Monday, 28 November 2011

Gastronomie Française

Dancing 'widdershins'.
It seems appropriate that in our first meeting since we reversed the order of our unwritten table d'hôte we also enjoyed a digressive discussion on the word 'widdershins'*.  Annie, acting as maître d' led us through the hors d'oeuvres, in which we made the menu choices for our forthcoming  festive dinner.

Moving into the plat principal Linda read an extract from Chapter Ten of her novel A Headful of Budgerigars. This tickled our taste buds on so many levels – the humour, the tempo and the dazzling special effects in her prose . Linda's flair for descriptive writing was shown au bon effet in her filmic account of a Gallic Hunter's Feast where the gourmandise of the natives was contraposed against pithy observations from and between a small group of British parvenues.

Pour dessert, we moved into what has previously been our entrée (in the European more literal sense rather than the American) and shared news of our literary successes:

  • Linda is shortly to endure/enjoy (delete as appropriate) her first mentoring  session under the Gold Dust programme. 
  • Chris is reworking his article for inclusion in a New Zealand-based denunciation of flying as a sustainable means of travel and continuing his successful British tour of the Why don't you fly? talk. (I know this sounds contradictory but it isn't.) 
  • Clive has been a very busy bee, although he denies it. In addition to penning his regular  'Grumpy' columns he has written an article on hops, is working on a piece on the part music plays in memory and is writing for a start-up Internet radio station. 
  •  Tony has entered the BBC 'Opening Lines' story competition with The Idea of Marmalade and has had an article called Readers Turned Writers printed in the Malcolm Saville Society's magazine. 
  •  Rob has entered the same BBC competition as Tony and is not writing his novel as quickly as he should. 
  •  Annie under pressure of school commitments is working on the piece she is going to read in our first meeting in the New Year.
So SVA moves into la fin de l'année 2011. With only one more meeting in December, now is the time to wish Bon Chance and Joyeux Noël to all our readers.

*Widdershins: Moving in an anticlockwise direction, contrary to the apparent course of the sun (considered as unlucky or sinister); unlucky, ill-fated, relating to the occult.” (OED, see also withershins.)


  1. If I can be permitted to be pedantic, surely that should be "bonne chance" ('la chance' is feminine). I gather "bonne chance" is more commonly used in Canadian French, our European cousins preferring "bon courage." Still, Rob, I'm impressed at your linguistic prowess and I enjoyed the extended gastronomic metaphor.

  2. I enjoyed the metaphor, too, especially as I like all things French. Dommage that 'widdershins' spoils the party by seemingly originating in old German, rather than old French!