Sunday, 27 March 2016

Time to do some gardening!

The weather was so fantastic in Bristol on good Friday ( le vendredi saint)  that a lot of us spent most of the day doing some gardening ( faire du jardinage).
Pat, one of Martine's students in her Tuesday night French class, who is a landscape gardener ( une architecte paysagiste) wrote a recipe ( une recette) to describe her job, here it is:

Ma Compote de Jardinage 
1. Une variété de jardins
2. Des clientes sympa
3. Un bon bulletin météorologique
4. Une sélection de plantes
5. Des matériaux organiques
6. Un soupçon d'engrais
7. Un peu de pluie fraîche

Mélanger tous les ingrédients avec l'aide de:-
Le sécateur
Le deplantoir

La petite fourche

Pour le coulis
Les gants solides
Les brodequins imperméables

Les vêtements imperméables
Les lunettes de soleil

Bon appétit!


Don't forget, if you want to have a lot of fun while learning French you can join our French drama workshops starting on 19th April in Bristol, for more info...

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Did you know that des régions in France are given new names?

France is divided into many different layers, so much so that it is called le mille feuilles, for those of you who like going into French pâtisseries, you will know this delicious looking cake which is made of lots of layers of puff pastry with crème pâtissière in between and lots of icing sugar.
To come back to France and its layers and to keep it simple, let's just mention la commune, le département et la région, leaving out le canton for instance. 
Les régions appeared in 1982, there were 22 of them in Metropolitan France including Corsica and five overseas like La Guadeloupe and Mayotte.

François Hollande government decided to reduce the number of regions from 22 to 13. Some of the regions have stayed the same whereas some others have been amalgamated, for these, new names have to be chosen by 1st July.
It is not an easy process as there are quite different opinions, here is what the cartoonist Bidu suggests:

Here is where we are up to now:

What do you prefer???
Simplication can be tempting!!!!
Don't forget that our next French drama workshop, in Bristol, is starting soon, for more info...

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Did you know that this week is La semaine de la Francophonie?

What is la Francophonie/ francophonie?
The word appeared for the first time (pour la première fois) around 1880 when a French geographer used it to refer to people speaking French and to countries where French was spoken.
There are two words:
La francophonie, with a small f ( un f minuscule), for French speaking people.
La Francophonie, with a big F ( un f majuscule), to talk about the organisation linking all the countries where French is spoken.
In 2014, there were 274 million people speaking French on 5 continents.

Since 1970, l' Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie ( OIF) works towards encouraging the use of the French language and the cooperation between 80 state members.
There is une Charte de la Francophonie stating the aims of the organisation.
All the state leaders meet every two years at a summit: le Sommet de la Francophonie.

TV5 Monde and all the branches of Alliance Française spread French language and culture all over the world.
Every year in March, there is la semaine de la Francophonie, this year it is between the 12th and 20th March where there are a host of French events all over the world. There is a common thread for all the countries which is Dis-moi dix mots ( tell me 10 words), 10 words are chosen every year with the aim of making us all discover the variety and wealth of the French language according to the different francophone countries.
Here are the words for this year:

Have fun understanding them! Talking of fun, you can have a really good time joining the French drama classes starting soon in Bristol. For more info...

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Did you know that there will be a talk on Pierre Soulages in Bath next Saturday?

Pierre Soulages, painter and engraver ( peintre et graveur), now well in his nineties has a museum named after him in Rodez, Aveyron where he was born.
Julie, who is an historian of French art ( spécialiste en histoire de l'art), will talk, in French,  about his work and show lots of photos of his paintings. 
Pierre Soulages discovered Cézanne and Picasso in Le Louvre in the 40ies ( dans les années quarante), their works were a revelation to him and made him decide to go back to Rodez to paint. This is when he started on his abstract paintings dominated by black.
Since then he has been playing on the reflection of light  on black surfaces, this gives his work a gleaming quality. Pierre Soulages says:
" I don't work with black, I work with the light that reflects it."
His style is referred to as "noir-lumière" or " outre-noir" ( beyond black).
He believes in the primal instinct to create and in the spiritual power of lines and movement.

If you would like to find out more about his work and see some of it, well, if you can't go to Le musée Soulages in Rodez which has the biggest collection in the world of his paintings, come to Bath next Saturday: For more info...

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Our French Songs Evening

As promised, please find below the list of songs Peter, Jonathan and Audrey performed on Friday night:
Padam - Edith Piaf
La bohème - Charles Aznavour
Nous deux - Léo Ferré
Les vieux amants - Jacques Brel
Avec le temps - Léo Ferré

Jack the accordeon player performed:
La Nonchalante
Le Temps des Puces
Bath and Bristol French Sessions (French/Breton traditional tunes and dancing)

Madame ma voisine - Anne Sylvestre
Au clair de la lune - Traditionnel
Que serais-je sans toi? - Jean Ferrat
La mer - Charles Trenet
Les feuilles - Yves Montand

Ce n'est rien - Julien Clerc
La mauvaise réputation - Georges Brassens
Les bourgeois - Jacques Brel
Le tourbillon de la vie - Jeanne Moreau
L'orage - Georges Brassens
Armstrong - Claude Nougaro
Lily - Pierre Perret
Amsterdam - Jacques Brel
Tes parents - Vincent Delerm
It is not because you are - Renaud

Y'a d'la rumba dans l'air - Alain Souchon

A big thanks from Peter, Jonathan and Audrey to all the singers in the audience, we thought you were brilliant!

To join us for more French themed activities, check our website.