vendredi 6 décembre 2013



The first event is a Musical Comedy at the Domaine d’O

 The Wings of Desire is coming to the Domaine d’O on 31st January 2014 at 8pm.

This high energy rock opera  (in English) is bighearted and poetic and also very contemporary. It has been staged at  most of Europe’s great venues.

The Wings of Desire is a loose adaptation of Wim Wenders’ 1987 film. The story starts in Berlin just before the wall comes down. Two angels keep vigil on mankind with an invisible and kindly presence. One of them, Daniel, dreams of experiencing real life and carnal pleasures. His meeting with Marion, a trapeze artist, encourages him to take the plunge.

In this deeply moving work, the director explores the themes of our  human condition, loss of identity, the search for happiness and freedom, all of which interact with the rock music.

On stage, five magnificent dancers and six excellent musiciens from the Belgian rock scene embody, with extraordinary energy, this great film classic with video screenings in the background.

The Wings of Desire is more than a rock opera in that it offers a rewriting of a dreamlike fantasy, a very high-level musical trip.



Foal is happy to coordinate the purchase of tickets. Special Foal price 12 € (instead of 20€)

Send a check made out to Foal before 31 December to :

V Metherell 31 bis Avenue St Lazare Bât O 34000 Montpellier You will be able to pick up the tickets at the desk at the theatre.


The second event is our FAMOUS LITERARY QUIZ, (3rd edition) to be held on 28th February at the usual venue at Martin Luther King, 27 Bd Louis Blanc. Start of the evening at 6pm with drinks and nibbles. Quiz starts at 6.30pm

We ask for a small contribution (5per person in a discreet envelope) to be handed in on arrival. Let us know if you are coming with an email to : so that we can organise quantities.



Later on, on 11th April in the afternoon, the Montpellier Académie is organising the semi-finals and finals of their debating competition (in English) with lycéens from around the area From what I have gathered, these will be formal debates along the lines of a university debating society. The event will take place at the CDRP, Allée de la Citadelle, not far from the Lycée Joffre. I am sure this will interest, among others, all us retired teachers and also those still working.





dimanche 24 novembre 2013


The Foal Christmas Party for members is to be held on 13th December. It is not too late to join and take part in the draw for the splendiferous Raffle. Just send a mail to for details



·         6 bottles of wine from Domaine St Hilaire

Anne & Jonathan James have been running Domaine Saint Hilaire for the past ten years since they moved out to the Languedoc from London.

They make 11 different wines in a mixture of single cepage whites and blended reds, as well as running a luxury Chambre d’hôte which recently won the Romantic i-escape of the year.   

The Domaine now offers wine tastings, tours of the vineyard and winery, lunches and larger events such as weddings.

For photos and more information, visit the website at:

And whenever you come by to pick up some wine, make sure you make use of the FOAL 10% discount on all our wines.  


·         Fish and chips at the Beehive   15 rue du Plan d’Agde Tel 0966945371 Open 7/7 from midday


The best fish and chips in town!


·         Voucher from the Bookshop  8 rue du Bras de Fer   Tel 0467662290


·         Six more bottles of wine including:  

4 bottles of L'Eglantier - Clairette du Languedoc Moelleux du Domaine d'Adissan – 2009 and 2 bottles of Cour Saint-Vincent-Mille Pierres ACLC du Domaine de Saint Vincent de Babeyrogues - one 2006 and one 2007.


·         Two bottles of Gigondas 2009


·         Meal for two at the Grillardin (value 70 euros)


·         Five tickets from Utopia cinema


·         A « technique mixte » painting by Lionel Trace


·         Fitzpatrick’s have kindly donated a bottle of Irish whiskey and two Guinness polo shirts


·         Voucher for one for free entry to a leisure centre in the trees at Millau


·         Two pints of beer at The Shakespeare pub


·      Gift voucher worth 30 euros for a purchase at Sidney Carron (bijoux contemporains) Marina de la Roche  6 rue de l’Ancien Courrier Montpellier


·         Wine buff’s kit from ‘L’esprit du vin’



Ticket 1 euro                                                10 tickets for 8 euros

Given all the wonderful prizes, why don’t you buy tickets for friends ?

lundi 14 octobre 2013

Scroll down to middle of page to a small red PDF file and click on "télécharger le fichier"... hey presto !

lundi 7 octobre 2013

Newsletter October 2013


We held our AGM in June, all is well, the finances of the association are healthy, thanks to your contributions and a small grant from the Town Hall.

The picnic at the Jonathon James vineyard was a great success, we think we might have it every year, the setting is sensational.

We spent an interesting evening at the new theatre at the Domaine d’O which was being inaugurated with a play by Peter Brook, “The Suit”

Another load of new books have arrived, you have already seen the list, lots of lovely reading for the short days which are on their way. In addition to the order which you have seen, we have ordered the first volume of Jane Gardham’s “Old Filth” trilogy, the second two are already in the library which is bursting at the seams. Your President is working very hard to find new premises, hopefully provided by the Town Hall.

The complete catalogue will soon be online on the FOAL blog which will entail going to the Foal website (, and clicking on “foal34”and then a link. Many thanks to Katharine Claringbull and Philippe Marchand for all the work they have put in to making this possible.


·         We are hoping to organise an evening in November with the son of Janet Teissier du Cros, a Scotswoman who lived in the south of France and published her memoirs about World War II in the mid 50s. As the south wasn’t strictly speaking occupied territory and there have not been a lot of books written about this region during WWII. The book gives us a unique perspective on the difficult time she and her children traversed. Considered a classic when it first appeared the book was subsequently reprinted in the 1980's by the eminent Scottish publisher Stephanie Wolfe Murray, founder of  Canongate Books, who added a remarkable 'coda' by the eminent Edinburgh author Janet Adam Smith. The book is soon to be re-edited.  

            This will be a joint event with the AWG and the Bookshop. We will let you know the
            date as soon as possible.

 ·         Christmas Party for Foal members on the 13th December

The party will take place at the Claringbull’s on Friday 13th December. This might be a lucky day for some of you. We are organizing a TOMBOLA with some super presents, you will be able to buy tickets at the library from the beginning of November and also on the day. The Foal board is providing the liquid content, members will bring along sweet or savoury finger food which will be organized by Katharine Claringbull. (Katharine’s email provided on request to to let her know what you are bringing)

·         In January there will be a Musical in English at the Domaine d’O. FOAL will organize the tickets. We don’t have a date yet but we will keep you informed.

 And finally…..

·         OUR FAMOUS LITERARY QUIZ will take place in February this year, more about that nearer the time

As you see, FOAL is as active as ever thanks to a very dedicated board and all our members and supporters.

jeudi 5 septembre 2013


FOAL is once again at the cutting edge of what's on in the English-language literary world, the selection of new books is very exciting: some new (to us) authors too and a good range of genres. If you would like to read all the relevant reviaws, send an email to and we will send them.  Most of the books will be in the Library on 25th September; one or two will be published in October, you can't get more up to date than that!

Non Fiction

The Girl who loved Camellias                                   Julie Kavanagh

Flappers : Six women of a dangerous generation     Judith Mackrell

An Officer and a Spy                                                Robert Harris



And the mountains echoed                                       Khaled Hosseini

Last Friends                                                              Jane Gardam

The Cuckoo’s calling                                                 Robert Galbraith (Rowling)

The White Princess                                                    Philippa Gregory

Big Brother                                                               Lionel Shriver

The Accursed                                                            Joyce Carol Oates

In times of fading light                                             Eugen Ruge

Memories of   a marriage                                          Louis Begley

(Crime and espionage)

Someone to watch over me                                       Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Police                                                                         Jo Nesbo

Cold Hearts                                                               Gunnar Staalesen

Saints of the Shadow Bible                                      Ian Rankin

The Red Road                                                                       Denise Mina

Red Sparrow                                                             Jason Matthews

mercredi 3 juillet 2013

Annual General Meeting 2013


The AGM took place on June 20th at 6pm at Martin Luther King, 29 Bd Louis Blanc

 1) The President's report

Foal Activities over the past year

We have had another busy year starting in December when Foal organised for a group of members to attend a play in English at the Domaine d‘O, « Tomorrow’s Parties »

Also in December we had a Christmas party for Foal members, the Claringbull’s kindly allowed us to hold it at their appartment in a lovely warm atmosphere, everyone brought food, the drinks were provided by the Foal Board.

In January we held our second Quiz, greatly enhanced with technology and a different format which allowed everyone to participate. I think we all appreciated this new format. Many thanks to Philippe Marchand, our Art director, and Katharine Claringbull. A lot of work goes into setting up the Quiz as I am sure you realise.

In February we had a wonderful play reading evening which was a smash hit. Lawrence McGuire and Kath Claringbull are consummate actors, Philippe Marchand and Caroline Di Miceli directed.

In April the Bookchat group organised another successful evening’s entertainment, Shards of Light, with readings, and singing provided by the Occoeur group. Another smash hit !

At the beginning of this month we organised a picnic and wine-tasting at the Jonathon James vineyard. The participants really enjoyed themselves and we might make this an annual event


The Bookchat meetings continue to be very popular. They are open to Foal members, but non-members can give it a try before joining the association. The summaries will soon be on the blog and Facebook page

The library itself

Although we are still in temporary premises, thanks to the Claringbulls we do have a home. I filed a dossier at the Town Hall last September asking for premises and, in order to put a foot in the Mairie, I applied to be a member of the Foreign Residents’ Advisory Committee. I have already made contact with several people.

We are able to order new books regularly.  The books have now been catalogued by Kath Claringbull and Philippe Marchand, the list will soon be available on the website and on our Facebook page.  Boundless thanks to them for having completed this arduous task.

When we do get permanent premises, we should be able to do a lot more, we could have a children’s section and widen our opening hours.

Summer library for tourists at Carnon

I made contact with the people in charge of the summer libraries at Carnon and Frontignan. I offered to donate 50 or 60 books, taken from the permanent Book Sale in exchange for Foal flyers to be distributed on site. I took two boxfuls of books to Pierres Vives in the hope that it will be a bit of publicity for Foal. Speaking of which, we did put an ad in one of the Diagonal programmes in the autumn and I think we should do a bit more advertising at « la rentrée ». I have left flyers at the Printemps des Comédiens, several of which I noticed the other evening have been taken.


Membership is now at about 45,  we have lost some and gained some. We have some very generous benefactors. When we get permanent premises, we will be able to have a real membership drive, in our current situation our offer is too limited to do this. We do have a young new member, Sarah Costlow, who is working on ways to increase membership, she will improve our Facebook page and website. She has already designed a new flyer.

Future Events

Two events in the works :

-          I have been informed that the Domaine d’O is hosting a play directed by Peter Brook called « The Suit » at the end of September, the 28th and 29th, a Friday and Saturday. I have printed out a brief summary which I will hand out later and which I will send to all the members and supporters so that we can decide which date suits us best.

-          In the autumn, I hope we will have a talk by Lynn Mitchell whom we met at the Comédie du Livre. She is a small publisher of new women writers and she now lives and works in the region.

I went on a special course 10 days ago to teach me how to improve my skills in filling out the application documents for a grant from the Mairie. I shall also apply to the Direction Régionale de l’Action Culturelle this year.

Finally, a surprise: I learnt today that we will receive 500 euros from the Mairie this year, less than last year, but I didn’t expect to get so much and it is still a useful sum.

2) Financial Report by Sunshine Erickson, Treasurer.

 Sunshine's accounting shows that we are in a healthy financial situation.

 Other matters discussed were:

-the proposed new flyer ( designed by Sarah Costlow) which met with general approval, subject to perhaps one or two small alterations, and the addition of the Montpellier logo.


-the Foire aux Associations, to be held on September 8th, at which it had previously been agreed that we wouldn't have a stand; however, the Franco-American Centre has kindly offered to display our flyers .


-Philippe Marchand outlined his and Edwin Hill's proposal for a Film Buffs' circle. This would consist of viewing films from the vast collection at the Mediathèque in a special room on their premises and being able to discuss same. This would be basically a film club with a tinge of culture to it. At first it would consist of the Book Chat members but would later expand.





The meeting was followed by the partaking of wine and nibbles and a very pleasant time was had by all.


samedi 11 mai 2013

The following new books will soon be in the library
The Interestings                                             Meg Wolitzer
Z                                                                    Therese Anne Fowler
A Delicate truth                                             John Le Carré
The Golden Egg                                            Donna Leon
Jewels of Paradise                                         Donna Leon
Levels of Life                                                Julien Barnes
Servants                                                         Lucy Lethbridge
The Child’s Child                                          Barbara Vine
Life after Life                                                Kate Atkinson
Americanah                                                   Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Round House                                         Louise Erdrich
Murder at Wrotham Hall                               Diana Souhami
Country Girl                                                  Edna O’ Brian
Grace and Mary                                             Melvyn Bragg
The Tooth Tattoo                                           Peter Lovesey
Talk Talk                                                        T.C.Boyle



Shards of Light on 12 April was another Foal smash hit thanks to the members of the BookChat group, the Occhoeur singers and, of course, our Art Director, Philip Marchand. We were moved, amused and enchanted by the varied entertainment and we enjoyed our drinks and chat afterwards. A big thank you to all the participants.

I tried to find an image to illustrate our smash hit but all I could find were images of  a group called SMASH HIT COMBO , never heard of them !! (heavy metal, rock ?)  See photos below

Summer closing

 You will receive the July to December schedule in due time but you need to know that this year we have decided to close in August, too hot, too few visitors. But you will be able to borrow as many books as you want (within reason). We have never lost a book since we have opened and we trust you all implicitely ! There will be an arrival of new books before that.

Picnic at Domaine St Hilaire

 We have had a good response and we are looking forward to a very pleasant outing on 1st June

Annual General Meeting

 Thursday 20 June at 6pm at the Martin Luther King venue for FOAL members. (as many of you as possible we hope).

You will be sent the agenda nearer the time.

Foal will provide drinks and nibbles afterwards

lundi 4 mars 2013


       The Friends of the           Anglophone Library


The play reading of « Love Letters » was a smash hit. We had a full house, almost 50 people came to enjoy the talents of Katharine Claringbull and Lawrence McGuire. Many thanks to the organisers, Philippe Marchand, Caroline DiMiceli and Phil Claringbull.

 We have another event coming up on 12th April ; SHARDS OF LIGHT,a festive medley of recitals, readings and song. Dialogues and monologues, short extracts from fiction, poems old and modern and period songs presented by as many as ten voices should provide a miscellany to make you smile, reflect, relax and laugh.

Date  12 April at 6pm     Venue: Martin Luther King Annex, 27 Boulevard Louis Blanc   Montpellier

There will be a small charge of 5 euros which will also entitle you to drinks and nibbles. Please prepare an envelope with 5 euros per person inside to hand in when you arrive. This small sum covers the drinks and nibbles, anything left over goes to buy new books.

Please send an email to before 6th April to let us know if you plan to attend so that we can organise quantities. This event is open to all.


Thanks to members who subscribe to various magazines we have a good choice of


The Economist                          The Week (a compilation of world news)

London Review of Books          The Spectator   (political comment and culture)

Intelligent Life (a cultural magazine published by the Economist Group)

The Oldie (culture and fun for older members!)                Time              


The new books have arrived, another excellent choice which should ensure some happy reading for all tastes. We keep very much up to date with new literature but obviously we have to make choices given our limited funds and need to remain pretty mainstream.

There are some good books in the permanent Book Sale, some of which we may donate to the library on the beach in Carnon in the summer for tourists in exchange for some publicity


Foal members can pencil in June 20th 6pm for the Annual General Meeting, this will be confirmed in the next Newsletter

vendredi 18 janvier 2013

January 2013 Newsletter


Now that the Christmas festivities are over we shall be able to get back to some serious reading. You will have seen the list of books on order for January, there are some interesting choices. As you know, we are in temporary premises and we are only able to open three times a month which means we are pretty flexible about the number of books you can take out and for how long. We want you to enjoy your reading.

On January 11th we had the Book Quiz, the new format, which enabled everyone to participate, was much appreciated. Thank you to the organisers who did so much to make the event such a success. Unfortunately we don’t have any photos but we will rectify that error at the NEXT EVENT which takes place on 15th February, the day after St Valentine’s day.

Very appropriately we are offering a play reading called Love Letters, written by A R Gurney. The play involves just two characters who exchange letters over a span of 50 years. One correspondent is eager to write, the other more diffident and the result is a correspondence that is pithy, exhilarating and funny, and well as wise, wistful and tinged with in-your-face reality, love and sadness. Don’t miss this special play-reading production.

Date  15 February at 6pm     Venue: Martin Luther King Annex, 27 Boulevard Louis Blanc

There will be a small charge of 5 euros which will also entitle you to drinks and nibbles. Please send an email to before 5th February to let us know if you plan to attend so that we can organise quantities. This event is open to all.

Book Chat continues to be very popular, the meetings are now held at the library venue.

Membership remains stable, we have lost some people by the wayside but we have gained new members, all we need now are permanent premises. We have put in an application at the Town Hall but if anyone has a suggestion, write to at once! The shelves are almost full and we need to expand. There are some good books in the permanent Book Sale, selling the books allows us to buy more new books and make space. At the moment we are obliged to say “no” to offers of books for lack of space.

We have made contact with the British Council in Marseille who is interested in our project, we should be meeting with a representative soon and hope to get some form of support.