Newsletter April 2023

Bonjour à tous et à toutes !

End of term movie:  
Driving Madeleine (Une belle course) : Thursday 13th April at 6.30pm
A movie theatre at the Rialto Cinema in Tauranga has been booked for a showing of this 2022 French movie with English subtitles about Madeleine, 92 years old, calls a taxi to take her to the retirement home where she will be living henceforth. Charles, a disillusioned driver with a tender heart, agrees to drive by the places that affected Madeleine’s life. Through the streets of Paris, her extraordinary past is revealed.
Tickets $12. Email if you want to come. Partners and friends welcome.

French Classes start up again from 26th April 2023

If you have not already done so, please let me know if you will be continuing/returning/starting so groups can be organized. Proposed class times and levels will be on the website from 14th April (I need a break first!)
Phone or email if you have any particular queries.
However, don’t forget, language learning is a great Alzheimer retardant and, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Last chance also before 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, plus 2024 is Olympics year in France as well.
Plus, double plus, as Charlemagne said…

“Avoir une autre langue, c’est posséder une deuxième âme.” 
(To have another language is to possess a second soul.)   Charlemagne

À l’écran – More French Movies

French Film Festival 2023 :
Although the French Film Festival Aotearoa 2023 is still “under construction”, word from the bird is that it will be screening at the Rialto Tauranga from the 1st – 14th  June.  Mark the dates in your diaries. The official programme will be launched on on 17th April.  Keep an eye out. The just finishing Australian French Film Festival has some real treasures, many of which will be heading this way.

DVD Library – French Movies
My small library of French DVDs, subtitled in English includes Populaire, a romantic comedy and lighthearted piece of film fluff set in 1958 and an era of speed typing competitions. A perfect watch for Secretaries Day on April 20.  I’ll email the full list to anyone interested in borrowing a DVD. There are lots of different categories, well and not so well-known actors, classic films, and relatively recent releases, but far too many to name here. No charge                          

Au petit écran – on the Small Screen

TV5 Monde Plus:
Watch movies, series, documentaries, short films etc – opt into subtitles if you wish.

BUT they also have a free Langue Française section with videos, articles, games and learning exercises
Netflix :  Always lots to choose from.
Library Movie Streaming:
All you need is a Tauranga City library card and the internet and you will be able to access over a thousand films and documentaries via Beamafilm, or classical music, concerts, ballets ,documentaries, artist portraits and education programmes via Medici TV.  All access is free.
For more info:
PS: The library also has real books and, in particular, a French novel section.

Advance Notice Quiz
Just a reminder that our annual French Quiz Night is scheduled for Tuesday 11th July – yes, a pre-celebration.
Mark it in your diaries.
When: Tuesday 11th July 2023 (TBC)
Where: Wesley Church Hall, 100 13th Ave, Tauranga

Celebrate à la française – Les jours feriés

May is definitely holiday month chez les Français with 4 Public Holidays – 3 of which fall on a Monday !
Vive le long weekend !
Le 1er mai: The first day of May in France is La Fête du Travail (Labour Day). It is a public holiday, a day off from work for everyone, with one major exception: florists.  May 1 is also La Fête du Muguet, and it’s traditional to offer one’s loved ones a sprig of lily of the valley (un brin de muguet), symbol of spring and of good luck, especially if the sprig has 13 bellflowers –  « Les noces de muguet » symbolise 13 years of marriage in French folklore.
Le 8 mai: Victory Day 1945 (V-E Day) celebrates the end of World War 2 in Europe.
Le 18 mai:  L’Ascension. Ascension Day is the 40th day after Easter and is the Christian holiday that commemorates Christ’s ascension into heaven. Ascension Day is on a Thursday which means that those who can and want to will probably « faire le pont » i.e. take Friday off and make it an extra-long weekend.
Le 29 mai:  Le Lundi de Pentecôte.  This is a ‘movable feast’ in the Christian calendar, which takes place 50 days after Easter and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit amongst  Jesus’s Apostles. Pentecôte was a public holiday until 2005, when the French government, led by President Chirac, decided to cancel it!  After the heat wave of 2003, which caused the deaths of an estimated 13,000 elderly people in France, the government wanted to use this day to raise funds to better support the elderly and disabled. They called it ‘Solidarity Day’ (Journée de Solidarité), and asked workers to work this day for no extra pay.  But this was France! After several years of demonstrations, with the majority of the French work force resolutely sticking to their guns and remaining at home, Lundi de Pentecôte was reinstated as a public holiday in 2008. However, the obligation of a Journée de Solidarité remains in force,  but there is a choice regarding the date.

Celebrate à la française – Les journées internationales

A small selection of « world » days coming up over the next couple of months:

  • Le 13 avril : Journée mondiale du scrabble : World Scrabble Day
    FYI: Waka, tiki, haka and kiwi (of course) are all acceptable words if you happen to be playing scrabble in French. But which word would gain you the least number of points ?
  • Le 16 avril : Journées internationales de la numismatique : International Coin Week
    The rugby referees in France will be flipping a coin and asking the captains to choose “pile ou face” at the beginning of a match.
    Which of the coins below is ‘heads’ and which one is ‘tails’ ?
    And just some trivia – Pile ou Face is a brand of eco-responsible socks made in France that claim to give you style down to the last toe !
  • Le 6 mai : Journée internationale sans régime :
    What kind of régime? you may well ask. Un régime pour maigrir ? Un régime d’entraînement ?  Un régime de bananes ?  Un régime à la Poutine ?
    May 6th is World No Diet Day dedicated to promoting body positivity, health at every size, and rejecting the harmful diet culture.
    Check out their logo below. Might it be a subtle hijacking of the ‘cordon bleu’ ?
  • Le 7 mai : Journée mondiale de rire : World Laughter Day
    Always the first Sunday in May. Trois blagues à papa to celebrate.
    I was surprised when I heard about the flooding in Paris. Normally, the water is l’eau.
    When I was in Paris, I had a terrible accident. Eiffel off a tower.
    Anyone can use my French Revolution joke. It’s royalty-free.
  • Le 24 mai : Journée mondiale du bricolage:  World DIY Day
    Les bricoleurs et les bricoleuses de dimanche don’t have to wait until Sunday. Those little jobs around the house that many complain about, some do to save money and some do for pure pleasure are there all week. In France 70% of women and 82% of men are DIYers with the internet their first source of “how to” information. Now that was a question they missed off our census forms.
  • Le 4 juin: Journée internationale des sentiers: World Trails Day
    France has an extensive network of 58.000 km of long distance walking trails and 120.000 km of local ones throughout the country. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely walk, the GR routes in France, indicated by red and white strips, offer something for everyone. Walking at human speed  is a great way to discover the people, the culture, and nature. Interested ?
  • Le 11 juin : Journée mondiale du tricot: World Knitting Day
    The 2023 speed knitting champion of France managed  247 stitches in 3 minutes !
    Qui dit mieux ? No mention can be found of the speed attained by les tricoteuses seated beside the guillotine in the 1790s.
  • Le 20 juin : Journée mondiale du Tennis: World Tennis Day
    The aficionados de Roland-Garros will be in sleep recovery mode this year after the French Open final on June 11th. The venue is named after the famous French aviator Roland Garros who died in combat in the final stages of WW1. Roland was not a professional tennis player. However, his great friend Emile Lesieur was President of Paris rugby club “Stade Français”.  Charged with building a tennis stadium in Paris, Lesieur demanded the new stadium be named “in honour of this great hero of aviation”.  The airport in Roland Garros’s birthplace of La Reunion has also been named after him.
    Please note the hyphen in Roland-Garros.  French spelling rules dictate that in the name of a place or event named after a person, the elements of the name are joined with a hyphen.
  • Tous les jours : Every day is Wordle Day – not yet officially a World Day but getting close.
    You can try it in French on

The Tauranga Tree in Paris
That European holiday is fast approaching for many of you. So just a reminder that, if you are passing through/staying in Paris on your travels, do stop and say bonjour to our tree in the Tuileries Gardens. Then send us your pic of ‘the tree and me’. We want to see how it’s growing ! Here’s how to find it :

First, have a look at « Je découvre les arbres parrainés » for the map of the garden.

Starting at the end of the garden with the hexagon (on the left on the map), head up the Grande Allée.  The Tauranga Tree is the fourth tree on the right after the Allée de Cataglione.

Bon voyage ! Enjoy your travels ! Travel safe.

New Caledonia – Pacific Heart

If you haven’t made other plans, Aircalin are offering  return flights to New Caledonia from $589 per person.  As they say, “You don’t need to go all the way to Europe to experience France. Immerse yourself in local Melanesian and French cultures with incredible cuisine. New Caledonia has something for everyone on land and sea. Visit it’s many beautiful islands and islets, or explore its unique bushlands and forests. Discover this truly unique destination in just under 3 hours from Auckland, on direct flights with Aircalin”.
Sale ends 21 April 2023:

Les Bonnes Adresses autour de chez nous !

Atelier Peinture avec Audrey: Painting Workshop

Audrey Dubois continues her once a month Friday evening from 6pm workshops over the next few months: 21st April- watercolours, 19th May-pastels, 16th June – watercolours “la vie en rose”, and 17th July -acrylics. This is your chance to immerse yourself in art, and create a beautiful tableau with a French artist tutor. All materials are supplied. No prior experience required.
Contact Audrey or ph 022 502 1671
French Soul Café – Cameron Road

Wanting to practice ordering your café et croissant or pain au chocolat in French ?  Pop into the French Soul Café and parler francais avec French couple, David & Paris-trained baker and pastry chef Emna. Then savour their real French and truly delicious viennoiseries and pâtisseries.
Follow them on Insta and FB @frenchsoulcafe
Open from 7am to 3.00pm Monday – Friday
Address: 773 Cameron Road, Tauranga (on the city side of the hospital between 16th & 17th Ave)
Off road parking at the side and rear of building.

The Trading Post – le bistrot français de Paengaroa

The Trading Post has moved to winter hours – with their menu deliciously seasonal, as always. They are open Monday to Saturday from 9am-2.30pm with dinner on Friday evenings from 5.30pm. Facebook will keep you up to date.  Bon appétit !  Phone 07 262 0142  or

Skydive Tauranga

Who’s up (or down (or upside down)) for a different perspective of the world ?
Skydive Tauranga offers unique views with a breath-taking mix of golden sand beaches, waterways, cities, and mountains. Tandem jump with Guillaume and you can do it all in French (or English).
New vocab (and sensations) guaranteed.
Give Guillaume a call on 07 574 8533 or book online at!

Chez Moi Chocolaterie
If you suffer from nochocophobia (aka the fear of running out of chocolate), do not worry.  Easter may have emptied the shelves, but Ines, the Swiss chocolatier, is super busy restocking with her delicious, handcrafted parcels of pure indulgence.  Mother’s Day is fast approaching so she is planning some of her flowerpots and chocolate heart-shaped boxes, and maybe some cards for that special day.

Pop into Chez Moi – The Swiss Chocolate Shop. Ines and her chocolate will be there.
Address: Unit 1, 29 Wilson Road, Waihi Beach       Phone: 027 372 4093

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 4pm (Sunday to 3pm) but do check.

Email:      Facebook:

Dites-le avec le chocolat.  Say it with chocolate.

Benny & Brew – le café-bistrot français d’Otumoetai
Great coffee, awesome brunch and tasty French food with good vibes…
Standard classics and a rotation of patisserie in la vitrine. Otumoetai’s rendez-vous spot.
During the autumn/winter period, the café is open from 8am to 2.30pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Friday night theme nights continue with tapas, pizzas, Japanese food, etc. This Friday 14th is Burger Night
Where: 100 Grange Road, Otumoetai
Phone:  027 350 6315
Keep up to date: Bon appétit !

Truffle Experiences
Kitchen Takeover have announced the dates  for their Truffle Experiences. From Friday 2nd June through to Sunday 30th July those hunting for the ultimate foodie experience will be able to have a 2 hour truffle hunt with tastings at Te Puke Truffles plus the option of a two-course Italian lunch featuring truffles at Sugo Restaurant.
For details and bookings :

Pétanque au Mount
Tauranga BOP Petanque Club Tawa St, Mt Maunganui

Social & competitive play. Boules available

Club Days: Tue 1.00pm, Thu 11.00am, Sat 1.00pm  All welcomed.

Upcoming events

National Club Championship Apr 22nd/23rd – come & watch top NZ players in action.

Bastille Day Fun Tournament – Sat Jul 15th  Details to come.
Wanting to play ? Phone Ray 027 756 3565 for further information or
Check on Facebook:

Nathalie at NewHair in Te Puke
Nathalie graduated from a famous Parisian make-up artist school, has worked in Paris in the world of movies, theatre & fashion plus individual styling and is now offering her skills and talent in Te Puke ! If you or your friends or your children or grandchildren are wanting gorgeous cornrows, braids, extensions, and colour, or wigs, then contact the charmante Nathalie.
Phone: 0210 226 0414 or email

The Good Life: France

Subscribe to this free mag and you’ll regularly receive email links with info about places, food, people, in fact “everything you want to know about France and more…”. Just as they say in their blurb.

Changement Horaire

France changed to l’heure d’été on 26th March so now they are10 hours behind New Zealand.

And lastly
If you are looking to widen your range of learning activities,
check out the site and have a great term 2.

À bientôt


Phone : 07 578 9416

Email :



PS:  If you no longer wish to receive info about French happenings in the area, or you receive a double up, please advise by return email.

Answers :
1. Tiki would give you 13 points, haka 16 and waka and kiwi both 22.

  1. It’s pile on the left. The pile side (tails) indicates the value of the coin.