Meet the English Library

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The English Library, opposite Le Palace and Cafe du Fleuve by the Pont Vieux in Quillan, lends a range of books and DVDs in French and English (they are especially in need of books in French)

There are also French-speaking sessions on Wednesday afternoons from 14.00 – 15.00. These are a lovely informal way to meet people and improve your French. The sessions cater for all levels of ability – so there is no need to feel uncomfortable – and when I attended, some of us went for a coffee and a chat afterwards

The location is easy to find and, thanks to a group of volunteers, is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 – 13.00. Pat and Jenny (above) who both give their time each week stopped to chat

Pat was born in the UK to a Belgian mother, so was brought up speaking French and English. He spent much of his life working in Australia (you’ll soon notice the accent) as well as passing six years in Africa and the Middle East. He liked Quillan when he first came here thirty years ago, and decided to come back. He says he spent a winter here before settling in 2014. The Haute Vallee just ‘feels right somehow’, he says

Jenny moved to Quillan from Herefordshire a year ago. Having toured France twice, she realised that she loved this area so she brought her two dogs, Sally and Flora, to a lovely traditional stone-built house in the centre of the town, close to the river. She recommends that fellow newcomers get involved in clubs – keep fit, walking, French-speaking, etc – to meet people and make friends. She is still working on her French, but says that it is improving

The Library is a social hub too, and the volunteers can give useful advice. They keep leaflets about events happening in the town and between them they have a good deal of local knowledge that they are happy to share

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