The first of those events got underway on Wednesday 12 October at the Cercle's usual meeting place, The Dark Horse Coffee House in the heart of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter. Here's a link reporting the September meeting on the Cercle's website. The cobbled streets around the Dark Horse form a busy area that's popular with visitors to the city. That night was no exception and it was fun to meet up with a large group of French-speaking Canadians out-on-the-town.
Back to the programme...
Whether in English, French or both languages the talks are clearly labelled. In keeping with previous seasons two of the meetings will be conducted in French. Mind you this shouldn't put off those who are not particularly fluent as pains are taken to include everyone regardless of their linguistic proficiency. The first of these Francophone meetings is a Cercle de lecture which focusses on a discussion of Françoise DORNER's La douceur assassine - a lovely book that's not too long and while dealing with themes of loss and jealousy is written in straightforward, accessible French. Incidentally there is a film adaptation of the novel entitled Mr Morgan's Last Love starring Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy which would be worth a watch prior to the discussion.
The second Francophone event is a café-causerie - another discussion forum for which the theme is Les objets qui nous tiennent à cœur. Here the idea is for participants to bring an item that's dear to them - that could be a photo, a piece of jewellery, a book, a song or even just a memory. They then share why that item is something they love.
Check out the programme here. There is plenty to engage those with an interest in French society with talks on Émile DURKHEIM, the father of sociology, a 50 year retrospective on the events of May 1968 and Feminism in France: Before and after de Beauvoir.
There are talks on Art, Literature and a couple of dégustations with tastings of Pastis and Beaujolais nouveau. Talking of tastings, the Cercle is planning on returning to the nearby Ulster University Academy training restaurant for its annual French-themed dinner.
It's quite a while away but the final event in June 2019 is really two-in-one as it will be a walking and a virtual tour of Belfast in French - that and of course all the other events are something to look forward to through the approaching dark winter evenings.
Membership of the Cercle is now open at £20 for individuals, £35 for joint membership and £10 for students in full-time education. There's a registration form online.