Dîner des Membres
On Wednesday 15th March 2017 the annual dinner of the Edinburgh Branch took place in the Café St Honoré, a French Restaurant off Thistle Street. The food was excellent as was the service and the 20 members who were present enjoyed meal and ambiance. All agreed that it was a very successful evening.
L’Hisoire de Manicamp vue par son Maire
On Wednesday 22nd February 2017, Monieur Luc Degonville, maire de Manicamp (Aisne), gave a talk to the Edinburgh Branch of the Franco-Scottish Society on his town in France. The town has links with Scotland: Thomas Blaikie (1751-1858), a Scottish landscape gardener who was born in Corstorphine, lived and worked in Manicamp before and during the French Revolution. He is described by his biographer, Patricia Taylor, as “the Capability Brown of France”. Monsieur Degonville named a square in Manicamp after the Scottish gardener on the 1st October 2016. Monsieur Degonville is also the Headmaster of the local primary school, which has two composite classes. He described how he used the local history of the town to interest his pupils and to get them to participate in the events of the town. The members of the Edinburgh Branch were very pleased with Monsieur Degonville’s talk.
The Works of Jean-Christophe Rufin
On Wednesday 1st February, Catherine Guiat, lecturer and librarian at the French Institute in Edinburgh, gave a very interesting and lively talk on the works of Jean-Christophe Rufin. Edinburgh branch members appreciated the presentation in French and were happy to learn more about the works and life of this contemporary author.
French Decorative Arts in the National Museum of Scotland
On Wednesday 11th January 2017, the Edinburgh Branch was pleased to welcome Dr Xavier Dectot, keeper of Art and Design at the National Museum of Scotland, who gave a talk in French on the collection of French Decorative Arts in the National Museum of Scotland from Charlemagne to Napoleon and Beyond. This fascinating subject was appreciated by a large audience of members and guests.
Fête de Noël
The Edinburgh Branch held its Christmas Concert on Wednesday 14th December 2016. This year there were 2 musicians performing, one after another. The first was Stephen Gillon. a young Edinburgh Napier University graduate, who played a selection of pieces on the piano, including Petit papa Noël and one of his own compositions. He was followed by Simon Thacker on the classical guitar playing French related pieces. Simon had just returned from playing to an audience of 60,000 at the Dhaka International Folk Fest 2016. Our 45 attendees presented a somewhat smaller audience but were no less appreciative. All agreed that it was an excellent performance. Our concert was followed by a glass of wine and some Christmas fayre.
L’histoire du châle et du motif de “Paisley”
On Wednesday 18th November 2016 Madame Odile Hughson spoke to the members of the Edinburgh Branch about the origins of the pattern, which spread throughout Western Europe from the Middle East and is recognisable in areas as far apart as Provence and Paisley. This fascinating talk, in French, was a real delight.
French Film Festival 2016
On Wednesday 26th October 2016 Richard Mowe, Director of the French Film Festival gave an illustrated talk in English on the 2016 French Film Festival. This is the second year that Mr Mowe has agreed to speak to our members about the Festival. The previews of films and anecdotes were very much appreciated by our members who have asked for another talk in 2017.
Robert Louis Stevenson: a European Journey
On Wednesday 12th October 2016, we held a joint meeting with the Robert Louis Stevenson Club. RLS is well known for his travels in Europe, the USA and the South Seas. He wrote a number of accounts of his journeys such as “Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes”. His novels and other works reflect locations in his home country of Scotland and elsewhere. Elizabeth told us how enthusiasts in various areas of the UK, France and Belgium promote awareness of his life and works. Co-operation amongst these areas led to the creation of the European Network In the Footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson which in 2015 achieved accreditation as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe.