British Author Jonathan Coe in Vaud on Saturday 18th – Event open to public

Author event in English followed by an aperitif in the presence of the author.

Photo above – courtesy Jan Michalksi foundation © Mirabella Balaciut

The British novelist and writer Jonathan Coe will be in conversation with Lisbeth Koutchoumoff, journalist of Le Temps, at the Jan Michalski Foundation in Montricher (above Morges) on Saturday, 18th October at 16.00  This event coincides with the publication of his latest novel, “Expo 58″. Expo 58 is a comic spy and international love story. A perfect evocation of a moment in the history of the Cold War, the novel looks at Europe as a place of shifting and clashing political interests.

The event will be held at the Fondation Jan Michalski in Montricher, at the foot of the Vaudois Jura.  The building that houses the foundation (in banner heading above – is famed for its interesting design.  More info about concept and aim of the building here 

Entrance to the event is CHF 10  -  Reservations required     reservation-coe@fondation-janmichalski.ch

Here’s a quote from Expo 58

“He waited in silence for the blindfold to be tied firmly at the back of his head. ‘Right,’ said Wilkins, emphatically. ‘That should do. How many fingers am I holding up?’ ‘Three,’ said Thomas. ‘God damn it to hell, how did you know that? Can you see through the cloth?’ ‘No. It was a guess.’ ‘Well you’re not supposed to guess. For crying out loud, I’m trying to make sure that you can’t see where we’re going. We’re not here to play guessing games. How many fingers am I holding up?’ ‘I’ve no idea. I can’t see a bloody thing.’ ‘Good. It was four, by the way. Not that it matters. Now shut up.”

 

Jonathan Coe High Res

 

 

Busy weekend in Nyon and Morges – Autumn events, from car shows to wine fairs to Expat Expo

There is a lot on the agenda this weekend in both the Nyon and Morges areas, with a bit of careful planning you could attend all events should you wish.  Read on and take your pick!

Wine Festival in Nyon

Focussing on the town of Nyon itself. The annual Fête de la Vigne (wine festival) kicks off on Friday night 3rd October at 17:00 with wine and live music outside the Place du Château. At 18:00, the band “Red Night) (A Swiss tribute band to Californian group Green Day) are on the line up, followed by “Bruce Copeland” at 21:00.

On Saturday 4th the wine festival begins in earnest and continues all day with events from 10:00 in the morning to 22:30 at night.  The official ceremony is scheduled for 14:30, and at 15:00 the actual grapes will be picked from the vines near the castle in the gardens above the La Duche car park and then they will be pressed in the old wine press.  Members of the public can take part in the grape picking! For the full programme see here.  See video below of last year’s event on Nyon TV.


Vues sur l’actu du 17 septembre 2014 by nyonregiontv

 

wine pic

Autumn Fair in Nyon – Oktoberfest

The annual Autumn Fair in Nyon has been renamed Oktoberfest this year, along with the lovely colourful Autumn stands along the streets of Nyon, there presumably will be beer on sale too! The fair continues all day, from 07:00: to 20:00.

Autumn pics

UEFA open day in Nyon 

A reminder that it’s Open Day at UEFA on Saturday the 4th October from 09:00-16:00. This open day is a chance to see inside the building, to take part in competitions, to see behind the scenes and look at   exhibitions all about the beautiful game.  Details here

Ski Club Troc in Bassins

It’s the “troc” (second hand sale) of ski gear in the Grande Salle in Bassins on Saturday the 4th Ocotber. A great opportunity to get equipped for the coming winter season and to find out about La Gamelle (the ski club) itself.  Got ski gear to sell?  Then you can deposit it between 10:00 and 11:30. The actual sale begins at 13:30 until 15:30 and unsold goods must be collected 16:00 and 16:30.

Ski cliub troc

British Classic Car show in Morges  

It’s the annual Classic Car show in Morges on Saturday 4th October. This takes place along Morges lake side from 10:00 to 17:00.

This car show is  gathering of over 1500 British classic cars and motorbikes of all makes.  Entry is free for both participants and the public.  See here for full details

Big Expat fair – Sunday 5th October in Geneva 

This Sunday it’s Expat Expo in Geneva from 11:00 to 17:00 at La Praille shopping centre. Meet 100s of exhibitors from all over Switzerland. These expat fairs are very useful if you have recently moved to Switzerland and want to know about the services that are on offer for expats. Banks, insurance companies and small English speaking businesses will be all there under one roof, along with experts on hand to answer questions about living in this country.

Also – Living in Nyon recommends you visit table number 5 at the Expat Expo where you can meet the authors of  the latest “Know it all Passport” guide and  of “Education Guide Switzerland” .  Note,  there will be a review of the latest  “Know it all Passport” guide in a future Living in Nyon post along with a chance to win a free copy. Watch this space!

 

 

 

 

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.

LLQ

 

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