March 2015

Our trip to La Murette last summer was as it always is, a great success. The group ranged in age from from seven years to bus pass-holders! Most did the journey by plane and were warmly welcomed at Lyon by Maryse and fellow twinners. Four of us drove down and enjoyed seeing a different bit of France on the way.

A wonderfully varied and most enjoyable cultural programme was laid on for our enjoyment. We visited a walnut farm and learnt a great deal about the history and the biology of this activity. Walnuts are a staple crop in the region and the Grenoble Walnut is world famous. Each day after a typical light breakfast of bread and jam, fruit and coffee we headed off for a full day's outing armed with a delicious picnic.

It was great fun meeting up with all our old friends and meeting new people as well.

Maryse was able to report that several new families had expressed interest and wanted to get involved. We hope to see them in Overton in August.

Our September meeting was a social gathering at the Masons' house. Those who'd been to La Murette shared the stories and photos of the trip.

One Sunday at the end of November and just before the Christmas rush, around twelve of us had a delicious meal in Chez Jules, the French-themed restaurant in Chester. Everyone agreed that it was most enjoyable occasion and good value too.

To prepare for our produce stall at the Playgroup Christmas Fair, lots of cakes, mince pies and other goodies were frantically prepared by each and every one of us. Customers looking for interesting presents and goodies to eat and to put in the freezer came and went throughout the day and our home made produce sold well.

The following week we ran a similar stall at the Rainbow Centre Christmas Fair. It was a sociable occasion and added to our funds while supporting a local worthy cause.
At our February meeting we made the decision to run a Buffet and Wine-Tasting event in a Pop-Up Bistro (!) in Overton Scout Hut.

This event is scheduled for 28th March 2015.

The food will be the usual high standard of homemade pates, quiches, cooked ham and salads, with a delicious piece of cake and coffee to finish. There will be six wines to taste and a list of descriptions to match up. Pit your skill against your fellow guests. Highly competitive, mmm... and great fun, too. There will also be a Raffle. Tickets are £10pp which we think is amazing value!

Watch out for us at the Village Fete in June where we will be selling the usual range of delicous home-baked cakes and preserves. We will also have a good range of books for sale at very competitive prices.

The AGM takes place on Tuesday 21st April 2015 at the White Horse in Overton. It starts at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be served. Do come along and see what we are all about.

Inspired by their trip to La Murette last August, two of our pre-teen twinners are learning French themselves, mainly using apps on their computers. They are enthusiastically trying out their newly acquired language at every possible opportunity. This is wonderful to hear and very encouraging indeed.
In July we are expecting to host two teenagers who are coming over for a week from La Murette to practise their English. They will be staying with a local family and are looking forward very much to their first visit to Overton without their families!

In addition, a young man who is at pre-university stage will be staying in our community and doing work experience for the whole of the month of August. The young people of La Murette are very keen to improve their English so we may well be seeing even more of them in the future.

In August, the biennial official visit of the French takes place. Though plans are not yet finalised, we will probably be welcoming around twelve visitors. We will publicise our programme of visits and events nearer the time. There are always days when anyone from the village is welcome to join us. The French love meeting everyone so do come along. You will be most welcome.

Some more information from the twinning group , from the wine tasting and quiz night.

WINE TASTING with OVERTON TWINNING
VINS ROUGES

1)This delicious light Beaujolais wine made from the Gamay grape has a delicate perfume and bags of juicy strawberry fruit.
1)_C____
2)This smooth and fruity red, with a rich velvety character is made with a blend of Cabernet
Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. It is packed with flavours of ripe damsons and forest fruits with a hint of bramble on the nose. It comes from beautiful French vineyards in Languedoc Roussillon where the abundant sunshine perfectly ripens the grapes.
2)__A___
3)This red is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Blackberry and plum fruit flavours dominate a rich, smooth red with a subtle twist of spice and pepper coming through on the finish. This delicious wine has super-concentrated berry aromas, too. A wine from the Rhone delta from vineyards (also typical for Chateauneuf du Pape) covered in pebbles( called “galets” in French). Vines have been grown here since Roman times.
3)___F___
VINS BLANCS
4)A crisp and delicate white with hints of gooseberry on the nose and a zingy blend of tropical and citrus fruits on the palate.
4)-E--------
5)A light crisp wine with fresh grassy aromas and gorgeous hints of lemon, grapefruit and green apple. A mouth-watering wine that finishes with a tang of bitter lemon. The wine-maker Jean Claude Mas is keen to bring authentic Languedoc grapes and flavours to his wines. This Grenache blanc and Vermentino blend shows the typically wild, herby flavours of this landscape.
5)-D-------
6)With white flower aromas on the nose and hints of fresh lemon and acacia on the palate, this wine reflects the passion and skill of the local winemakers. The sauvignon blanc grapes for this lively fresh wine are harvested from the south-facing slopes of the Touraine in the heart of the Loire.
6)------B--

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Quiz answers
1)CV is an abbreviation of CHEVAUX, the French word for horses
2)Pommes means apples and pommes de terre means potatoes (apples of the earth)
3)The Euro
4)The cockerel (as in the weathervane on the roof of the village hall. It was a gift from La Murette

5)Charlotte is eaten for dessert

6)1789

7)TGV is a (high speed)train or Train Grand Vitesse

8)It means (the sea, in this case) in the middle of the land or earth (Terre in French; terra in Italian;tierra in Spanish !)
9)Francois Hollande
10)It's a fish. (Poisson d'avril)
11)Pont from the Latin pons
12)Eiffel of Tower fame. He built many metal bridges and other structures throughout France.
13)1903. Spare a thought for the riders: the roads were appalling; the bikes not marvellous and the distance was very much longer!
14)It's a grape.
15)Lyon is on the River Rhone
16)It's a steak
17)Joan of Arc (Jeanne from the village of Arc)was burned at the stake in Rouen in Normandy
18)The walnut (noix in French) We visited a walnut orchard on the visit in 2014
19)It's Isere.
20)Chartreuse (named for the monks who first made it with a concoction of mountain herbs in the monastery in the Chartreuse mountains)