Saturday, 7 September 2013

Evening Classes

Forum des Associations - Cluny Abbey
When we first arrived here, we were baffled as to how to find information about evening classes or clubs. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to how things operate. In fact, evening classes as such just don’t exist. You can’t go to the local library and get a list of what’s being taught and when and when you ask the neighbours about classes, you are met with blank looks. Things are different in France and it has taken us some years to sort out how to find the information we have been looking for.

Virtually all (what I would call in English, English) “evening classes” are run by small associations. So for instance, if you want to learn a language you find a language association and see what languages they offer, if they don’t offer the one you want to learn, you look for another language association based in a different town. If you want to learn Judo, you look for a judo association, karate – a karate association, tai-chi – a tai-chi association, lacework – a lacework association, flower arranging, cookery, art classes etc etc etc the list goes on.

You find flyers for these associations around the place, mostly by accident, at this time of year, but the biggest way of finding classes, is by word of mouth, which is what makes finding what you are actually looking for, very difficult indeed.

La Spirale d'or - Tai-chi club
The last couple of years we have noticed that in Cluny they have a Forum des Associations on one Saturday morning a year. All the associations set up stall in the cloister of the abbey and you can browse around to see what Cluny has to offer, from archery to theatre groups, from patchwork to ji-jutsu, from a brass band to a moneyless exchange system. All manner of things in fact.

I’ve signed up for tai-chi again this year and I am giving the moneyless exchange system a go - who knows what that will entail. It looks like I’ll be working for griottes (morello cherries) when I get started, hopefully they’re not real ones - I’m not too partial to fruit. I’ll keep you posted on my earnings when I find out how it all works.

Another advantage to the Forum des Associations is that you can sneak into the abbey for free, if you know the way. Now would we do that?

For information on our holiday accommodation still paid for in Euros click here.

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