2020 Roundup!

Supporters of our Twinning Association will be pleased to hear that despite this year’s restrictions we’ve still managed to meet—on Zoom, for walks—and maintained links with our friends in Parisot, also thanks to Zoom.

The Parisot Literary Festival, Festilitt, took place this year in a different format. First, there were a series of talks throughout the summer called Lockdown Lit where previous contributors and patrons talked with the festival’s excellent hosts from Parisot about their books. I was pleased to attend talks by Kate Mosse, Tracy Chevalier and Laura Cumming and discover their books. Then, when it was clear that UK authors would not be able to travel to Parisot in October, the main Festilitt programme went online and I enjoyed talks by Tessa Hadley and Evie Wyld. This was a fantastically successful online event—chapeau to the English and French communities in Parisot for making this happen.

Here in Derbyshire we’ve also continued meeting. In October we had a great cheese and wine tasting evening. The wine came from Hattersley’s in Bakewell- a very popular wine merchant with Hucklowians- and the cheese from a specialist cheese shop in Sheffield. Parcels were divvied up and delivered round and we all enjoyed tasting and sharing thoughts via Zoom, finishing the evening with a French quiz.

We then decided to put on our French film night in a slightly different format. Rather than get together to watch a film, we chose one, Caché- Hidden, which is now available on digital platforms which we could watch independently. We then got together last night, in December, to discuss the film over a glass of wine and mince pie to mark the festive season. The majority of us really enjoyed this complex and many-layered film directed by Michel Haneke which links hidden personal secrets to a hidden national event. We also exchanged ideas about other TV series/ films which have got us through lockdown, the French series Dix Pour Cent-Call My Agent highly recommended by all who’ve watched it.

We have also maintained links with our Parisot friends via Zoom. We had a joint meeting where we enjoyed seeing each other and sharing general news about how we were all getting on in lockdown. As well as these organised events, Hucklowians have continued to meet up informally, as the rules allow, for walks, chats on Zoom and regular French conversation practice. So, we’re really pleased that we’ve been able to keep our Twinning Association going through lockdown and have some ideas for events next year:

·       Watching the film Suite Française – we read the book together a couple of years back- and discussing at a meeting in January.

·       A beer and cheese evening in February.

·       Meeting again with our French friends in Parisot, possibly to discuss a book together.

·       A walk in March/ April in our lovely Derbyshire countryside.

Joyeux Noël et bonne année !

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