We have just returned home from Poitiers, where we attended the twenty-third Congrès national de Généalogie (national genealogy conference). Lasting three days, there were over forty talks and twelve aisles of stands, a generous opportunity to wallow in French genealogy.
The somewhat futuristic conference centre - le Palais des Congrès - is right next to France's possibly famed science theme park, Futuroscope. We did not go, nor did we stay in one of the conference hotels conveniently located far from anything but the conference centre and theme park. We stayed in the centre of Poitiers, one of the prettiest cities in France.
We have to say that, in spite of all the stands, the conference seemed somewhat more subdued than in previous years.
There were not the usual folks who, in the past, had appeared dressed as a round of cheese, or the groups of dancers in local dress, or the air of a jolly reunion that there used to be. There was one lone, Breton bagpiper, as forlorn as a bagpiper on a hill above an empty, windswept glen in a Scott novel, and those ever-rowdy Normans kept a private party going for the whole three days at their stand. On the whole, however, most people found it a quieter and -- this said with a shudder of horror -- more businesslike than ever before.
We made new acquaintances and renewed old ones, as is done at these affairs, and were taken aback to meet people who said that they read The FGB regularly. How very nice. Naturally, we attended as many of the talks as we possibly could. Some were excellent and fascinating, some made dull by leaden speakers, some hilariously punctuated with family squabbles. We shall report on them all, and more, in the next few posts.
©2015 Anne Morddel