How to Survive in a French Village by Tony Cole

PART TWO The procession of floats through Bains les Bains each year was a sort of social high point in the wider area around Fontenoy.  As I said above, all the local villages built some sort of a float for this very important and much loved event in the yearly calendar.   I took part in […]

How to Survive in a French Village by Tony Cole

  PART ONE When we got to Fontenoy le Chateau (a small village in the low Vosges) in 1997, we knew absolutely no one, and to be honest we had moments of wondering what on earth we were doing, coming to a small community in a country we really only knew from holidays (and in […]

School in Paradise by Richard Carroll

The Toyota Hilux bumped its way along the dirt track that leads to Lakruja Village on the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. We were a group of twelve from Brisbane, en route to visit the French school in the remote village. We had set out from where we were staying in the Village de […]

My Encounter With Tiny Tim…  Very Odd… by Tony Cole

Many years ago, about 1966 or thereabouts, I was asked by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band to do the lighting for their part in a concert that they were going to take part in at the Royal Albert Hall. This was to be a large scale concert, with a load of bands and performers […]

Hippiely Ever After by Ian Thomas

Having been an enthusiastic player of tin whistles in my youth, I decided in 1971 to take up the flute. Learning the fingering was easy enough but the awful noises I made while trying for tone were torture for me and, as I feared, for my neighbours. After much effort I learned to play along […]

Rolling Down A Mountainside In A Car Full Of Geese by Tony Cole

One fine summer while I was still living in England, I went down to the South of France to visit an old friend who lived on a farm there, and had an experience I would happily have missed, namely rolling down a French hillside in a car full of geese. We were heading to see […]

Captain! O my Captain! by Ian Thomas

At about the time I turned sixteen my family and I were enjoying a holiday at the seaside. My father had rented a motor boat so that we could enjoy fishing on the river that flowed into the sea just a mile or so away from our dock. He had left on a business trip, […]

Ordinary Humans by Tony Cole

Many years ago I joined the Little Angel Puppet Theatre in London and started out on what would be one of my main careers, that of a theatre technician. My chief area of work there was as a lighting guy and scenery maker, and John Wright, the wonderful South African Puppeteer who ran the theatre […]

Saint or Sinner? by Ian Thomas

This story begins in far away India in the late forties. It concerns an English couple, the Greens, who have lived and worked there for years; he as an engineer in the tramways, she as a reporter for an English language newspaper. Their only child, Chad, has long since been shipped off to an English […]

Seeing Red by Mary Margeau

Diverting off the main highway and onto a detour, we patiently move along the old Murphy Road. Only two narrow lanes of trucks and cars are coming and going. Everyone is drawn together in their determination to survive another four o’clock traffic build-up. I see a few familiar faces but no one smiles. Everyone looks […]