L’Elastique Citrique celebrates its 20th anniversary, Church fair this weekend and more

Started in 1994 by François and nini Pythoud, Nyon’s circus school has grown to become an important part of the cultural life in Nyon and the region. Over 300 children take circus classes there every week, and out of those half a dozen have continued to become professional circus artists. To celebrate their 20th, they have decided to re-imagine their first show ever with these professional artists and their partners. The show Rouge, will be played seven times at the théâtre de Marens in Nyon. The première is on Thursday the 25th and the show is on until Thursday 2nd of October, building up to the weekend of the 3rd-5th of October, which will be a weekend of celebration at the Caserne, next to the Perdtemps square.

Professional artists who will be part of Rouge! performing at the beginning of the Knie show in Nyon- Courtesy Eric Bakker

Four different shows will be played by the different troups of the artists who started of at l’Elastique Citrique, as well as a disco party on Saturday the 5th with Time Machine, an 70’s-80’s disco and funk cover band. There will also be an open stage showcasing acts from some of the younger members of the school, and a big brunch on Sunday morning, followed by a ballon release to celebrate in style. Food and drinks will be catered by the team from “La Roulotte”.
L’Elastique citrique also created an act which was performed at the beginning of the Knie show which was in Nyon last week.
For the whole program and to book tickets for the shows and for the brunch, head to their website.
You can check out some of the artists performing in the show here

Vaud athletics championship
The cantonal athletics championships take place on Saturday the 27th at Colovray stadium. Athletes will compete from 8:00 to 18:00, and the entrance is free

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La Côte Church Autumn fair

As a reminder, this Saturday, La Côte Anglican church is holding its  Autumn Fair in Founex. Check previous post for more information on the event.

Annual exhibition and music
L’alpage, an artist’s studio cum art school is holding it’s annual exhibition. Paintings made during lessons will be exhibited and there will be music and rock showcases. Sunday the 28th, from 14:00 to 18:30, at 4, ch. de Bonmont. More info about l’Alpage here


New Paléo poster out!
Paléo has brought out next year’s poster. Created by an agency from Geneva, it’s actually three different posters, which link up as a big one, showcasing some weird creatures inspired by the wacky Paléo crowd. The line-up won’t be released until early April 2015, but week-long tickets will be on sale in December, and are a perfect Christmas gift.

Useful Swiss Consumer Programme – From Scams to Dried mushrooms, Toothbrushes and Tea.

If you are interested in consumer issues and want to know more about the products you buy here in French speaking Switzerland, it’s worth taking a look at the weekly television programme called ABE (A Bon Entendeur) presented by Manuelle Pernod and broadcast on Tuesday evenings on RTS1 at 20:10

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A regular look at the products we buy

This consumer progamme takes a regular look at many of the products we all buy in the main Swiss supermarkets and shops. It compares brands, analyses the content of many food products and draws conclusions for the consumer. Even if you only understand a basic amount of French, these programmes are well produced, can be easily understood and the conclusions are illustrated in graph form or with clear photos. 

Housing, Transport, Insurance etc

The programme also looks at other consumer issues such as housing, transport, insurance etc.  The website of the programme has useful links to consumer associations and  links to consumer rights groups.

The products featured over the last few weeks have been on a variety of items such as electric toothbrushes (their conclusion – buying the most expensive product in the shop isn’t necessarily the best!)  Scroll to around 4 minutes on the programme here to see the result on this particular test.

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Pesticides in Mushrooms and Herbal Teas

Another programme broadcast on February 18th featured the packets of dried mushrooms that can be found for sale in recognised retail outlets. It explained which packets of mushrooms contain pesticides and other chemicals, and which brand of mushrooms was rated the best all round. 

For lovers of herbal tea  another programme revealed the content of some well recognised tea brand names, the results can be seen on this clip here 

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Scam targeting local businesses

This week’s programme revealed a scam that involved small businesses being approached (one of them in Versoix) to take out and pay up front for advertising in a magazine that simply didn’t exist.

The programme has been on air for many years and there’s lots of archive material to be found on their site.  There is even an ABE app!



Balcony or Big Plot of Land? Gardening Tips and Advice for the Geneva/ Vaud area.

Whether you have a small balcony at 400 metres in Nyon, or a big plot of land at 1,000 metres high up in St Cergue, if you are in need of some excellent gardening advice for this part of the world, then look no further than the Swiss Gardening School. The school’s tag line is “Lessons in English for amateur gardeners by professionals” and classes are run throughout the year on a variety of subjects by gardeners Hester Macdonald and Tara Lissner. The school’s next course will be held in Nyon on the 1st April from 09:00-13:00 an will be “Design – On a Budget – Creating a beautiful outdoor space without spending a fortune”.

Chateau de Prangins 051 Below are a selection of photos taken by Living in Nyon at one of the school’s gardening course back in September 2013. Despite the editor of this site having decidedly non-green fingers, she learnt the best way to pot plants into containers, how to plant bulbs the correct way up, what to look for when buying compost, how to design and plan around colour schemes, and she also got some good recommendations on local nurseries, garden centres and online gardening sites.

Nearly six months later, the box of  bulbs that the editor planted is still going strong and in bloom!   As class sizes are small there are plenty of opportunities to ask the gardening experts one-on-one advice on anything and everything to do with gardening based on personal requirements.   Classes are fun and informative  – See here for full details of upcoming courses  held in both Nyon and Founex.

Chateau de Prangins 068 Photo above – sensible, practical advice given to students Chateau de Prangins 080 Photo above -which way up do I plant these? Chateau de Prangins 088 Chateau de Prangins 086 Photo above – recommended reading material. Plant Pots made out of coffee tins!  Photos below – Living in Nyon box of bulbs and flowers planted September 2013 (top left of photo) and the same box March 2014. Chateau de Prangins 096     Geneva English School 032

Interview with Peter Entell – U.S Film Director living in Founex

Interview with Peter Entell – U.S film director living in Founex

Photo above – Peter Entell in Nyon’s old town

On the 6th March, the film “A Home Far Away”, is set be screened in cinemas across Switzerland. There will also be an avant-premiere at Nyon’s Capitole cinema on Tuesday 5th March at 20:00.  This film is mainly set in and around the Nyon area and was reviewed (click here) during the 2012 Visions du Reel film festival.

In the second in our series of “Afternoon Tea with.. ” we spoke to Peter Entell, the film’s director. In this first part of this interview we discover more about this award winning U.S documentary film maker who lives in Founex just outside Nyon. In the second part of the interview we focus on his films.

Entell, originally from New York first arrived in Switzerland in 1975 on August 1 – Swiss National Day.

Photo above – Swiss National Day in Rolle

“Everyone was dancing and singing and I thought, “everyone is so joyous, this is fun!”  It was a great introduction to the country. I initially came over here because of a relationship, but then found work with U.N.H.C.R. (the United Nations Refugee Agency) as a sound recordist for their film department – we went to wherever there were refugee problems in the world.

I had really hit lucky with such a job. After studying anthropology at an American university, I went backpacking across Europe with a friend.  At one stage during the trip, we were sat in a café in Italy and chatting about what we were going to do with our lives. We joked about being film makers (both of us being passionate about film), and yet here I was, in Switzerland just a few years later, doing exactly that. I was being paid to learn a craft, ride in jeeps in Africa, travel around the deserts of Somalia, and many other places. For such a young man this was a fabulous experience, although I could tell that some of the films that we were making were there purely to “sell” the U.N. and we had to gloss over or simply not mention situations that were going on in certain countries.  There is no doubt I gained valuable film making experience during this period but when the Belgian-Zimbabwe Friendship Association asked me if I was interested in making a film (“Moving on : The Hunger for Land in Zimbabwe”) about the independence of Zimbabwe, their request came at the right time and I readily accepted”.

Generous people in film business 

Previously Entell had only been working with sound and editing and had never actually directed a film, but after having spent seven years watching others, he felt he had picked up enough knowledge to be able to make his own. “There are some very generous people in the film industry, individuals who are willing to share their expertise with you”.

“Filming in Zimbabwe was extraordinary, I made several trips. I didn’t visit any of the usual tourist haunts, I lived in one area farmed by blacks whose farms were tiny little parcels of land, and then in the areas of white owned farms, their farms were made up of thousands of hectares, the country was going through a huge transition period at the time”.

Being an independent film director – one of the best jobs in the world

“For that first film I was on a huge learning curve, but it was my own. Being able to direct and be an independent film director is one of the best jobs in the world. You can choose your subject and how to cover it, plus you are usually with very talented people, and it can be a wonderfully creative process”.

After that first film in 1982, Entell travelled to the Inner Mongolia region of China and made three further films. “I learnt how to pitch for films, chase up proposals and source funding, to hustle and find out who would be interested in the subject matter. It’s a long, long process to getting a film made.  You would think the process would be easier for me after all these years but it’s not. You may know more people and the door may open that little bit wider, but you still have to go through the whole rigmarole, you have to have a rock steady dossier, you still have to sell the film to people and convince them that you are the one to make it”.

Switzerland a paradise for making movies

“Having said that, it certainly helps living here, as Switzerland is a paradise for film making. There are so many structures that exist to help with financing. This is due in no small part to the film makers, who in the past have put pressure on politicians to support Swiss culture. “Swiss Films” the organisation inZurich, gives advice to film makers and helps promote Swiss films abroad. There are lot of resources to help filmmakers at a federal, cantonal and a communal level”.

Unique to Switzerland

“There is also another mechanism that is unique to Switzerland. If you are lucky enough to sell your film to Swiss television, firstly you receive money from the sale, then from the royalties on the film, and also from an excellent system called “succès passage antenne”. Every time one of your films is played on any Swiss TV channel, money is put aside in an account to develop your next film. This can add up to a significant amount of money. So when I begin to work on a new film, I don’t have to start at zero. In addition there is “success cinema” – for every ticket bought by the cinema-going public, the film maker gets a portion too. This is all supported by the Swiss government. The Swiss are naturally very proud of their Swiss made films.

What’s next after “A Home Far Away”?

Entell says he put so much energy in to each film, (they usually take 3-4 years to make) he usually is  devoid of new ideas for a while after, but now he does have a concept for his next project. “I won’t elaborate too much, but suffice to say the film is going to be about the reaction of human beings to other speciesin certain situations. It will be much more innovative and perhaps more provocative than anything I have done before. It will involve the use of tiny, micro cameras, the technology of these has evolved so much in the past few years it means I can explore this subject in more depth. I think the young generation will be whooping with excitement at the subject, the older generation probably may not like it, we shall see”.

Entell reflects “I hit lucky getting into the business when I did. Today there are thousands of great films out there, it can be hard for a film maker to distinguish their films between all the others. You have to be very solid and have lots of perseverance to work in this industry”.

Entell is pleased that Nyon is host to Visions du Réel, the annual documentary film festival. “The town welcome filmmakers to this beautiful area, and we all get to watch extraordinary documentaries from around the world. When I’m not filming, I love hiking, skiing, and being part of local life. I don’t think I would fit into New York life any more, I love it here. Nyon is home now”.

Read on to hear more about some of Entell’s other films – “Shake the Devil Off”, “Josh’s Trees”, “Rolling” , “A Home Far Away” and how he uses a cameraman who lives in Nyon for many of his films.