Oh my word. Most surreal meeting ever. Last night, I was invited to Acunca (www.acunca.fr), a fitness centre in a truly beautiful setting about 25 minutes away, to find out about teaching classes there. The studio is a wonderful space, with a glass wall overlooking trees and rolling countryside.


The meeting, of the ‘association’ which runs the centre, was supposed to start at 19h30 but actually got going at 20h30, not with committee business but paté, bread and wine. This was followed by local goat cheese. Then came a basket of gateaux dipped into what I thought was apple juice. It wasn’t.

Two hours, two glasses of wine and three glasses of cider later, and after several hotly debated agenda items (no decisions reached), it was my turn to speak. By this stage I could barely remember a word of French but managed to introduce myself and I was the topic of discussion for another half an hour.

I made my excuses and left the meeting in full swing at 23h00. Slightly unsteady on my feet and with none of my questions answered but with a new group of friends and an awakening insight into why things take longer in France. As it said on Acunca’s ‘Mot du jour’ noticeboard: “Rien ne sert de courir si l’on n’est pas pressé” (Pierre Dac). “What’s the point in running when you’re not in a hurry”. Brilliant.

Filed under: Happy Coulson

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