Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Victor Hugo, Les Miserables and Montreuil

Miserables-2015British residents and visitors are invited to a special free presentation celebrating the 20th year of “Les Miserables at Montreuil Sur Mer”

“Victor Hugo, Les Miserables and Montreuil”, a multi-media presentation, will take place on Friday 19th June at 18h30, at 119 rue Pierre Ledent, Montreuil (a superb historic house)

Entry is Free!

How Louis XIV’s Anal Misfortune Gave Birth To The British National Anthem

Tout commence en janvier 1686, où Louis XIV tombe subitement malade.

Il semble qu’il se soit piqué en s’asseyant sur une plume des coussins qui garnissaient son carrosse déclenchant un abcès à l’anus, qu’il aurait fallu immédiatement inciser pour éviter que la blessure ne s’infecte. Mais les médecins du roi, épouvantés à l’idée de porter la main sur le fondement de la monarchie, optèrent pour des médecines douces, type onguents. Ces méthodes ne donnèrent aucun résultat.

Tout cela dura près de 4 mois et les douleurs royales ne cessaient pas !

Brusquement, vers le 15 mai, les chirurgiens, verts de peur, soupçonnèrent l’existence d’une fistule. Ce fut l’affolement général. Finalement, le 1er chirurgien Félix de Tassy (appelé simplement FELIX) décide d’inciser et “invente” un petit couteau spécial, véritable pièce d’orfèvrerie dont la lame était recouverte d’une chape d’argent.

Mais il fallut encore 5 mois pour fabriquer ce petit bijou…

L’opération eut lieu le 17 novembre– sans anesthésie ! Il faudra encore 2 autres incisions (la plaie ayant du mal à se refermer pour cicatriser) pour qu’enfin, à la Noël 1686, on puisse déclarer que le roi était définitivement sorti d’affaire…et mettre fin aux rumeurs qui, à l’étranger, se propageaient disant que Louis XIV était à l’agonie.

Dès l’heureuse issue de l’intervention connue, des prières furent dites dans le royaume et les dames de Saint Cyr (création de Mme deMaintenon devenue épouse morganatique) décidèrent de composer un cantique pour célébrer la guérison du roi.

La supérieure, Mme de Brinon (nièce de Mme de Maintenon) écrivit alors quelques vers assez anodins qu’elle donna à mettre en musique à Jean-Baptiste Lully :

Grand Dieu sauve le roi !
Longs jours à notre roi !
Vive le roi . A lui victoire,
Bonheur et gloire !
Qu’il ait un règne heureux
Et l’appui des cieux !

Les demoiselles de Saint Cyr prirent l’habitude de chanter ce petit cantique de circonstance chaque fois que le roi venait visiter leur école.

C’est ainsi qu’un jour de 1714, le compositeur Georg Friedrich Haendel, de passage à Versailles, entendit ce cantique qu’il trouva si beau qu’ il en nota aussitôt les paroles et la musique. Après quoi, il se rendit à Londres où il demanda à un clergyman nommé Carrey de lui traduire le petit couplet de Mme de Brinon.

Le brave prêtre s’exécuta sur le champ et écrivit ces paroles qui allaient faire le tour du monde :

God save our gracious King,
Long live our noble King,
God save the King!
Send him victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us,
God save the King !

Haendel remercia et alla immédiatement à la cour où il offrit au roi – comme étant son oeuvre – le cantique des demoiselles de Saint Cyr.

Très flatté, George 1er félicita le compositeur et déclara que, dorénavant, le “God save the King” serait exécuté lors des cérémonies officielles.

Et c’est ainsi que cet hymne, qui nous paraît profondément britannique, est né de la collaboration :

– d’une Française (Mme de Brinon),

– d’un Italien (Jean-Baptiste Lully -ou Lulli-) naturalisé français,

– d’un Anglais (Carrey),

– d’un Allemand (Georg Friedrich Händel -ou Haendel-) naturalisé britannique, et …..

d’un trou du cul Français, celui de sa Majesté Louis XIV.

Un hymne européen, en fait !

Si Louis XIV ne s’était pas mis, par mégarde, une plume dans le « derrière », quel serait aujourd’hui l’hymne britannique ?… Pourrez-vous désormais écouter “God save the Queen” sans penser à cette petite plume ?…

Or to put it more plainly, the British National Anthem, that doleful, obsequious, forelock-tugging dirge, originated from an infection in Louis XIV’s bum. A royal pain in the arse – how very appropriate!

With thanks to the French person who supplied this information. And to the Journal du Lycée René Cassin where you can read the story.

Is Carbon Dioxide worse than Satan?

atmosphere

When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.”

(Attributed to Robert Pirsig)

These 3 questions need to be answered in this order of priority:

  1. Is climate changing globally?  (There has been no measurable warming for 19 years, and zero increase in the frequency, scale or intensity of extreme weather events)

  2. If climate is changing globally, is anthropogenic CO2 the cause?  (Emissions caused by human activity have been rising, though they are still only a tiny proportion of the total of atmospheric CO2)

  3. If climate is changing globally, does the change present a danger to human life?  (So far, even after many years of  dire predictions from the UN’s IPCC, there is no evidence whatever that human life is threatened either by climate change or increasing CO2 levels.)

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming – It is just another religion – isn’t it?


Local Website Developer reports booming business

Local website designer Patrick Hay says he is delighted with a recent rush of orders for new websites.  With 12 years of website development behind him , Patrick believes he may be one of the most experienced website creators in the region, and claims that all his clients are referred to him by word of mouth.

Le-Tearoom website designed by Patrick Hay

“I commissioned a website for my own marketing business back in the 1990s,” he said, “It cost a lot and I was never really satisfied with it, so when I needed a site for my gite holiday business in 2003, I decided to use my own experience in marketing and advertising together with my ability to use computers for design work.  The result was that I got a site that really did the job I wanted it to do, rather than a flashy design stuffed with distracting gimmicks.  Now I try always to provide my clients with the same focus on their objectives, and an emphasis on pared down functionality rather than showing off with trick graphics.”

You can judge yourselves by checking out his two latest sites Peter Wyart Art, and Le Tearoom, both of which are businesses based in the Pas De Calais region.

What’s next?  Patrick says he is currently working on a site for a well-known London-based film producer.

If you need a website for yourself or your business contact Patrick on 03 21 05 19 77

Lidl Foire Aux Vins 2014

Not to be sniffed at, and well worth a visit!

by Ian Blackshaw

It is that time of the year again in France for the wine fairs – foires aux vins!
Apart from the traditional French Supermarkets of Auchan and Carrefour, this year an announcement by LIDL that they are holding their wine fair from 3 – 6 September, 2014 caught my eye.

Now LIDL is a discount supermarket (‘une supermarche des bonnes affaires’) which is often looked down on and one that my wife and I do not know very well, compared with the other German discount store of ALDI, which we do frequent, from time to time, finding their wide selection of French cheeses very good value for money indeed, including the local ‘sea-salty’ flavoursome cheese of ‘maroilles’.

In their 2014 wine fair, LIDL are offering a wide selection of French wines from the main wine producing regions of France, including Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Alsace, Loire, Cotes de Rhone and the Pays Doc. But, perhaps surprisingly, no Champagne – at least as far as I can see! However, I noticed that the Catalogue includes an interesting ‘Cremant de Bordeaux Brut Rose’, which won a gold medal in the 2014 ‘Concours des Cremants’, and a snip at €4.99 a bottle, and one, therefore, that I shall have to try!
As readers of my wine articles will know, I am particularly fond of the Bordelais reds, and one which caught my eye in the LIDL Catalogue is a 2009 a Graves Chateau Gravaillas, which won a gold medal at the Macon Wine Competition of 2011, selling at €7.39 a bottle.

Of the whites, a 2013 Saint-Veran, from the Cote d’ Or, Burgundy, priced at €7.49 a bottle, is particularly noteworthy, just as good as its more expensive neighbour ‘Pouilly Fuisse’! Likewise, the LIDL 2014 Catalogue features for the first time a 2011 Loupiac pudding wine from the Chateau du Cros.

There is certainly something for everyone in the 2014 LIDL French wines selection and also that will suit all pockets, from the cheap and cheerful (in other words ‘gluggable’), ranging in price from €2.50 to €4 a bottle to the more expensive sophisticated wines, like a 2011 Saint-Estephe Chateau Saint-Gorbian, Cuvee Tradition, which won a bronze medal in the 2013 Bordeaux Wine Competition, on offer at €14.99 a bottle – described as a ‘Coup de Coeur’! In other words, an irresistible bargain! Even more up market is another ‘Coup de Coeur’: a 2009 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe at €25.99 a bottle from Chateau La Tour Du Pin Figeac.

You can access on line the LIDL 2014 Wine Catalogue which is well illustrated and informative. Readers of this article, with a keen eye for detail, will notice that this is an interactive website and you can also order and buy on line, if you wish!

Better still, readers of ‘Frogsiders’ might like to make a personal visit to their local LIDL supermarket, rather than a virtual one, and see what their 2014 wine fair has to offer them and share their buys and experiences with us!

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