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French Connections

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A is for the Association des commerçants, the village shopkeepers' association. Every New Year's Eve they lay on a dinner/dance for anyone prepared to fork out about €30 ($30, £20). It's possibly the sma

A RECENT French TV news item centred on the steps government ministers are taking to master, or at least improve their English. The movement seems to be led by Nicolas Sarkozy, erstwhile minister of finance and now president of the majority centre

HATS OFF - chapeau! as they say here - to Cynthia St Clair, doyenne of Campbell's Diary buffs and veteran competition winner, who correctly identified the missing link between the Midi city of Albi and the 19th Century cabaret artiste Ari

CAST: Mireille. Pretty name. Middle aged, talkative, not without imagination. Favours split skirts, but unlikely to trouble MENSA assessors. Given to righteous indignation. Known as the One o'clock News.

Aristide. Sage and

IMPOSSIBLE TO separate last month's competition winners, Eileen Hobson of England and Janice Linhares of New York, both of whom got the answers absolutely right simultaneously and very commendably managed to reduce the following spiel to about 4 l

LA CIGALE ayant chanté
Tout l'Esté
Se trouva fort dépourveuë
Quand la Bize fut venuë

- so wrote La Fontaine in the first of his Fables. These Fables appeared in 1668, so the French is a bit

A REMARKABLE document has come my way, and just in time for the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

It's all too easy to forget that the French themselves made a notable contribution to the success of Operation Overlord and the Normandy landings. I