Recent Events at The Melting Pot
Turkey, Pud and all the trimmings-Chris Massexcess
Once again the Melting Pot annual Christmas Bunfight was held at the Auberge de Mouterre, Mouterre-sur-Blourde. Our President, Mavis was struck down with "Man Flu", and so Mike & Jan presided over the evening. Introducing themselves as the Melting Pot Ant & Deck, one wag in the audience suggested Dumb & Dumber might be more appropriate.
The staff of the restaurant once again surpassed themselves in the quality & quantity of food that was provided. "Jazz a la Carte" provided the entertainment, the eclectic mix of music much appreciated by the assembled multitude.
The table quiz organised by Jan was initially met with groans, but the various dormant little grey cells present benefitted from a workout.
The traditional rendering of "12 days of Christmas" was met with open mouthed disbelief by some of our newer members, but was nevertheless delivered with the usual tuneless gusto, surpassed only by the unco-ordinated gyrations of those present on the dance floor
Lynn Z did a sterling job in relieving the guests of their money in exchange for raffle tickets, Thank you.
Also a big THANK YOU to Lynn (and Alan) for all the hard work that went in to organising another highly successful Melting Pot event
Mulled Pie & Minced Wine-Mal Appropism
The penultimate meeting of 2017 was devoted to Mince Pies & Mulled Wine. Jan & Lynn provided the fare which included the said Xmas favourites was complimented by homemade fudge & chocolate coated honeycomb (a la crunchie). Hugh & Rachel organised the raffle, which was drawn from Hugh's hat. The winning ticket (6&7/8ths) remains unclaimed!
The members were also treated to a rendering of "We wish you a Merry Christmas" by the committee. (As a result of the feedback from members the planned Karaoke evening has been scrapped)
The musical extraveganza was followed by the recital of a couple of Pam Ayres' poems and a Spike Milligan 2 liner, by Jan
The Melting Pot Choir Photo:L.Hines
Well fed & watered Photo:J.Zielinski
Trying to find the answers to the quizz Photo:J.Zielinski
A quick re-cap of events held by Melting Pot in 2018.
Precious Metals and Jewellery Repairs- by N.E. Oldiron
The year started off with a busy February programme . Due to the uncertainty of the February weather the evening meeting was altered to a normal morning meeting, starting around 10 o’clock. We arranged for internationally reknowned silversmith & jewellery maker Brendan Jowett to give a presentation on his art. Brendan battled his way through the snow from Oradour sur Vayres to be with us. He gave a very detailed insight into his trade and explained a lot about how he could repair damaged silverware, make jewellery (each piece being bespoke) and even repair or remodel old and/or unwanted pieces.
He briefly touched on gemstones explaining that he could match, very closely, existing gemstones, sometimes with a less expensive option. He rounded off his presntation with an explanation of the French assey marking system. His presentation concluded with a Q& A session which lasted long into the cold buffet lunch provided by the committee.
St Valentines day was celebrated by Melting Pot by holding a slightly different Wednesday morning meeting- a Champagne and Chocolates morning. This was very well received by the membership.
Stars in our Eyes- by Hugh Ranus
Later in February the normal Wednesday meeting was taken over by Andrew Davies of Astrofarm in Confolons. His very professional audio visual presentation centred around our (earths) position in the universe. He explained how far we were from the sun and various other planets, and also how each time we looked at the stars we were in fact looking back in time-some of the light we see as stars has taken billions of light years to reach us. Even when we look at the moon the light reflected from its surface has taken several seconds to arrive at earth.
Even those members with only a passing interest in things astronomical were enthralled by the presentation. An evening at Astrofarm, to broaden our knowledge, is certainly on the cards for the autumn.
Andrew & Sue Davies of Astrofarm photo Astrofarm
The Annual General Meeting of Melting Pot was held on March 21st. Mavis was re-elected president, Lynn treasurer and Lieneke secretary. The committee was elected as follows: Mike & Amanda Scott, Jan & Lynn Zielinski, Hugh & Rachel Fulton, Sarah Steele and Maria Smith.
March 28th saw an Easter Bonnet, cake and fancy dress competition. As well as several bonnets there were a couple of fancy dress outfits, but the undoubted star of the show was the cake, baked and decorated by Alan. Everyone agreed it was delicious and worthy of a place in the “Bake Off” finals. Unfortunately Alan had only a few crumbs to take home to Lynne!!
Sausage Meet- by Old Porky
Bangers & Balls were the subject of the April evening meeting. We took over the Petanque pitch at Darnac, the committee supplied hot dogs and organised a pairs competition of the traditional French game. The eventual winners were Hennie & Lieneke.
Pig racing returned to Darnac in May courtesey of Les and his porkers. The committtee provided the food, this time jacket potatoes & beans. Once again the leading tipster was David, who retained his title from last year.
Broken Promises & Brexit- by Theresa Maynotlast
At the last morning meeting in May we welcomed Dave Stokes, a founder member of E.C.R.E.U.(Expats Citizen Rights in the EU). Dave started his talk by explaining the objectives of ECREU and their sphere of influence ref Brexit in both the British Embassy (in Paris) and Parliament in London.
Initially he explained the current situation ref: the “15 year rule”. (expats loose voting rights in the UK living abroad continuously for 15 years). He continued by explaining the position currently regards to the Brexit negotiations and how ECREU have been invited to make presentations at both Embassy and Parliamentary Select Committee level. The morning concluded with a very lively question and answer session.
Dave Spokes Photo ECREU
Maquis de Bir Hacheim- by Stan Duppenfite
Sadly, due to the appalling springtime weather conditions the June picnic had to be cancelled. However, on the 8th, some 18 members journeyed to Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieur, in the Charente, where we met up with about 40 members of CLE to visit the Resistance Museum. We were given a talk on the Bir Hacheim group of resistance fighters by one of the few surviving members of the group, 94 year old Edgar Bissarier (President of the Resistance Association), and Gilles Pascaud (son of one of the founders of the group.) This enthralling verbal description of the founding of the group and some of their escapades was followed by visits (in a conga of about 15 motor cars) to the Old Priory, which had been the Maquis headquarters. Also on the itinery was a visit to the site of regular parachute drops and a farm where various resistance groups from over S.W. France met to co-ordinate their actions prior to D-Day.
The day ended with a poignant visit to the national memorial where we were allowed inside the Necropolis to pay our respects to the 28 resistance founder members laid to rest therein. (Edgar had been put in charge of some 50 or more German prisoners of war who were put to work constructing the foundations of the Necropolis. He had a few funny stories to relate of happenings during the works, not least, being the use of all 9 tonnes of explosive-2 would have been sufficient- to blast away the rock to create the foundations. One large rock sailed through the air and landed on the hut housing the prisoners, crashing through the roof and falling between 2 beds without harming a soul!!)
Edgar Bissarier Photo M. Scott