Images from our September Magazine
Visist to Château La Coste
All events listed are open to all AAGP Members. There is also a large range of regular events and activities to choose from including: French Conversation, Computer Club, Wine Club, Children’s Group, Regional Art and Cultural activities, Restaurant reviews and many more great activities, tips and ideas to help you get the best out of life in Provence! For contact information for any of these events please refer to the AAGP Newsletter or the Members’ section of the website.
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This is an open forum for anyone to come along with their computer issues or questions, so come along and we shall do our best to help you.
Contact Michel or Trevor.
We will enjoy an evening drink on a terrace. The place will be confirmed nearer the date. Contact Marietta.
This will be a fairly easy walk of about 11/2 hours each way, along the picturesque coast, with no difference in altitude to cope with. The ramble is open to everyone who is reasonably fit and you are welcome to bring well-behaved dogs. The pathways are fairly wide, but there are some loose stones, so we insist that walkers wear sturdy walking-boots. Also, make sure to wear appropriate clothing and bring sun cream as it can still be very hot in early September.
We shall have our picnic by the bay of Ste Croix and we’ll be able to swim in the usually warm sea there if anyone fancies it. For newcomers to the group’s ramble, we all bring our own picnics and it is traditional to include something to share amongst your fellow ramblers.
Please note that we are fair-weather walkers, so in the unlikely event of it raining, the ramble will keep for another day. Should there be any doubt about the weather on the day, please call Chris for clarification.
Marion will be presenting ‘Herzog’ by Saul Bellow. ‘Herzog’ was first published in 1964, so this year it’s the novel’s 50th anniversary, one more good reason to (re)discover this intriguing, bestselling novel by one of America’s leading authors.
Saul Bellow (10th June 1915 – 5th April 2005) was a Canadian-born American writer. For his literary work, Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. In the same year he also won the Pulitzer Prize and is the only writer to have won the National Book Award for Fiction three times. Moreover, he received the National Medal of Arts (1988) and the National Book Foundation's lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990.
‘Herzog’ won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1965. It was Bellow’s first bestselling book, which brought him fame and gave him recognition as an established writer. The novel is set in the United States; its protagonist is Moses E. Herzog, a handsome Jewish man in his late forties, suffering from a break-down after the recent divorce from beautiful but neurotic and manipulative Madeleine. The separation from his wife has been a humiliating experience, since she appears to have carried on an affair behind his back with his best friend. Herzog is a fairly successful college professor and writer, but the recent difficulties in his private life also have severe repercussions on his professional reputation.
Throughout the book we get a complete view of Herzog’s life, his youth, his love life, his successes and his many failures, piece by piece, in no particular order. In fact, the novel starts at the end, with Herzog in his house in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, an old house that Madeleine had wanted and which he took so much trouble restoring. The first pages contain intriguing sentences like “If I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me” or “Herzog was alone in the big old house. Normally particular about food, he now ate Silvercup bread from the paper package, beans from the can, and American cheese. (….) As for sleep, he slept on a mattress without sheets (…) or in the hammock, covered by his coat.”
The reader will ask himself questions like “what brought him to the house?” or “why is he in this state of mind?” Questions which will be answered while reading zigzag through Herzog’s life. We learn a lot about Herzog through the many letters he is writing, to existing persons, dead or alive, friends or family, but also well-known people whom he has never met, in order “to explain, have it out, to justify, to put into perspective, to clarify, to make amends”. These compulsively written letters are just ‘mental’ letters and are never actually posted, but they teach us a lot about Herzog’s past, for example about his first marriage and his son whom he never sees, his lover Ramona, the relationship with his brothers and sister and his upbringing in a poor Jewish immigrant family in Canada.
Some passages are long philosophical and psychological ruminations about the big themes in life: human nature, commitments, love, disappointment and failure, often against the backdrop of the big historical events of his time (such as the Vietnam War or the Cold War), and they are not always easy to read. Bellow is at his best, though, when describing human behaviour. Some passages are of unequalled sharpness of observation and extremely funny. Like when he criticises Madeleine’s expensive pregnancy outfit: “Five hundred bucks on a maternity outfit. Who’s going to be born – Louis Quatorze?” Or Madeleine’s answer: “Yes, I know, your darling mother wore flour sacks.” Towards the end of the book, Herzog has it all figured out and the pieces of his complicated life puzzle fall into place, or so it seems to himself at least. Ramona has come to look for him in the Berkshires, apparently with the intention to stay. But is Herzog ready for another relationship?
Hopefully, you will enjoy reading this beautiful, touching and very human novel during the long summer months.
Please let Kathy know before Monday 8th September what you will bring for the pot luck lunch after the book discussion and try to carpool as much as possible.
Venue: To be provided via email in late August
Hope you've had a wonderful summer! By this time you will have received an email from me to the Foodie Address List telling you of the restaurant we'll visit on Friday, 12th September.
Please note the date change to the second Friday in September, i.e. 12th.
Look forward to seeing you for a wonderful lunch!
Hope you all had a good summer and you be numerous to come to our first film showing of the fall season.
We think we found the perfect film:
This 1961 romantic romp directed by Robert Mulligan stars Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida and is set on the breath-taking Italian Riviera.
Every September, a successful New York businessman visits his Italian villa to relax and romance his Roman girlfriend. But after arriving unannounced one July day, he’s in for a huge surprise. During his absence, the luxurious home has become a hotel! In a desperate attempt to regain control, Hudson manages to lose his privacy, his girlfriend and his mind—until he comes up with a plan of his own.
Join us for the film and pizza and talk afterwards.
This month's book is ‘No Great Mischief’ by Alister MacCloed.
Please contact Lydia to confirm attendance. There will be a small charge of 5€ to cover costs of cakes and drinks.
We will be kicking off our new season in Gilly’s garden with ‘The Good Person of Szechwan’ by Bertolt Brecht. Once again this season we will try to strike a balance in our programme with contemporary plays and old favourites, light comedies which warrant little discussion and more substantial discussion pieces, Brecht certainly falls into the latter category.
The reading will start at 14:00hrs on Monday 15th September 2014.
Please email if you wish to attend so that the parts can be distributed.
Come and join us for lunch at a restaurant that has a well-deserved one star. There is a small terrace across the road from the main restaurant building and, depending on the weather, we could be eating there under the plane trees.
Space is likely to be limited so please contact me by Tuesday 16th September to book your place. Looking forward to seeing you. If you have a favourite place that you would like to share or would like to organise a lunch, please let me know.
We shall meet at the car park in Marseille, and from there proceed on foot to La Lècque, which is a flat rock surface by the sea between the calanque de Sugiton and the calanque du Devenson. The path goes down a gentle slope but wear proper hiking gear. The only difficulty is the fact that there is a vertical cliff of about 5 meters to descend using a rope, just before we reach our destination. This should be taken into account by those who suffer from vertigo.
We shall enjoy a picnic lunch by the sea, so bring plenty of food and water. It would also be a good idea to bring towels in case bathing conditions prevail. We shall, in any case, return to the Luminy car park via the same footpath. Hiking time is about 4 hours in all, and change of altitude is about 200 meters.
I must point out that fire hazard restrictions may still be in force on the 21st September. This means we cannot be sure of being allowed to hike in the calanques before the previous day. Please call me therefore on the 20th September after 18:00hrs for confirmation (hopefully) that the hike is on.
For further information please call Roderick.
Please contact Marietta.
This year we have decided to separate this event from the Annual Welcome Party and hope that many of you will be able to join us on this occasion.
It is an opportunity to find out more about the AAGP and also to offer any ideas on how we can improve the way our group is run. Or to offer your services for any of the small groups which keeps the AAGP working so well.
So, if you are new to the group please make time to come along, meet up with other members, have an apéro before we start the meeting promptly at 19.00hrs.
Please let me know as soon as possible in order to make sure we have enough seats for everyone.
As well as all the specials listed above, don’t forget the Regular Activities that offer new skills, fun and friendship all year round. Contact details are in your yellow Members’ List book.
Monday (fourth): Play Reading Group 14:00hrs
Tuesday: Bridge 14:00hrs
Tuesday (after the board meeting, usually the first): Computer Club 10:00hrs-11:30hrs
Wednesday (second): Ciné Club 10:30hrs
Thursday: Coffee (Croquemitoufle) 10:00hrs-11:30hrs
Friday: French (Aix) 9:45hrs - 11:45hrs
Saturday: Coffee (Croquemitoufle) 10:00hrs-11:30hrs
Sunday (first): Pétanque 10:30hrs