Book and Literary events in English – Book fair in Morges in September, Reading group in Crans, Writers’ Group in Geneva

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If you are interested in all things literary, then you are spoiled for choice in the Geneva and Vaud area.  Not only is the area home to a large and important writers’ group (covering both fiction and non-fiction – see below), a reading group in Crans that is open to the public, but in a few weeks, the fabulous “Le Livre sur le Quais” will take place on the lake side in Morges from the 5th to the 7th September 2014.

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English authors such as Andy McNab – “Bravo Two Zero, Immediate Action and Seven Troop”, Caroline Lawrence of “The Roman Mysteries” fame, Don Pollock – “The Devil All the Time”, Nathan Filer –” The Shock of the Fall”(Overall winner Costa Book Award 2014), will all be present at the fair.

The festival programme will be finalised later in August, but the weekend already looks very promising indeed.   Some of the writers’ events take place on the CGN ferries. Cruising up and down on the lake listening to a reading or a talk,  can be a lovely way to spend a weekend!  Note – La Page Cornée the French literary group based in Gland, will also be present with authors’ talks and events.

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Photo below – Author Douglas Kennedy in conversation on a boat at the 2012 fair

Douglas Kennedy

Below –  Reading by the quayside

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Meanwhile over in Geneva the Geneva Writers’ Group will resume its activities on September the 20th with a workshop entitled “Essay & Flash Nonfiction: Personal Narratives”. 

Started in 1993, The Geneva Writers’ Group brings together over 200 English language writers from around 30 countries. The objective of the group  is to encourage all forms of creative writing in English and to create a supportive community of both beginning and supportive writers. Meetings are held monthly, from September to June at the Geneva Press Club, with a programme of writing workshops, critiquing sessions, and master classes.  Every two years the group holds the International Geneva Writers’ Conference at Webster University in Bellevue, alternating with a “Meet the Agents” weekend.  The group publishes a biennial collection of prose and poetry, Offshoots, Writing from Geneva. The group also co-ordinate small writing groups, a mentoring service, and hosts the GWG Literary Prizes.

Photo below from the GWG conference in 2010

Geneva Writers Group Con 2010

English Reading Group in Crans-pres-Celigny – Open to new members.

Marilyn Packham, a British resident living in Crans près Céligny would like to let other Living in Nyon readers know about a reading group that is open to new members. Here she explains a little about the group and what it is like to live in the village of Crans près Céligny itself.

“The English Reading Group in Crans-près-Céligny was formed around seven years ago.  I am a member and over the seven years it has certainly widened my reading and introduced me to new  authors and their work. We meet every five to six weeks between 14:30 and 17:00 in the comfortable, modern library of Crans-près-Céligny.  Note – See previous Living in Nyon post here about the library and its art exhibitions.

In our reading group to date, we have read 54 books, mainly fiction. We all take it in turns to propose a book and we then give a short presentation and have a relaxed discussion over a cup of tea or coffee. We are currently  nine members, who almost all come to every meetings. The group is made up of all ages, from the young to the more mature!  We would like to maintain the size of the group at about twelve members so we are looking for a a few more members.

If you are English mother tongue, male or female and enjoy reading and sharing the enjoyment of reading, please contact me, Mally Packham, on mally.packham@bluewin.ch or call on 078 768 05 50 for more information.

Photo below – The lake near  the port of Crans près Céligny.

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Living in the village

As to living in Crans-près-Céligny itself,  The village itself has changed from the quiet little Vaudois village we moved to 26 years ago. Like the whole of the Lac Léman area, the village has grown, new houses and new flats have been built.  The roads and pavements are being enlarged and resurfaced for the ever-mobile community. The village has lots of clubs and groups – football teams for adults and children, a gym, tennis courts (indoor courts in winter), a crèche  a modern primary school, a church, a port, a sailing club, a friendly pharmacy and a village shop. The  village also has two superb restaurants, ‘Le Café de l’Union’ and ‘Le Café de la Versoix’. The food is excellent in both and the service quick and friendly. They are both very popular so best to book in advance. There is a regular bus service to both Nyon and Coppet. All in all, the village has blossomed and is a vibrant place to live, yet it still maintains the calm and quiet of the countryside”.

 

 

 

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

Music, Cinema, Rugby: what’s on in Nyon next week

 

Looking for something to do next week? Here are a few things going on in the area over the next ten days.

Cinema

Both Cinéma Capitole in Nyon and Cinéma Rex in Aubonne offer special English speaking screenings. The next English films you can go and see in these two cinemas are:

Cinema Rex, Aubonne:

Gravity – 3D Monday 28th October, 20:30 part of the English Movie program

With Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Dr. Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine space-walk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone, tethered to nothing but each other and spiralling out into the blackness…

You can watch the trailer here.

Cinéma Capitole, Nyon

Diana

Monday 21st October, 20:30

With Naomi Watts

A film about cult icon Lady Diana.

Watch the trailer

Blue Jasmine

Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, 18:00

With Cate Blanchett

The latest Woody Allen film

 Watch the trailer

Music

From Schubert’s Lieder in Gland on the 24th to metal and pop rock this weekend at the Usine à Gaz with the 6th edition of Nyon’s On Fire, but also Fado in Bonmont abbey and the traditional Thursday night Jazz apéro under the Chateau in Nyon, the music offer in the area will please everyone’s tastes.

Thursday 24th October, 17:00, Théâtre de Grand Champ, Gland: Schubert’s Lieder performed by the Atelier à Coeur Joie.

Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, Usine à Gaz, Nyon: For the sixth year running Heimathome, an association which promotes alternative music from the area, is organising Nyon’s On Fire at the Usine à Gaz. After the success of the last few years, and a 100% Swiss headline, they have decided to tackle larger game this year. Friday night will be aimed at metal and hardcore lovers, whilst Saturday night will see the venue resonate with the electro-pop tunes of We Have Band, as well as other rock and electro bands. This will be We Have Band’s third time in Nyon, after a gig at Paléo Festival and another one in the Usine A Gaz. You can check out an interview Living In Nyon did with the band last time they came here.

More info and line-up on the festival’s website

Sunday 27th October, 17:00, Abbaye de Bonmont: Katia Guerriero will play Fado (traditional Portuguese music) in this 12th century Cistercian abbey with wonderful acoustics. Tickets cost 40.- for adults, 30.- for students and pensioners, and 20.- for children (8-15 yrs). Book on www.bonmont.ch

Thursday 31st October, 18:00, Chateau de Nyon: Provinyon’s traditional jazz apéros. Come and enjoy a nice Swiss apéro with local wine whilst listening to the Geneva Boogie Woogie Trio. Entrance costs 5.-, please book on http://www.provinyon.ch/site/fr/contact

 

Other

The Swiss rugby championship will be held in Colovray on Sunday the 27th of October. Entrance is free.

The ecological association “Sol à Tous” regularly organises walks in the area to clean up the nature and pick up rubbish. Their next expedition will be in Duiller on Saturday the 26th. The rendezvous is fixed at 14:30 at the “Duillier, centre communal” bus stop. (You can take the n°820 bus to St-George in Nyon which leaves at 14:21).

A new cookery school, “Les Papilles à la fete”, has opened in Nyon, and classes are available in English! Check out the website for more information, or read a more detailed account in English on knowitall.ch

“Oklahoma!” in Nyon this week, Discover local produce on “Proxité” Day and try out a Velopass bike!

 

Musical in English this weekend to end the summer season.

For the past few years at at the end of August, young actors in the Really Youthful Group (this group is part of GAOS – Geneva Amateur Opera Society), have performed a musical in English in Nyon for the general public.  This show has now become a firm favourite on the local calendar as expats and Swiss alike, gather to watch and enjoy the production, meet each other in the bar at the interval and catch up on summer news.

This year the auditorium of the Théâtre de Marens will ring out to the music of  “Oklahoma!” by Rogers and Hammerstein  on Friday 31st August at 20:00, Saturday 1st September at 14:00 and 18:00 and on Sunday at 14:00. It’s a fun way to end the summer, full booking details here.

 Local food to discover on Saturday 1st September in Nyon

Also coming up this weekend, on Saturday 1st September, it’s “Proxité Day”. This day was launched last year in Nyon and supported by the council to encourage consumers to discover more about local food production in the area. Farmers, cheese producers, winemakers and fruit growers in the region will all be taking part. There is a full day of events planned, beginning at 09:00 at “La Roulotte” (the temporary café in the old train carriage behind the railway station). Breakfast will be served using local products:

Milk from the Domaine du Bois Bougy,

 

Apple juice from the “Cidrerie artisanale Pradervand” ,

 

 

Sweet bread (tresse) from the Panier Gourmand

served with butter from the l’Alpage de la Baronne

 

and jams from “Les confitures des Pralies”,  all served on the terrace of the café.

At  10:00 you will then have the opportunity to visit these local producers on one of the Velobikes which are parked nearby. Note, you can also try out a bike for free in the Velopass scheme on Saturday too. Reserve here in advance, or on the day on site.

Over in La place du Château, other events are also planned from 0900 – 17:00,  food tasting stands, pony rides, there’s even a cooking competition!  For full details see site here.