aid”,
was one of the largest and fastest passenger liners in        such as repairing copper pipes that, over twenty years,
the world. She had held the coveted Blue Riband and of        had worn paper thin on the outside of bends. This
course had carried more than                                                             involved carefully covering the
a million troops during the                                                              weak area with a copper patch
Second World War. So much                                                               and rubber gasket which was
happened during the                                                                     fixed with wire or if possible
following three years that I                                                            large jubilee clips. Harland and
find it very difficult to                                                               Wolff or Thornycroft plumbers
unscramble events and to put                                                            would      make       a   more
them in a logical order.                                                                professional repair when we
Certainly life on board a large                                                         arrived at Southampton. On
liner is like nothing else that                                                         one memorable occasion I was
one might experience. The                                                                called to the main generator
ship is divided into two                                                                 room to investigate a leak, the
halves. Below water level the vessel is very largely crew     noisiest, hottest and potentially the most dangerous
accommodation and machinery both of which are noisy,          part of the ship. One communicated by signs, and the
smelly, hot often unpleasant places to be. Staff such as      second engineer in charge pointed to a small leak
chefs and waiters who earned huge amounts through             coming from high in the roof. It took me some time to
tips lived together with the majority of the 1300 crew in     climb to a large sewage pipe immediately over the
conditions nicknamed “glory holes” and slept four to a        main generator. The bend was dripping and so to check
tiny cabin. Being ship’s officers our accommodation was       the extent of the weakness I gently prodded it with
in Cabin Class and we had a steward and a first class         my finger. It immediately sagged and threatened to
menu. As a result of this and the drink, I put on weight      fall away completely. I put my arms round the pipe in
in spite of playing for the ship’s football team every five   order to prevent this happening but of course I had no
days, and training hard in the gym each day. I had always     way of alerting anyone to the danger. If the bend had
played centre forward since                                                        given way, sewage and water would
leaving school and seemed to be                                                    have poured onto the generator,
able to score goals, although                                                      which would have been seriously
looking back, I could have been                                                    damaged and I would probably
a much better player if I had                                                      have been electrocuted. It seemed
worked on kicking with my left                                                     hours before I was missed and
foot more! We had a pitch of our                                                   subsequently spotted by an
own in Southampton, and                                                            engineer. He climbed up to me and
another in Harlem when we were                                                     I explained the problem. The chief
in New York. We played teams                                                       engineer was called and the
from other British and foreign                                                    generator shut down stopping the
ships and having better facilities                                                Queen Mary in mid-Atlantic. I could
and a larger crew we tended to                                                    still not let go of the bend until it
be very successful, winning a                                                     had been made safe. Not all
number of trophies. I found New                                                   watches were that exciting! During
York very exciting, it was so noisy                                               each trip we held a ward room party
and busy and the cars were twice                                                  to which selected passengers were
as large as those seen in Britain.                                                invited. Through these I met many
In Summer it was very hot and                                                     famous people including the
in Winter the snow was funnelled                                                 survivors of the Munich disaster,
between the skyscrapers and
could pile up to three feet very
                                            FIRST CLASS LOUNGE                   when several Manchester United
                                                                                 players lost their lives. Film and
quickly. The downside was that                                                   Stage stars regularly crossed the
everything was very expensive and being an engineer I         Atlantic. I particularly remember, Johnny Ray and
didn’t have tips, so quickly realised that I could get much   Sophie Tucker, both of whom I got on with well. It
more for my money at home in England, and therefore           taught me that whilst their lifestyles can be
limited my spending in the States. In England I bought        extraordinary and often bizarre their needs and feelings
a car, a very economical Renault 8, followed by a Jowett      are no different to those experienced by the rest of
Javelin and then a new Morgan 4/4. I owned all three at       us. Obvious really, but as a young star struck engineer
the same time and felt very rich. Each had a purpose          I think I’d expected something more. After three years
and I would rotate them depending on the occasion.            of over indulgence, I decided to leave the sea before I
The passenger part of the ship was totally different from     became a part of the ship, as so many of my older
the crew and engine sections. Carpets covered the deck,       more senior colleagues had. I found a job with an
bulkheads were panelled, expensive paintings and murals       engineering company in the beautiful city of Bath and
were everywhere and of course temperatures and sound          I was on my way to my true vocation, teaching, but
levels were very tolerable. The only thing that both crew     that’s another story!

                                   BOOK REVIEW
         “Sir Bobby Charlton – My Manchester United Years”
               Written by Charlton in conjunction with James Lawton
                                                         Reviewed by John Harris
 As a keen follower of sports in general and rugby, cricket and football in
particular, I have read numerous biographies and autobiographies. Usually
            I have been disappointed. This book is the exception.

Charlton had an outstanding career as a           outstanding footballer, who sided with his
footballer and the story of his progress to the   mother but Bobby stood firm and gives much
highest levels is naturally interesting to any    of the credit for his success to his wife’s
football aficionado but it is the story of the    longstanding support. Within football he was
man that makes this publication different.        simply a one club man. For all his success he
Bobby was born in Ashington.                                never        considered       leaving
Northumberland into a mining                                Manchester United and since his
family with strong footballing roots.                       retirement from playing he has
He joined Manchester United in                              already completed 25 years as a
1954 at the age of 17 and remained                          director of the club.
with them until he retired as a                             Finally and perhaps most important
player almost 20 years later. During                        of all is the impact of the Munich air
his career he was part of the team                          disaster in 1958. Eight leading
that won the League Championship                            players and many others died and
three times the FA Cup and the                              Charlton survived. He deals with the
European Cup. In 1966 he was                                tragedy initially in a prologue where
voted European Player of the year.                          he recounts the events leading up
He played 106 games for England                             to the disaster and the immediate
and was part of the World Cup                               aftermath. He makes clear that the
winning team of 1966.                                       losses sustained that night affected
Yet for all these achievements it is                        him for the rest if his life as this
Charlton the man who shies                                  short extract shows. “Even now, fifty
through the pages of this book.                   years on, it still reaches down and touches
In part I believe that this is because it is so   me every day. Sometimes I feel it quite lightly
well written. Much credit for this probably       a mere brush stroke across an otherwise
belongs to James Lawton who Charlton has          happy mood. Sometimes it engulfs me with
known for over 40 years and who has written       regret and sadness – and guilt that I walked
many biographies of sportsmen including           away and found so much. But whatever the
Lester Piggott. But the story is essentially      severity of its presence, the Munich air crash
Charlton’s and I found it of special interest     is always there………”
for four reasons.                                 Should you choose to read this book I hope
First of course is the man’s sheer talent. He     that you will find it as engaging as I did.
had a great gift and he utilised that gift to
the utmost. Not only did he keep himself in
excellent condition throughout a very long
career but he also constantly strove to
improve his level of personal performance.
He also appreciated that his special talent was
a gift to be exploited to the full and yet he
retains a humility so rare amongst those top
sporting personalities.
Throughout his life he demonstrated great
loyalty both on and off the field. His book
reveals that there were considerable tensions
within his family principally caused by his
mother’s disapproval of his wife. This caused
a rift with his brother Jack, also an

               CROSSWORD NO 1 - Solutions in French!
1          2              3         4         5              6              7
                                                                                    1.    To serve (6)
                                                                                    5.    Rude, impolite (6)
9                    10                       11   12                               8.    Aboard, on board (1,4)
                                                                                    9     Factories (6)
                     13                                                             11.   Evasive (6)
                                                                                    13.   To move back, step back, reverse
                                                                                          a car (7)
                                                                                    14.   Tout est *****. Everything is tidy
14    15        16             17                  18   19             20
                          21                  22
                                                                                    17.   Mettre sous ***. To put under
                                                                                          lock and key (3)
23                                       24                                         18.   Une ***** d’eau. A waterfall (5)
                                                                                    23.   Subscribers (7)
                                    25                                              24.   A path, footpath 97)
                                                                                    26.   L’effet de *****. The greenhouse
26         27        28        29                  30        31             32            effect (5)
                                                                                    29.   En ***. In summer (3)
                                                                                    30.   Une ***** cardiaque. A heart
                                                                                          attach (5)
                     33   34                  35
                                                                                    33.   Used, employed (7)
36                                            37                                    36.   A drawer (6)
                                                                                    37.   Clay (6)
                          38                                                        38.   Ce n’est pas l’*****. It’s not ideal
39                                            40                                    39.   The act of shaving, shearing (6)
                                                                                    40.   Failures or the game of chess (6)

1.    A sigh (6)
2.    A grape (6)                                                21.    Elle est ***. She was born (3)
3.    Shaven, clean-shaven (4)                                   22.    Acheter *** pommes. To buy some apples (3)
4.    Which dissolves in a liquid (7)                            25.    A workshop (7)
5.    Une **** fixe. An obsession (4)                            26.    ****** en l’air. To leap into the air (6)
6.    Un ****** migrateur. A migratory bird (6)                  27.    L’armée a ****** la ville. The army has retaken
7.    Tiny, minute (6)                                                  the town (6)
10.   Elle ****. She is wandering (4)                            28.    Un **** à lunettes. A spectacle case (4)
12.   Acheter en ****. To buy in bulk (4)                        30.    Dear, expensive (4)
15.   Un ***** fruitier. A fruit tree (5)                        31.    La Côte d’******. The Ivory coast (6)
16.   To bother, hamper, hinder (5)                              32.    Des ****** spéciaux. Special effects (6)
19.   To hasten (5)                                              34.    Il a **** les letters. He sorted the letters (4)
20.    Un *****. A third (5)                                     35.    Un **** coup. A dirty trick (4)
                                                                                                   Solutions on page 18
           6                                            9
     1                    6              3                        8                  SUDOKU NO 1
                                                                                   Swiss mathematician Leonhard
                     9    2              7         6                               Euler produced the first Sudoku
                                                                                    puzzle in 1783, calling it Latin
     4               1                             3              2              Squares. In the 1980s an American
                                                                                  publication introduced the puzzle
                                    3                                            as Number Place. Japanese puzzle
                                                                                   publishers, Nikoli, picked up the
     5               8                             7              1                idea and gave Sudoku its name.

                     6    1              5         2                              Remember - no number can
                                                                                  occur more than once in any
     7                    9              6                        3                   row, column or box.

           5                                            1                            Solutions on page 18

                                             BOOK REVIEW
        THE READER       - By Bernhard Schlink
                                                                                            Reviewed by
        translated by Carol Brown Janeway                                                   Anthony Dyson

         ver the years, we have seen and read a great deal   and the streaming of others in terms of work allocation.
         about the Holocaust, mostly from the perspective    She was well know for the quirk of having prisoners,
         of the victorious combatants and the surviving      already designated for transfer to the gas chambers of
victims. It is however rare to have the                      Auschwitz Birkenau, come to her hut every evening to read
opportunity of delving into the German psyche                             to her, exactly as she was read to by Kid.
in what inevitably is a philosophical dichotomy                           Under the German system, the trial was not
opposing natural patriotism and pride of                                  being held to establish facts, to examine
achievement to an all-pervasive guilt by                                  evidence or to determine guilt. This had
historical association and identification with                            already been done following the standard
the horrors committed by a minority of an                                 inquisitorial system. There was no adversarial
ostensibly and demonstrably civilised people.                             element except in the apportionment of guilt
This book does not dwell on the malevolence                               as between the defendants, and the ability of
and cruelty of the “final solutions”, but                                 the Counsel of each defendant to maximise
attempts to explore the workings of the minds                             mitigation for his client at the expense of the
on those involved, in this case a lowly guard                             others. This all had to be seen within the
willingly caught up in the system. These are                              context of the panic and chaos of retreat in the
portrayed vividly, with a deeply meditative                               face of the advancing merciless Russians. The
analysis of collective guilt and personal                                 extempore nature of necessary decisions
motivation.                                                  “quasi-improvvisando” taken amidst bombardments and
The story explores the philosophical dilemma of a callow     shelling led to complete disorder.
young man faced with the inexplicable behaviour and          Hanna seemed at a loss. Faced with the opprobrium of
attitudes of an older attractive woman. At the threshold     the Court, she seemed to be digging a deeper and deeper
of manhood, he (the narrator, we only know him as “Kid”      hole for herself. Why? Confronted by a biased and hostile
– Junge in the German text), unworldly and unsure of         judge as well as the mendacious attempts by her co-accused
himself, is drawn towards a single bizarrely secretive       to heap all the blame on her shoulders, she accepted
woman who lives an unremarkable humdrum existence            responsibility for things she could not possibly have done.
working as a tram conductress. Quite matter-of-factly        Why?
she deflowers him and they gradually create an ordered       The answer to this lay deep below layers of self-delusion
relationship based on a routine of physical cleanliness,     and guilt which had been with her ever since childhood.
sex, discussion and above all a joint love of literature.    She was illiterate! … and ferociously determined that
Part of each almost daily encounter involved his reading     no-one should know, even to the extent of pleading
aloud to her. Her tastes were eclectic, ranging from         guilty to all and everything!
famous biographies to the great literary novels, to          That was why she sought out people, whether it be the
histories and poetry. She had no special predilections or    Kid or the pitiful prisoners she had charge of, to read to
motivic derivations, but she firmly excluded trivia. She,    her for her pleasure and to enable her to acquire an
Hanna Schmitz, lived in an austere emotional world           education, second-hand, so to speak.
which she was as incapable of defining as Kid was of         Kid’s moral dilemma stems from this, and he goes to great
defining his own microcosm.                                  lengths to explore Hanna’s almost obsessive paranoia
But one day she just disappeared. She left her flat, her     about her inability read and write, and the supervening
job, her liaison with Kid. After many fruitless attempts     importance she places on the necessity of hiding what she
to find her, Kid gave up He returned to his sorely           perceives to be a very shameful shortcoming. Does it cause
neglected studies and to spite his father who was a          her to accept almost certain life imprisonment rather than
professor of philosophy, he became a law student             plead illiteracy and the impossibility of having written
concentrating on forensic legal logic combined with          reports and so on? Would Kid be causing her great anguish
clinical psychological analysis.                             by divulging her secret, even in the knowledge that such
In his final year as a student, he decided to concentrate    “new evidence” could dramatically reduce her sentence?
on one or two cases of public interest which were even       Would the whole edifice of her life crumble? She certainly
then coming to trial. And that was when he met Hanna         would never forgive him, even though his sole concern
again, albeit at arm’s length. She, along with a number      was justice for her and her well-being. She still awoke
of other women, was on trial on charges inter alia of the    feelings in him but love between them, or what might have
mass murder of concentration camp prisoners. She had         passed for it had disappeared. He had no determinant role
been a camp guard with responsibility for the                in the case, but merely and rather clinically observed
surveillance and discipline of Jewish and other              proceedings. And yet, he knew more about Hanna than
“untermensch” prisoners. She had turned down                 any one else. What should he do?
promotion to overseer with Siemens to sign up for the        This remarkable book is an exploration of
guard job, which also included the selection of prisoners    understanding and of the limits of forgiveness. It richly
for “special treatment” as it was euphemistically put,       deserves to be read.

                                      96th Tour de France 4-26 July
                                                        Faced with a map of France and armed
                                                        with a box of drawing pins, Christian
                                                        Prudhomme and his staff plan the route of
                                                        Le Tour de France that the future
                                                        champions will have to follow… two or
                                                        three years later. The choosing of a new
                                                        town for the Grand Départ is a subject that
                                                        gives rise to lively debate for several years
                                                        before being settled on. Just like the final
                                                        finish in Paris, this tradition has been
                                                        respected ever since the first edition of Le
                                                        Brest in Brittany was chosen as the starting
                                                        point for 2008. Certain limits are imposed
                                                        by the international regulations, which
                                                        stipulate that the total mileage of Le Tour
                                                        must not exceed 3,500 km, spread over
                                                        21 days’ racing (2 days of rest
Monaco                                                  compulsory), during which the distance of
• Population 32,000                                     225 km cannot be exceeded more than
                                                        twice. So far, the only two departments
The Principality’s setting and geography                never to have played host to Le Tour are
in the rugged Southern Alps foothills                   those making up the island of Corsica.
overlooking the sea holds out the                      Prize money - A total of 3.2 million euros for the
                                                       teams and the riders, including 450,000€ for the
possibility of a demanding, technical                  winner of the overall general classification.
route with several particularly steep
climbs, including a 10 % incline. The
racers will start their dash at the Formula
1 Grand Prix starting line before entering
the Tunnel and launching into the home
stretch on the famous route de la Piscine,
where they should reach their top speed
like racing cars.

                                                     Monaco - Formula 1
                                                     Grand Prix - 24 May
                                                      The Automobile Club of Monaco organises the
                                                      race each year. Lewis Hamilton won the 2008
                                                      race in a McLaren. Surprisingly, Ferrari have
                                                      not won the Monaco Grand Prix since Michael
                                                      Schumacher’s victory in 2001. There are 78
                                                      laps and the circuit length is 3340km.
                                                      After 10 seasons on grooved tyres, Formula 1
                                                      racing returns to slicks as part of a move to
                                                      increase the emphasis on mechanical rather
                                                      than aerodynamic grip.
The first Monaco Grand Prix was 14 April 1929; there were 8 Bugattis, 3 Alfa Romeos, 2 Maseratis,
1 Licorne and 1 Mercedes SSK. An Englishman, named Williams, won the race in a 35B Bugatti in
3hrs 56 mins 11 secs, with an average speed over 100 laps of 80.194km/h

                          CHIMNEY SWEEPING
When your stove or heating system was                                professional who has liability insurance,
fitted, the equipment was adjusted to the                            which covers him in case of defect. He
draught of your chimney. If your chimney                             should give you an ‘attestation/certificat
gets filled up with soot, the                                                    de ramonage’ that the
quality of draught changes,                                                      chimney has been swept along
but the parameters of your                                                       its entire length.
installation don’t. As a                                                         There used to be a legal
result, you will have a higher                                                   obligation to have your
consumption of energy and                                                        chimney swept, with a fine in
it will cost you more to heat                                                    case of breach, but it was
your house to the same                                                           abolished in 1994. But... you
level. Another problem                                                           could be personally liable if
could be that you get                                                            anyone is hurt due to a fire
poisoned by breathing                                                            caused by a dirty chimney.
carbon monoxide that stays                                                       As regards insurance, each
in the house instead of being                                                    company has its own rules, so
released through the                                                             you should read the general
chimney.                                                                         terms, “Fire” chapter, and see
When you decide to have                                                          if chimney sweeping is
your chimney swept, beware of hawkers                                mentioned. If a fire occurred you may be
-– make sure the work is done by a                                   required to produce a cleaning certificate.

                                                                               SOLUTIONS TO SUDOKU NO 1
Horizontalement                                                            2    6   3   8   5   4   1   9   7
1. Servir – 5. Impoli – 8. À bord – 9. Usines (f) – 1.Évasif –             1    7   5   6   9   3   4   2   8
13. Reculer – 14. Rangé – 17. Clé (f) – 18. Chute (f) – 23. Abonnés
– 24. Sentier – 26. Serre (f) – 29. Été – 30. Crise (f) – 33. Utilisé –    8    4   9   2   1   7   6   3   5
36. Tiroir – 37. Argile (f) – 38 Idéal – 39. Rasage – 40. Échecs.
                                                                           4    9   1   7   6   8   3   5   2
1. Soupir – 2. Raisin – 3. Rasé – 4. Soluble – 5. Idée (f) – 6. Oiseau –   6    2   7   5   3   1   9   8   4
7. Infime – 10. Erre – 12. Vrac – 15. Arbre – 16. Gêner – 10. Hâter –
20. Tiers – 21. Née (f) – 22. Des – 25. Atelier – 26. Sauter –
                                                                           5    3   8   4   2   9   7   6   1
27. Repris – 28. Étui – 30. Cher – 31. Ivoire – 32. Effets – 34. Trié –    3    8   6   1   4   5   2   7   9
35. Sale
                                                                           7    1   2   9   8   6   5   4   3
(f) = feminine
                                                                           9    5   4   3   7   2   8   1   6

     This month’s selection:              SILVER SURFERS                                   Virtual Cards                        Weather in France                                      Various information on postal services in
                                                                                     France in English                          France Telecom Website in English                                       Help save the planet and endangered animals                                  Programmes on English TV                     Find an address in the UK                                   Find a Business or a Person in France                                       Check your Lottery ticket Online                                       Buy Online                                          Buy Online

 Feeling Credit Crunched?
Fight Back With First Rate FX
Make Every Pound & Euro Work Harder
    Pension Transfers A Speciality
For No-Obligation, Jargon Free Advice,
           Contact Us Now!
        Quote Ref No: A/8272

           Judy Mansfield
        Tel: 02 31 31 50 23

                Pour les Associations
                 et les Particuliers
  v   Vins fins - Vins en fontaines
  v   Grands crus - Champagnes
  v   Whiskies - Alcools
  v   Bière pression
  v   Location de tireuse

                  v Coffrets cadeaux
                  v Produits de terroirs

  Prêt de fûts de Présentation et Carafes
          Possibilité de Livraison

        Réservez Vos Dates !

       Tel: 02 97 25 77 45

Insurance - Investments
 Loans - Mortgages
  AXA-Banque Account
            Marc-Henri Herrmann Hôtel Auberge du Cheval Blanc
             An 18th century Coaching Inn, now a
                                               2 StarHotel, in the centre of Baud.
                                            10 bedrooms, Wifi, Animals admissible
                                                       English Spoken

      WELCOME TO FRANCE!                                             Menus
                                                                13 euros, 20 euros,
Best Services for 1500+ British and E.U.                        24 euros, 28 euros
           Clients Portfolio !                                      et 34 euros
 Don’t Hesitate To Contact Me                   16 rue de Pontivy, 56150 Baud
        For Low Prices
       AXA-BAUD, 5 rue d’Auray              Tél: 02 97 51 00 85 Fax: 02 97 51 15 26
    56150 BAUD, Morbihan, France              Email:
      Tél : 00 33 (0)2 97 51 01 45   

Shared By: