Covid complications causing concerns

Martin and Nadine haven’t been to France since January, and Covid complications certainly are an issue and a constant worry. It seems sorting out a ferry crossing isn’t the only hurdle. Is it better to go or to cancel?

Requirements for driving in France – Breath Test Kits

On 1st July 2012, a law was introduced in France: all drivers had to carry a breath test kit in their car. Find out why and if or how that law was implemented. Read more about the driving requirements in France.

Kouign-amann vs Lardy cake

Kouign-amann is a beautiful, buttery, traditional Breton cake. During the current lockdown, unable to travel to Brittany, we have found an alternative: the British lardy cake. Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

Simon Pocock

Simon Pocock

I have two practices on a Monday evening: the first is with Lannion’s “L’Harmonie”, then the jazz fanfare from 8.30-10pm.

“L’Harmonie” has a baby practice from 4-5pm for the beginners, which I often attend as it helps them if someone plays the music accurately.

I took along Remy’s Selmer sax: it made me feel like a schoolboy who had just got a date with the school “belle”, it plays so well. The main practice starts around 5.30pm in theory, but it’s usually another 15 minutes before it really gets going.

There are around 20 players: about 6 decent musicians, a couple who are average, and around half who are beginners (mostly flutes and clarinets).

My mate in the sax section is good, and she has the exact same Selmer model, so it sounds the same, and it was just magic playing together to me (it’s like 2 ice skaters blindfolded but in sync) and not even being able to distinguish my own sound.

Most of the band is tone deaf, so not many noticed it was a different sax.

The  practice ends around 7.30pm, and then it’s a few aperitifs with nibbles: we have a whisky and Porto club in the group. Our proposed new chef drinks coke, which is a bit worrying, and then it’s down the road to a hall in the middle of Lannion for a couple of hours of jazz.

The guys that play in this group are musically literate, so they saw straight away that it was a different make. The chef, Jean Mathias, remarked after 5 seconds of listening: “Simon, buy it, it’s much better than your old Conn”, and my friend Giles (who plays alto with me) gave me a compliment on its sound even though he has the same model (it must be the Berg Larsen mouthpiece).

I did  get a few insults as well, such as “At last you got a proper sax, not some American crap”  (as Selmer is a French company), and the drummer Joel who always gives me a hard time muttered something about Poles playing the sax (he is convinced I’m Polish, while he originated from Malta, and his father had a British passport at one time ).

So it was a good evening out, but I don’t really think Remy will sell it, so my best hope is a couple of months loan during the concert season, and in the meantime I should be scanning the adverts looking for a similar model.

As love affairs go, it will be of a short duration ………… tant pis!

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