Dear SHTA Friends,
Spring has sprung: longer, sunny days, snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses (croci?) are on display, birds are singing, lambs are frolicking and even bees are making an appearance. All of this coincides with many positive signs on the Covid front: infections, hospital admissions and deaths all down along with a daily growing percentage of the population being vaccinated in seriously impressive numbers.
I’m sure many of our members have now had their injections in one of the nearby locations providing this service, whether that be Deal, Minster, Folkestone or Broadstairs. Mrs Jones and I went to the latter recently to receive our jabs at the Saga Centre and were lucky enough not to suffer any side-effects. We both felt some sense of relief and security afterwards and, like many of you I would think, thought it was a tangible step towards returning to what one might term ‘normality’. If you’re younger than the old geezer brigade amongst us, I hope that you’re able to register for your jab as soon as possible.
Following the recent government announcement that cinemas will be allowed to open to the public from 17th May, I’m very pleased to tell you that SHTA will be showing its next film,
‘Les Petits Mouchoirs’ at The Empire Cinema on Wednesday 19th May. Linton Culver, the cinema manager, has assured us that, although the auditorium upstairs may not yet be available for commercial films to be shown, the area we use downstairs can be used, as we did for our last film in October, ‘Le Grand Bain’. As you will remember if you came to that, certain conditions have to be met, therefore, the following points will apply:
- Places will be limited to a maximum of 30 people.
- All places will need to be reserved in advance but you can pay on the door.
- There will not be a buffet but you may bring your own nibbles taking any rubbish home.
- The bar will be available with our bar staff serving behind a perspex screen.
- Face coverings will be required on arrival and departure but not during the film.
- The price is £7.50 as usual, the doors will open at 7.00 pm, with the film starting at 7.30 pm.
‘Les Petits Mouchoirs’ (English title ‘Little White Lies’) is a comedy-drama from 2010, directed by Guillaume Canet and stars Marion Cotillard, François Cluzet, Gilles Lellouche, Benoît Magimel, Jean Dujardin and a host of other well-established French actors. Here is the storyline from IMDb: “Every year, Max, a successful restaurant owner, and Véro, his eco-friendly wife, invite a merry group of friends to their beautiful beach house to celebrate Antoine’s birthday and kick-start the vacation. But, this year, before they all leave Paris, their buddy Ludo is hurt in a serious accident, which sets off a dramatic chain of reactions and emotional responses. The eagerly anticipated vacation leads each of the protagonists to raise the little veils that for years they have draped over what bothers and upsets them. Pretences become increasingly hard to keep up. Until the moment when the truth finally catches up with them all …”
The film carries a 15 certificate and lasts 154 minutes. There are likely to be all 8 Committee members present which leaves 22 remaining places. If you’d like to see the film, please contact Jan Cooper on email@example.com. Jan will operate a first-come-first-served policy, but will also have a reserve list in the event of any people withdrawing before the night of the film. As for the October film, payment on the night at the cinema will be possible (try to do this please via an envelope with your name on), but you can pay online in advance (Sort no: 30-90-09; Account no: 42027168).
Although in past years we have concluded our film season in May, we are keen to make up for lost time by seeing another this year in June. Therefore, we are intending to screen ‘Les Choristes’ on Wednesday 23rd June, when it may well be possible that cinemas be allowed to admit more than the current maximum of 30. The film (English title ‘The Chorus’) was released in 2005 and is a PG-13 rated drama, lasting 97 minutes. It is written and directed by Christophe Barratier and stars Gérard Jugnot and Jean-Baptiste Maunier. The film received nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. Further information about the film will be in next month’s newsletter and is, of course, available online.
As far as further SHTA social events are concerned at this stage, we now have, as you know, guidelines regarding the projected easing of restrictions. Therefore, we propose to hold an informal get-together and lunch with tables of 6 in the garden at the King’s Arms on Thursday 15th April from 12.00 pm onwards.
Similar to the occasion we held last September, we would like to invite you to the Quay Green on Tuesday 25th May from 12.30 pm onwards. Why not bring your lunch and a chair to spend an hour or three chatting with some familiar faces? In line with the regulations, there will be a maximum of 30 people permitted for this, so please let me know in advance if you’d like to attend.
Hopefully all restrictions will be lifted from 21st June; providing this is the case, we propose to hold in July both the long-awaited Bangers & Boules at the Anchor pub in Wingham and also the Annual General Meeting at the Guildhall.
Looking back briefly now to last month, the February Picture Quiz, entitled ‘Bookshop Shelf’, drew some very good responses from members. If you’ve been puzzling over the answers, here they are:
- Julia Donaldson 10. Douglas Stewart
- Lee Child 11. J K Rowling
- Ian Rankin 12. Delia Owens
- Thomas Hardy 13. Gail Honeyman
- Victoria Hislop 14. Dan Brown
- Jeffrey Archer 15. Margaret Atwood
- Philip Pullman 16. Bill Bryson
- Graham Norton 17. Jilly Cooper
- Barbara Cartland 18. Jacqueline Wilson
A worthy mention goes to Helen and Adrian Tottenham with an excellent score of 16 out of 18. However, there were joint winners in Steve Thomson and Wendy and Rodney Wilkening, both with a maximum 18. Steve, being the winner of the January quiz, has nobly agreed to stand aside, allowing Wendy and Rodney to accept the bottle of fizz for February. Thanks, Steve, and well done, the Wilkenings!
The March Quiz is all about what you might find at The Newsagent’s, i.e. journals, magazines and newspapers. As before, let me know your set of answers and next month we’ll see if your grey cells are in good working order and you could be the recipient of a bottle of fizz!
Finally for this month, how do you fancy a crème brûlée without custard or cream? Maybe not your thing, or you insist on those being in yours? Well, just for a change, you could try a version made from only 3 ingredients: vanilla ice cream, egg yolk and sugar. To find out how this is done, go to:
I look forward to hearing your views on that when we meet, hopefully, in April at The King’s Arms or in May at the cinema. In the meantime and until the next newsletter, look after yourselves and enjoy what Spring’s got in store for us over the next few weeks.
Very best wishes, Stuart and the Committee.