Christmas Lunch

Saturday 3rdDecember 2016

Mme Patricia Curd

Forty members and friends of the ESU Loire Valley gathered to herald in the festive season at “La Gogane” restaurant in Andard and enjoy the annual pre-Christmas lunch together on Saturday, 3rd December 2016.

Outside the sun was shining. Inside there was Christmas spirit in abundance. The excellent meal was accompanied by seasonal entertainment and traditional English touches such as Christmas crackers, paper crowns and mince pies.

Once the crackers had been pulled, the paper crowns donned and the corny jokes exchanged and explained, the Chairman, Patricia Curd, welcomed everyone and invited them to raise their glasses to absent friends. Master of ceremonies for the day, Michael Small, then called for the entertainment to start.

Amidst much laughter John Barritt gave an excellent rendition of a poem by Pam Ayres: “The Satnav”. This was especially appreciated by the men in the room; though not so much by their wives!

As plates were cleared away between each course, members continued to entertain their friends. Tony Oakley sang three songs accompanying himself with both guitar and mouth organ. Starting with a traditional number he then responded to popular request with a rendition of The Wurzels’ “Market Gardener” before breaking into Billy Connolly’s “The Welly Boot Song”.

Jackie Sheppard and Irene Small then gave a humorous parody of “My Favourite Things”, a song made famous by Julie Andrews’ in “The Sound of Music”. Set to the original tune created by Richard Rogers, their tongue in cheek version of the song dealt with the many issues of growing old.

During a lull in the proceedings time was found to draw the raffle. There were many super prizes. Some had been generously donated by members and some were typically ‘English’ prizes purchased in the UK.

The final act was by magician Tony Coleman, who presented the audience with a bunch of tulips: magic tulips which wilted one by one every time an untruth was spoken. Of course, the bouquet didn’t last very long. Tony was assisted somewhat timorously by Christine Rutherford who cut a piece of cord which then to her amazement miraculously mended itself. John Sheppard didn’t fair quite so well when he assisted Tony in the finale and he found himself serving as a toilet roll holder!

The afternoon’s entertainment finished with a Christmas ‘sing-song’, when all those present joined together to sing traditional Christmas carols and songs under the leadership of Anne Latrille and Roy Powell.

All too soon it was time to go home after a really enjoyable afternoon and a splendid start to the festive season.

The food was excellent; the entertainment was too. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the day: to members of the committee for organising the meal and the programme; to Jackie and John Sheppard for shopping for the event in the UK; to all who contributed prizes to the raffle; to the entertainers who had worked so hard to perfect their performances; to all who contributed in other ways to the organisation; and in particular to all who attended the meal and made this such a special day.

To all our members and friends “We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”. May 2017 bring worldwide peace and understanding.