Twinning: …… Why would I want to do that ?

A few notes from a first time ‘twinner’.

BRAUNTON, Twinned with Plouescat, say our road signs.

In a crazy moment we decided to investigate this further and we were put in touch with John & Jan Rendle. A couple of weeks later we found ourselves at one of the many (approx. monthly) social/fund raising events along with about 20 others, some who had been twinning for years and others like us relatively new to the game.

It was all very friendly and there were a complete mix of people. Some could speak fluent French, some would dredge up long forgotten school French, and some spoke no French at all … it really didn’t matter. Thankfully all events in Braunton are run in English, so there was no pressure!

During May 2018 the biennial trip to Plouescat was scheduled . We visit them in even years and they make the return trip in odd years. We signed up, and paid our £180/head. (not bad since it included all board and lodging for our 4 days in France, coach transport to and from France, travel for the 4 days in France, and a cabin on the boat on the way over.)

A month or so later we were on our way. 28 of us on a very comfortable Filers coach. Some were about to renew very longstanding friendships, others maybe seeing their hosts for the second or third time. We were hoping that our hosts would be easy going and hopefully able to speak a little English … at least as much as our rather basic French.

We needn’t have worried. We were welcomed into Georges & Maryse’ home with great kindness and very little fuss. The next four days passed in a flash. There was always something interesting going on, or about to happen. The food and drink provided both at the official events, and with Georges and Maryse, were sensational.

In common with everyone else we ate and drank for Britain, and the entente cordiale. Amazing but true, your French really does improve after an aperitif and a couple of glasses of vin rouge (or blanc, or rose)!

Detail of our four day programme is shown elsewhere on the Braunton twinning website (see also Google). Great care had been taken to mix the events up so that there was something for everyone. They were all optional, and no one minded if you decided you would take some ‘free time’ as part of the experience.

Our hosts were just like us, people from all walks of life …. determined to have a lot of fun and to welcome old and new friends alike. As the trip wore on conversations became increasingly animated, and new friendships were formed. When we left on the Sunday there was a genuine sadness, like that experienced when leaving your family for a long period.

However, the long period is only 51 weeks.....

In May 2019 we entertain our friends from Plouescat here in Braunton. If you fancy joining us, get in touch via the ‘How to contact us!’ tab on the website !