Pam Eastham’s French conversation group meets once a week in the homes of its members. Some weeks we are all too busy and our meeting is abandoned, but today (21st November) eight of our nine members gathered chez Mary. The ninth member is currently somewhere in the Australian outback.
Mary had generously provided pints of fresh coffee, piles of chocolate (brain food!) biscuits and lots of interesting material to discuss and translate. She began by asking us to remember (in French, of course!) where we were when President Kennedy was assassinated. The memories came pouring out, not just of the Kennedy assassination, but of the Cuba crisis, the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the death of King George VI and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. We have to admit that in our eagerness, we occasionally lapse into English, but when lost for the right French word, help is always at hand from other members or from our dictionaries.
Mary then passed around some pictures of places which have recently been in the news, for us to describe and discuss – the Forth Bridge (est-ce qu’on peut l’ escalader?), the Philippines disaster (quelle tragedie), Colchester’s street lights (allumer ou eteindre?).
We were then presented with a recent article from “Le Figaro” to translate, according to which about twenty sections of the Eiffel Tower’s spiral staircase have been auctioned off and are now sited all over the world.
Finally, a very lively meeting closed with eight sets of little grey cells having been given a comprehensive workout.
Vive la langue Francaise!