Our Chairperson, Tony Brady, gives a brief account of Fermanagh Writers members’ visit to Provence:
Recently five Fermanagh Writers spent a week at the home of Anne Bradley, a sister of Theresa Kane: Tempo primary schoolteacher. Their host is settled in the village of Lacoste situated in the district of Luberon within the Department Laguedoc-Rousillon. Anne is an art dealer and owns a beautiful villa and, along with her extended family living nearby, provides hospitality and meeting space to writers, painters, photographers, artists and poets. She arranged a varied itinerary of cultural opportunities for her guests. However, as word got round the locality that writers from Northern Ireland were visiting, Anne was besieged with requests to meet with her visitors and with skilful and sensitive juggling of many demands was able to accommodate everyone.
There was ample time for relaxing round the villa’s swimming pool and Theresa, Ken Ramsey, Anthony Viney, Peter Byrne and Tony Brady enjoyed the company of infants, youngsters and drop by friends of Anne. She had worked out a meal deal with Café de France in Lacoste: each day a table was reserved where long relaxing lunches were enjoyed on a sheltered terrace overlooking a spectacular valley. Suppers were either a la maison or by arrangement in a variety of restaurants providing the best available French cuisine and beverages.
Having a car on hire, the Fermanagh Writers made excursions to surrounding towns and villages. A particular highlight was an open air evening where the local primary school children recited Aesop fables translated by the poet Jean de La Fontaine and danced, sang together and performed individually. The principal guest was the mayor of Lacoste – a personal friend of Anne. This evening showed how connected Anne is with ordinary members of the wider community and how popular she is on all levels of Lacoste society.
Due to the great success of the week, it is mooted that membership of Fermanagh Writers is to be extended to Lacoste residents with a goal to ensuring a continuing development of the cultural links that Anne Bradley has established.