Choir @ Christmas


Vivace Choir at Christmas.

There will be four opportunities for anyone wishing to enjoy Vivace’s programme of Christmas music this year. Firstly on Saturday November 26th at 16.30, the setting will be the Domaine du Coquerel at Milly. Tickets for this are 8€ (which includes a glass of cidre) and will shortly be obtainable via Colin Wood 

Next, on Friday December 9th at 19.15, is the traditional Carol service at Notre Dame du Tuchet in support of CSF. This is a free concert, but please come prepared to give generously to this worthy cause. 

On Sunday December 11th at 16.00, the setting is St Julien in Domfront. Again, free, but collection in aid of the restoration fund. 

And finally on  Wednesday December 14th at  18.00, the church in Passais la Conception is hosting the choir for their final performance of a busy 2022.mbers will be limited. Thanks

Scones and Songs



Colin Wood has offered to start up the singing group again for those interested.

It is an informal and relaxed group that sings for the fun of it as well as the health benefits involved.
No need to worry about being a great singer, its more about just getting together in an informal environment and sharing your love and appreciation of all genres of music.
Friday 18th November at 18.00 at Colin & Val’s House. This will be to run through a few carols and other Christmassy songs in preparation for “Carols & Cake” on Monday December 12th at 18.00 in the chapel at Jane & Andrew Perkins’ House. 

Please let Colin or Jane know if you want to come to either or both of these as numbers will be limited. Thanks

Takeaway Review



Since we came to France  we have not had many takeaway meals, and certainly not one which has been delivered (there are no Deliveroo, Just Eat, or Uber Eats serving this area). However, prompted by a colourful leaflet arriving in our mailbox, announcing “Mat’s Exotic Foods”, all that changed. His is a very limited menu (seven main dishes only) in Thai/Cantonese style. Orders can be phoned through or placed via FB messenger and the meals collected from Ducey or delivered within 5km for a small sum. 

We chose a Pad Thai and a Chicken Katsu with assorted spring rolls and opted for delivery.

You need to order before 11.00 for lunch or before 18.00 for evening meal. 

Our food arrived on time, delivered with a big smile from a friendly young lady. It was well packaged in recyclable materials,  still hot and it certainly looked appetising. Indeed it was very tasty, crispy yet moist chicken, fluffy rice and soft succulent noodles. The portion sizes were also quite generous.

At under 30€ including delivery it was very good value too. Something tells me we will be making use of Mat’s Exotic Foods again.

Colin Wood

Editors note:  Find “Mats-exotic Food” on Facebook

Book Discussion Group

Having agreed on a format for the meetings, the first proper get-together involved six of us each choosing one or two books to recommend along with a short reading, followed by a discussion about each in an informal setting, taking turns to host the meetings.

The books discussed this month were on a wide variety of subjects starting with Enzo the dog re-counting his and his family’s lives together, an involved and moving tail of the relationship between family and pet from the dog’s point of view. Garth Stein, ‘The art of racing in the rain’.

After this was a book set in Russia by the author of ‘Gorky Park’ Martin Cruz Smith. This novel was set in Tokyo beginning in the nineteen twenties up to just before the bombing of Pearl Harbour and follows the story of Harry, the son of American missionaries brought up there trying to survive  the complexities of the Japanese culture, ‘Tokyo Station’.

Another author recommended was Stella Gibbons, born in 1902 who worked as a journalist before writing prolifically from the 1930’s onwards. Her most popular book being ‘Cold comfort farm’ a comic story of a young lady’s relocation from bustling London after the death of her parents to the home of her country cousins buried deep in the Sussex countryside on a run-down decaying farm. A clever and amusing romp among the stables and haystacks with delightfully written characters at every turn.

Next up was a ‘What if’ story creating an alternative world where JFK wasn’t assassinated…..What would our world be like had he lived? Fall deep into a dark conspiracy as you follow the story of one bullet that missed, one that killed and one that changed the world. ‘3 bullets’ by R.J Ellory.

Followed by a dark historical account set against the backdrop of the second Boer war at the turn of the twentieth century came next. A story of British run ‘concentration camps’ in Lesoto, (a landlocked kingdom surrounded on all sides by South Africa) built specifically to imprison the displaced Boer families whose land they were pillaging.  a particularly shameful and shady period of time in the history of  British overseas ‘interests’. ’The Undesirables’ by Dave Boling who also wrote a detailed historical novel about the Spanish civil war- ‘Guernica’

The next was a series of books in the forensic mystery solving genre, Ellie Griffiths ‘Dr Ruth Galloway’series, for those who have an interest in the ‘bones’ of a good story. 

Have you seen ‘Vera’ and ‘Shetland’ on the tv? Ann Cleves wrote the novels behind the series, which as usual are much more detailed than the series and allow for much deeper character development while delving into complexities of the criminal mind and the methods of the detectives who seek to solve the crimes.

The final choice was ‘Pied Piper’ by Neville Chute, famous for his war time survival saga, ‘A town like Alice’.  In this book John Howards fishing holiday in France is rudely interrupted when the Nazis invade and he must try to escape back to England, taking with him the children of his friends who stay behind to help in the allied defence. In the midst of the conflict on the convoluted path back home he manages to collect five more waifs and strays, constantly beset by danger but heroically protecting his young charges. A war time story with a difference!

 I hope you like our selection for this this month and manage to track down one or two that take your fancy,

Julie Turpin

Walking Group

N.B.This walk was supposed to be to the cascades but we decided to change the venue due to inclement weather and also the cascades is a beautiful place made spectacular by a little sunshine, so it’s postponed until next month in the hope of more summery weather.

     So, five slightly disappointed walkers gathered at the carpark at the top of the hill to explore the surrounding hill and see the little chapel and the view over the bay of Mont st Michel.

     Five of us plus Freckels set of to find the site of the heroic stand of the 30th battalion of American troops against German tanks in August 1944.This area very close to the cliffs is now heavily wooded but some artifacts can still be seen such as the anchors for a communications post and a cement water tank in among the trees and natural outcrops of rocks.









We reached the little chapel, perched 323m high upon the granite rock of Monjoie hill, so-called because pilgrims often had their first view of mont st Michel from here and expressed their joy at the sight. We  climbed the steps to appreciate the panoramic views across the bay the decorated table pointing us in the direction of landmarks and towns in the area and we had a very murky sighting of the said mont in the distance.




      There have been written accounts of pagan worship in distant history but the first reliable account of a permanent structure was when Marie de Montpensier succeeded her father and became Countess of Mortain, duchess of Chatellerault, Montpensier and Saint-Fergau in 1608 and during a tour of her lands she witnessed the remarkable view across the bay and was impressed enough to  pay for the first chapel to be built on the 16 July 1613.


We returned to the carpark by an alternative route below the wood which turned out to be a ‘Fitness trail’. I admit the most use we got out of it was to sit for a rest on the hurdles!


So todays walk turned out to be a lot less strenuous than was anticipated and was a pleasant stroll rather than a proper walk, never the less we still felt the need for a little light refreshment and repaired to l’Akwa bar (the only one open on Sunday afternoon!) in Mortain where the sun at last shone on us and our beer for a while.


Julie Turpin


If you would like to join us on future walks please email Julie on or on the AFACTP Whatsapp group, everyone is welcome.