Last Friday we had the joy of hearing a top orchestra – the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse – at the magnificent Halle aux Grains in Toulouse; with Sibelius and Richard Strauss, two of my favourites, as well. If you haven’t been to an event there, do make an effort to do so = it’s a great venue and the acoustics are surprisingly good for a building which wasn’t purpose built. There’s a designer-type hotel literally next door, Les Bains Douches, on the site of the old Toulouse public baths I believe; it’s a bit bizarre but it has some secure parking and there are plenty of good restaurants close by (and the Irish pub if you like Guinness and boisterous patrons).
Pip writes: I bought this on Kindle thinking it would be a complement to the excellent The Bonjour Effect, I’m sure some of our more intellectual members would enjoy it, but for me it was too history-based, philosophy-heavy and dull.
Marion writes: At “L’Abricotier” in Saint Macaire, we enjoyed an excellent three course lunch, really home-cooked too, for 23€. Very pleasant surroundings : and a quietly stylish service. The lower dining-room opens onto a pretty garden, and there is a large outside terrace for summer eating under the shade of mulberry trees. The owners-chef have been there for 30 years. Address : 3, Rue François Bergoeing (not a spelling mistake !), 33490 Saint Macaire (just off the main Langon – Cadillac road). It’s a good idea to book : 0556768363. Private car park.
The committee for 2017 is:
- Chairman: John Baylis
- Secretary: Marion Tempé
- Treasurer: Pip Kirby
- Members : Nigel Griffin, Gaynor Sutton, Greg Hawes
- Webmaster: John Perry
A special welcome to new members Nigel, Gaynor and Greg.
Josephine and Tom Malcolm wrote to us:
We are delighted to inform clubs and associations that we are now conducting guided visits in English at the Chateau de la Mercerie.
Response from visitors so far is very enthusiastic about this Chateau which is being rescued by the hard work of the local community and a team of volunteers.
There are two guided visits every Tuesday afternoon from April to October, and larger groups are welcome by arrangement seven days a week all year round.
This Chateau is one of the few attractions in Nouvelle Aquitaine to offer guided visits in English.
Please see the leaflet for more details, and do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information.
Our member Piers Killeen has organised another stunning festival at his château.
Sainte-Mère Festival 2017
Booking is now open – for fabulous chamber music with some of
the finest young string players in Europe:
Saturday 19 Aug 18h00 Sainte-Mère ~ In the Château
Participation 32 €
Haydn The Emperor Quartet Op.76 No.3
Maconchy Quartet No.3
Dvorak The American Quartet No.12 Op.96
Concert in the Château with apéros in the gardens
Sunday 20 Aug 19h00 Sainte-Mère ~ In the Château Participation 60 €
Quartet No.8 Op.80
Rosamunde Quartet Op.29 No.1
Concert in the Château with champagne dinner in the gardens
Tuesday 22 Aug 18h00 Sainte-Mère ~ In the church Participation 20 €
Mozart The First Prussian Quartet K575
Dvorak Quartet No.5 Op.9
Beethoven Quartet No.10 Op.74 The Harp
With Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Emma Parker, violins, Rosalind Ventris, viola, Nathaniel Boyd, cello, of The Albion Quartet
Booking is simple: Just send a cheque made payable to Sainte-Mère Festival to:
Château de Sainte-Mère, 32700 Sainte-Mère, with a note of the tickets you would like(and an s.a.e. if you would like them mailed to you). For lots more information see:
It is with great sadness that we have to announce the recent death of our friend and Branch Treasurer, Richard O’Neill. He would have been seventy-five on the 2nd of October.
A founder member of OUS Southwest France, Richard rarely missed a committee meeting, and was as meticulous in the planning of events as in keeping the Branch accounts. His jocular approach to life, and to his own problems in particular, could not really mask his shrewd intelligence, courage, and concern for others.
After attending Portsmouth Grammar School, Richard went up to Oriel in 1960 where he read Physics. After a short spell as a stockbroker, he joined the family insurance firm. But his real vocation was elsewhere. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Wessex Regiment (Territorial Army) and served as a reserve officer. During a mission in the first Gulf War, an injury left him with a damaged leg which later had to be amputated. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
At one of the first events organized by the Branch (a dinner with the Chancellor), Richard met John Allsop (Christ Church 1956) who had recently taken on the work of co-ordinating the activities of the Royal British Legion in southwest France. He was looking for a Treasurer and Richard immediately accepted the job, doing the RBL’s accounts up until a fortnight before his death.
Having been injured himself, he was particularly concerned by the fate of wounded soldiers and their families, and he supported a charity « Help for Heroes » which works to relieve their moral, physical and financial difficulties. His two sons feel he would have appreciated that any donations made in his memory should go to this charity.
Marion has emailed members on this last subject.
John Baylis, Marion Tempé, John Perry, Pip Kirby