It's been a while since I've had a Saturday night out so I jumped at the chance to attend this book launch with a neighbour at the weekend. (Someone had to babysit and this time round it was Andrew!) It was held at Domaine de Sautou where we have been previously for the Christmas market. We arrived to a packed room with tables laid out restaurant style and 'bar snacks' and wine to keep us going until the repas.
Suzanne Ghersenzon-Spénale, the author, gave a short talk about her book which is based on the life of her father. I just about understood what was said but listening in French is still a challenge for me. Unlike listening to English where I can dip in and out and still understand what is going on, in French, if I stop concentrating for any length of time I totally lose what is being talked about and it can take a while to catch up again. Suzanne was introduced by Jean-Marie Nosal (the host) who gave a very brief talk about his recent trip to Mali for his charity Via Sahel Enfants D'Afrique. A silent video was projected onto the wall for us to watch throughout the evening with clips from his trip, including a make shift school that is trying to teach 700 children, and the wonderful people trying to make a difference to these children's lives. The charity work Jean-Marie and his wife Winnie do is inspiring, and it was lovely to be in the company of people who make a difference but in such a gentle way.
A repas followed the talks, a four course feast of charcuterie and carrot salad, cassoulet, cheese, cake and coffee. There was music by Jean Luc Ribes and Olivier Spénale who played the guitar and double bass and sang traditional French songs. They both roused some of the guests into singing and dancing along. It was a lovely evening and we're planning to return soon as Jean-Marie and Winnie insist we go round for dinner!