Alicia Sedgwick, author of Communicating Through Change: Lessons Learned From Real Life, teaches Public Speaking, Presentation and Communication Skills at the International University of Monaco. She also works with all backgrounds and all ages, from corporations to private clients and students at the International School of Monaco (ISM). “It is so interesting that small children in their early years can talk freely and chatter without filter but then when they get to primary school age, all that lack of inhibition becomes clouded and they close up.”
Alicia says her training helps students “to open up again, to be free of worries, cares and anxieties when they communicate so they can move through their teens and into adulthood with their self-esteem raised, and the ability to communicate effectively.” And confidence in communicating is essential whether it be through digital communication (online, social media, Zoom), for school or university presentations, or for personal and professional relationships.
Which is why the TEDxYouth event this Saturday, October 15, from 2-4 pm, at ISM is such a huge deal. Its speakers are all ISM students ages 10 to 17. “The aim is not only to raise the profile of TEDxYouth, but to promote its significance as the only TEDxYouth event in the Principality,” says Alicia. This event is open to the public and you can register and sign up for a ticket ( €10) directly from the International School of Monaco website.
“So many of the children who do put themselves forward for the TEDxYouth auditions are way out of their comfort zone. I have had students who speak so quietly, or shift about when they talk, and do not engage, then perform at TEDxYouth with such power and control that I am so impressed and proud.”
The international platform of students presenting include Amael Anwar (Switzerland), Olivia Chisholm (UK and South Africa), Solomon Passegger (Austria), Sophia Zweegers (Morocco and the Netherlands), Margherita Sparaco (Italy), Amelia Banks Clark (UK) and well as Celeste Maximiana Schofield.
Speaker Amali Benner shares, “A lot of my friends call me a chatterbox because I talk so much. But I recently learned that talking just for the sake of talking is rambling and purely a waste of words. I joined TEDxYouth to, like most people, improve my speaking skills.”
For 10-year-old Alexandra Vlad (France and Romania), “I joined TEDx to improve my confidence on stage and possibly to help defeat my slight stage fright. Also, I want to improve my ability to really express myself. In the past I have sometimes been afraid to express myself because I thought that nobody would really listen to me, but it’s such a relief to speak and to know that everyone is listening to me.”
ISM recently held a successful Quiz Night to raise awareness for this second edition of TEDxYouth. “Shasta Almi, the school’s Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator, and Director of Studies Hannah Gettel, who serves on the organising committee, are incredible women and have been amazingly dedicated to the TEDxYouth event.”
I was shocked when I heard that Father Peter Jackson, 69, had died on August 30. Having suffered a pulmonary embolism, he passed away a few days later in hospital surrounded by family and friends. In the words of many, he genuinely was “one of the kindest people I had ever met.” A eucharist at Holy Trinity Nice will take place at 11 am on Wednesday, October 12 will be followed by the committal of ashes in the church yard. There will be a private cremation in advance.
Father Peter came to Holy Trinity Nice in October 2014. During my years as Editor-in-Chief of the Riviera Reporter magazine, I had the privilege to sit down with him several times after he first arrived, which happened to be mere months before the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Uncannily, he was also in Washington as 9/11 unfolded, driving across the bridge as the Pentagon was hit. The story below is based on two interviews, from March 2015 and November 2015, when he reflected on the Paris attacks and the fundamental human question about how could God allow suffering.
It was All Saint’s Day 1945 when Peter Jackson’s parents met on an air force station in Hartlebury, Worcestershire. They married two years later and moved to Wales where Peter was born in 1953.
“I attended a small private school from the age of 13 to nearly 18, and I stayed on to do an extra study for Oxford entrance. I worked for the newspaper – not as a journalist but folding and delivering papers to make some money so I could travel to the South of France. In fact, I spent my 18th birthday closed to Toulon.”
Peter read theology at St Peter’s College Oxford for three years before starting to study Law but went back to Oxford and got a teaching qualification. From there, he went on to Theological College at St Stephen’s House in Oxford and trained to be ordained.
“When I was in my prep school of 150 boys, the headmaster commented to my mother ‘Brother Peter’, so even though I wasn’t particularly pious, there must have been something religious about my attitudes. And the other thing I do remember is my scripture lessons. Our teacher was quite obsessed with spiritualist things and these were some of the liveliest lessons. My rival in this tiny school, Nick Rowley, eventually went to Cambridge and was a brilliant musician who played for the Two Ronnies. He and I were absolutely engaged in thinking about religion and philosophy, the big issues that concern us as we are growing up.”
After confirmation, Peter found going to chapel significant and admired his “very abled” Chaplain, and the idea that this is what he would do crossed his mind. “But I also experienced the common teenage reaction to all the suffering in the world, we’re talking about the late Sixties and Vietnam. I wasn’t becoming an atheist but I now realise the fundamental human question about how could God allow such suffering is actually growing up in terms of spirituality, a fairly normal adolescence for a thoughtful person. At the time you just feel quite angry. I didn’t stop going to church but I felt very conflicted, which fell into a time when I was fascinated by Bertrand Russell; I read all three volumes of his biography and read transcripts of his debates on religion in the early Fifties, which now you could probably watch on YouTube. It all makes you wonder whether God exists, and if he does, why does so much appalling suffering go unrectified?”
He added, “The institution on the whole didn’t give me greatest confidence. I resisted being ordained but I saw that I was resisting, and that wasn’t a good thing. I wasn’t sure. It was such a relief, though, and I felt like I had arrived at the right place.”
Father Peter said the question of suffering was one he was often asked. “If there’s a sudden death or a young person is afflicted with some awful illness, or, as in my last parish, the youngest son of our treasurer’s wife was murdered in his twenties in a random attack around the corner from where I lived. It’s not that they stopped believing, but they didn’t. Faith and my connection with them pastorally didn’t waiver, but it left them in a very bleak place. I read that Mother Theresa in the last few years of her life found a complete emptiness when she prayed. I made this commitment and I will hold onto this even though they get nothing back in terms of feeling.”
He believed it was possible to “hang in there” even though one’s intuition or affective side is desolate. Much like people felt after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, where two armed terrorists killed 12 people and injured 11 others in the office of the weekly satirical newspaper.
“I didn’t preach about Charlie Hebdo. You have to be very careful about preaching about these subjects, you can characterize it as the conflict between two faiths, or two brothers who lived marginalised lives, and it doesn’t work. It’s essentially many different interpretations, and I don’t think in public, giving an opinion is helpful. Frankly, we don’t know.”
Father Peter was in Washington on 9/11. “I was driving across the bridge as the Pentagon was hit. I’d oddly been right in the mix so to speak. We cannot understand how shocked Americans were about being attacked in their home country and we can get lost in a fog of complexity. What I did in the very thoughtful and highly educated episcopal parish in Washington was a whole series about the ethics of war. I found those who were pastorally engaged, they didn’t want a knee-jerk reaction but to consider the wider context of what this was all about.
“One of the consequences of the First World War was a change in how people thought about the dead. They wouldn’t have a very adequate response to death and grief, but you have the ritual of the unknown soldier and poppies, two minutes silence and you suddenly get changed emphasis in Anglicanism, get prayers for the dead.
“In the Second World War, people, not everyone, went to church. The intensity of the experience drew people to the church for a secular memorial service. There isn’t religious behaviour in our society, but institutions or religion and their representatives connect with the raw emoting and questioning of the moment.
“By inclination, evocative sacramental religion gives people more of a resource to cope. People can be themselves and have their own relationship with God.”
A year after his arrival as Chaplain at the historic Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Nice, as well as of St Hugh Vence, Father Peter said in 2015, “I have served in a variety of parishes and schools, including twelve years at Harrow School, but I have never received such a warm and practical welcome as here.
“We have had so much help in settling into the presbytery – the 1890s priest’s house next to the church – getting to know the community and becoming accustomed to life in France. The assistance offered was invaluable as Holy Trinity is quite different from my previous parish in London. The congregation there consistently drew from only the immediate area, while the Nice one is constantly changing. There is a loyal core of people who have made their permanent home here but there is also a constant flow of visitors from all over the Anglophone world. In recent months, we have welcomed students from the Netherlands, Australia and the US, a Canadian Air Force chaplain, as well as visitors from the UK and North America. There are also those who come for a few months at a time: some from Canada wintering on the Riviera, as the British did in the nineteenth century, and others simply spending time in apartments that they own in Nice.
“There is also a significant American presence, which dates back to the time 40 years ago when the American Anglican congregation of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit joined Holy Trinity, having sold their church in Nice to the French Protestants. This explains why Holy Trinity, a chaplaincy within the Church of England Diocese in Europe, is also listed as an associated parish by the Episcopal Church. Attendance, as well the composition of the congregation, varies considerably.
“We had almost 300 in church for the Easter Day service but fewer than half that number at Christmas, reflecting both the tendency of many permanent Nice residents to visit family at Christmas and the popularity of the Riviera as a holiday destination at Easter. When I describe the Holy Trinity congregation to visiting friends, I say that they are more like a cathedral congregation than a parish one. The factors that draw people to us are similar: a desire to participate in worship in English, and worship, that is accessible and mainstream.
“Also, I cannot assume that everyone is Anglican or that everyone is equally devout: some may be seeking something spiritual without yet having strong commitment. Moreover, the social time after services, when many linger to chat over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, is for some an indispensable complement to the worship – English speakers in a foreign land, they are keen to find an English-speaking community. But this has to be balanced by a recognition that some are also attracted by the fact that you can also slip in and out of Holy Trinity without the obligation to become more involved.
“I am very fortunate. I have had a variety in my life of working with interesting communities and met an extraordinary range of people and become involved profoundly in the lives of others. And that’s a privilege that doesn’t happen to a lot of people. I’m grateful that I have a family life, which was not something I expected. And fascinated to have arrived in such an extraordinary place and community and house, and at a point when one might expect to be winding down and retiring, I find myself with the stimulus of something entirely new and rewarding.”
Father Peter is survived by his husband Joseph Voelker and their children Eliot and Anneli.
There are less than 400 people on the planet with a coveted “Masters of Wine” certification. Considered the highest wine achievement in the world, Elizabeth Gabay is one of two people in the Alpes-Maritimes with the accreditation.
As a Provence specialist for the Wine Scholar Guild (formerly the French Wine Society), she is also the main South of France wine writer for Decanter magazine. Her second book, Rosés of Southern France, was published earlier this month.
“I passed the Master of Wine exam in 1998 after four years of intensive study, three after the birth of my son Ben,” says Elizabeth. “The exams involve understanding and being able to analyse viticulture, vinification, commercial business, the role of wine in society and, of course, being able to taste and evaluate wine. The pass rate is low – around 10% – and we do have an amazing global network.”
Back in 2018, Elizabeth wrote the definitive book on rosé, Rosé: Understanding the Pink Wine Revolution. “I had originally thought of a book on the region of Provence, but with over 80% of production being rosé, it made sense to focus on rosé. As I studied the market, history and different styles the book grew into being a global reach and a realisation that there really was a global revolution happening as rosés were growing in volume – now well over 10% of global consumption.”
When Elizabeth started researching for the book in late 2016, the level of quality rosé around the world was “erratic”. And while quality has improved in the past six years … “a lot of regional styles have disappeared as commercial competitiveness has pushed producers to make ‘Provence-style rosé’. Quality is improving but at the price of losing tradition and individuality,”says the Saint-Martin-Vésubie resident.
Rosés of Southern France is a collaborative cowrite with her son Ben Bernheim, who “has spent his entire life in wine. As part of the wine tasting team at Edinburgh university he won the prize for the best white wine taster competing against Oxford, Cambridge and French students.” After graduating in 2017, Ben helped his mom finish the original rosé book and he worked in vineyards and as a sommelier.
“Working with a 25-year-old is exhausting. He has so much energy,” Elizabeth shares. “I was in my comfy niche of writing and lecturing and he has pushed the boundaries.” In addition to last year’s e-guide and this year’s book really, the mother-son duo also found the time to create their own rosé, Sen, made with a winemaker in Slovakia.
Their book Rosés of Southern France clearly establishes patterns for regionality and what makes the wines stand out, which is of interest to both buyers and consumers. “Last year Ben and I did an e-guide tasting 1000 Southern French rosés and we realised that the best wines showed originality and we wanted to write more about these wines and estates.”
Elizabeth and Ben sampled over 2,000 rosés during the past year. “Including rosés from elsewhere – it is important to keep an international perspective.”
The book aims to be a classic wine book. “If you love rosé, you can read it and understand the different styles, and how to look for other wines.” At the same time, at the end of August, they are launching their website pink.wine which will be a modern and innovative approach to rosé,” the New Yorker explains.
“Most existing books on rosé either give a list of wines or list estates to visit or are coffee table books with lovely photos. We wanted to treat rosé as a serious wine. We have included maps showing the geology and geography, photos of the soils, grapes, regions. We have tried to show how and why the styles of wine have different styles. The elegance of Sainte Victoire, the robustness of Gigondas, the complexity of Tavel …”
Rosés of Southern France is for professionals, sommeliers, buyers and anyone who likes rosé. “Hopefully it will help consumers when they go into a shop and want to choose a wine. Recently someone mentioned they liked fuller bodied Les Baux rosés and we were able to suggest which regions and appellations had similar styles.”
Elizabeth has three recommendations to look out for this summer.
Les Schistes, Les Maîtres Vignerons de Gonfaron, Côtes de Provence (€7.80): a delicate charming white peach, fresh citrus acidity and a lovely balance of restrained fruit and acidity.
Pierre Amadieu, Romane Machotte, Gigondas AOP 2021 (€17): a juicy, slightly weightier rosé with real Gigondas character filled with fresh cherries, strawberries and raspberry fruit – but also a serious gastronomic wine.
Chateau de Selle, Domaine Ott (€26): red fruit, floral, perfumed, orange blossom. Gorgeous citrus acidity, crisp, citrussy, vibrant well-made, elegant, direct, hint of leafiness on the Rather lovely.
And for those like me who know nothing about wine, Elizabeth says look for rosé in a dark bottle. “I know that is counter-intuitive but colour is not important. Pale does not make it good. The bright sunlight can damage the wine and give it off vegetal flavours. I’ve seen people say they don’t like rosé and then discover they are tasting wine which has been in the sun. An hour on the table in summer is enough to harm the wine.
“Look at the back label. If it says serve at 6°C you know it is best drunk chilled by the pool. Serve at 10°C and above with maybe some detail of the grapes suggests the producer is more serious.”
Warning: Excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health
I discovered Monaco had a chess club back in 2017. It was during the #Whitecard photo op at the Monaco Yacht Club where a slew of sports celebrities had gathered to show support for the Peace and Sport initiative. Following the group shot, Prince Albert turned to his right to speak with Fiorina Berezovsky (pictured below), Monaco’s youngest ever national chess champion.
At age nine, Fiorina had already been playing the game for three and a half years and was a member of Le Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo (CEMC) – Monaco’s Chess Federation. She also spoke five languages – Ukrainian, French, English, German and Russian.
Now age 14, Fiorina (above) is part of the Monaco Women’s Team competing at the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, which takes place in Chennai, India, from July 28th to August 10th August. With 100 countries registered for the event, she is the youngest participant.
The Women’s Team will be captained by Fiorina’s mom, Svetlana, who is also a Monaco Women’s Chess Champion; Fiorina’s father, Igor, holds an international chess title. The couple, who met at a chess tournament in Ukraine, have been extremely active in assisting Ukrainian refugees arriving in Monaco.
When Igor and CEMC president Jean Michel Rapaire decided to organise a “Chess for Peace” tournament for players ages 5 to 17, they never imagined such an overwhelming response. Fifty-six young players – including 14 girls – from the Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo registered. The event had to be moved from the chess club on boulevard d’Italie to the Novotel to accommodate everyone.
The fast-play tournament on Sunday, June 12th was based on 9 rounds of 10 minutes plus 5 seconds per move.
What makes Sunday’s “Chess for Peace” event exemplary is that ten of the young players are Ukrainian refugees. “As chess is popular in Ukraine, most kids came with a certain level,” explains Igor.
“Thanks to my wife’s great work, Ukrainian kids new to the region have gravitated towards the chess club.”
RESULTS AFTER FOUR ROUNDS 1st-2nd Fiorina and Aaron 4 points 3rd-4th Boris and Sergej with 3.5 points 5th-14th Nam Thao , Stanislav, Nikita, Lukas Dante, Alina , Alexander, Egor, Valériia and Janibek
I last spoke with Burton Gintell at the American Club of the Riviera’s Thanksgiving lunch in November. Chatting in the Salle Belle Epoque, his genuine kind self inquired with a twinkle, “How are you doing Nancy … really?” And yet he was with the pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
After several minutes, we were talking about one of my all-time favourite stories: how Burton happened to meet Fred Astaire in New York on their shared birthday on May 11.
Burton and I were anecdotal and chatty, as we had been since we first met years ago when I worked at the Riviera Reporter and he was in his first mandate as president of the American Club of the Riviera (ACR), a position he held from 2010-2011 and from mid-2013 to 2016; he also co-presided in 2017 with Beathe-Jeanette Lunde.
In 2011, the Reporter had done a piece on the annual conference on the Association of Presidents of the American Club, which Burton hosted at the Monaco Novotel with representatives from 15 countries in Europe. He remarked in the article, “The business component is rather smaller now as fewer firms are sending staff abroad. Talking to our guests, I heard that in some places business networking can still be a significant function of a club, in others there’s a strong interest in political issues. Here our emphasis is a blend of the social and the cultural.”
Burton, a trained CPA who was an Emeritus Member of the Board at Sophia Business Angels, strived to develop unique events for ACR members, such as a pre-lunch visit to Nice’s Museum of Historical Musical Instruments, whose curator Robert Adelson was American.
One of the most memorable ACR events I was invited to was a few years back, when the club celebrated Christmas with a beer tasting session at the then-new microbrewery in Nice, Allez Hops!, owned by ACR governor, Daniel Deganutti.
Ever the gentleman, Burton and his British realtor wife Jackie Pressman-Gintell, have always been kindhearted towards me. The couple lived in Europe for more than 40 years, and spent the last two decades in Cannes where both have been active members of the community and supporters of several French arts organisations.
Burton was a director and founding shareholder of Innovation Europe S.A., an investment vehicle created by SBA to invest in a portfolio of innovative young companies. I did not know this but he had received the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement in the UK during one tenure as chief executive at a major company. In addition to his presidency at ACR, he was vice-chair for three years of the Côte D’Azur-Monaco chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in France.
At ACR’s “Swell-egant Elegant Gala” at the Belles Rives, Burton commented, “Virtually all of us here have enriched our lives by living elsewhere from our birthplaces, to which some of our families migrated to seek a better life. We can perhaps pause for a moment to reflect upon those who do not have our choices.”
He was a compassionate and giving man who often reflected on others’ needs. Cy Todd, ACR vice-president and membership coordinator, added this reflection on Burton: “He was an ‘influencer’ before the term’s time. His friendly and inclusive demeanour drew people to him. This made him the perfect president of the American Club. He was like a Pied Piper, even taking a group of friends to his beloved Venice, to celebrate his and Jackie’s 25th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful trip, enjoyed by all.”
Burton died on April 30 just shy of his 87th birthday. Jackie shared the message: “My darling husband, Burton Gintell, passed away this morning. He will be missed by all who loved the extraordinary man he was.”
He will be cremated on May 11th at 11 am at the Cannes crematorium (Chemin plaine de Laval, 06150 Cannes la Bocca).
I will not be able to attend but at 11 am, I will do my best Fred Astaire moves in his honour.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion this Tuesday, I am organising at StarsnBars a collection to support Ukraine.
Two of my colleagues are Ukrainian: one is currently being bombed; the other is here but her father is not. He has stayed in Ukraine and is working with the local government and preparing to defend his pays natal.
Like many of you I feel helpless. I see images on TV of brave-faced Ukrainian women who are trying to flee with their young children, with their lives stuffed in one suitcase. I see young women, middle-aged women and not so middle-aged women who are staying and arming themselves with rifles. I see women and their families in Russia defying imprisonment as they unprecedentedly protest to end the war on their neighbouring friends. This is all, by definition, courage.
Courage does not care how much money you have or what nationality you are. Courage is not easy, it takes effort to find your voice. But one voice can turn into two which turns into 200 which turns into 200,000 which turns into 2 million.
I am asking to hear your voice on International Women’s Day. We have lived in isolation for two years and now is our time to come together and to shine a collective light on Monaco, a community that shares a global conscience united through benevolence, compassion and love.
Here is where you come in.
9am to 10am Monaco Stands Together I invite everyone who works, lives and plays in Monaco to come together outside of Starsnbars and #standwithukraine. It is International Women’s Day and I would love to see as many female faces as possible – moms, entrepreneurs, those working with nonprofits or in commerce, clubs and associations members, artists, athletes or retired – but this is a 100% inclusive event. Everyone is welcome to come and chat, network, order coffee at StarsnBars, hug … to connect.
Should you feel inspired, wear a dash of yellow or cyan blue for the Ukraine flag, orange for Kate Powers or purple for International Women’s Day.
9am to 7pm Red Cross Monaco The Red Cross Monegasque (RCM) has kindly agreed to give a collection box for cash or cheque donations to Ukraine. Cheques need to be made out to: Croix-Rouge Monégasque – Ukraine.
All cash and cheque donations to RCM on Tuesday will be made in the name of the Kate Powers Foundation.
Please note the RCM is not accepting items of any kind. You can also send a cheque direct to Croix-Rouge Monégasque at 27 Bd de Suisse, 98000 Monaco.
9am to 7pm Drive for Ukraine There will be a collection of items for Ukraine outside of StarsnBars. I have organised with my Ukrainian colleague a driver in the community and point of contact in Ukraine to ensure these items are driven to the border where they will then be picked up and taken to various cities within the country. Many donated items from around the world are making it to the border but not able to be distributed in Ukraine itself. Some are making it across the border only to end up in the hands of those selling on the black market.
This is a part of a list sent today to my colleague from a volunteer in Ukraine. The focus here is on women and babies. These items are probably not in your closet but a little effort on your part will go a long way.
– antiseptics – anti-inflammatories – antispasmodics – hydroalcoholic gel – needle and thread – hygienic wipes – baby wipes – Pampers – baby food, baby milk – baby clothes (socks), baby toys – anything for newborns – pet food – feminine hygiene products – toiletries, especially toothbrush, toothpaste and soap, baby shampoo
Please share this information to encourage others to support this humanitarian cause on March 8.
Thanks to Annette Anderson and Didier Rubiolo at Starsnbars, Françoise Cellario at the Croix-Rouge Monegasque, Yana Kryshtofovych and Merrily Lustig Tornatore, who have all helped pull this together last minute.
Le 8 mars est la Journée Internationale de la Femme. Pour marquer l’évènement ce mardi, j’organise au StarsnBars une collecte pour soutenir l’Ukraine.
Deux de mes collègues sont ukrainiennes : l’une vit actuellement sur les bombes ; l’autre est ici mais pas son père. Il est resté en Ukraine et travaille avec le gouvernement local et se prépare à défendre son pays natal.
Comme beaucoup d’entre vous, je me sens impuissante. Je vois à la télévision des images de femmes ukrainiennes au visage courageux qui tentent de fuir avec leurs jeunes enfants, toute leur vie enfouie dans une seule valise. Je vois des jeunes femmes, des femmes en pleine force de l’âge et des femmes même plus âgées qui restent et s’arment de fusils. Je vois des femmes et leurs familles en Russie défier l’emprisonnement alors qu’elles protestent sans précédent pour mettre fin à la guerre contre leurs amis et voisins. C’est tout simplement du courage.
Le courage n’est pas une question de combien d’argent vous avez ou de quelle nationalité vous êtes. Le courage n’est pas facile, il faut des efforts pour oser parler. Mais une voix peut se transformer en deux qui se transforment en 200 qui se transforment en 200 000 qui se transforment en 2 millions.
Je demande à entendre votre voix à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la Femme. Nous avons vécu isolés pendant deux annéss et il est maintenant temps de nous rassembler et de faire rayonner ensemble Monaco, une communauté qui partage une conscience globale unie par la bienveillance, la compassion et l’amour.
Voici comment vous pouvez aider.
9h à 10h Monaco Stands Together J’invite tous ceux qui travaillent, vivent et jouent à Monaco à se rassembler en dehors de Starsnbars et de #standwithukraine. C’est la Journée Internationale de la Femme et j’aimerais voir autant de visages féminins que possible – mamans, entrepreneures, celles qui travaillent avec des organisations à but non lucratif ou dans le commerce, membres de clubs et d’associations, artistes, athlètes ou retraitées – mais c’est un événement 100% inclusif. Tout le monde est le bienvenu pour venir discuter, “network”, commander un café au StarsnBars, faire un câlin ou autre. Il s’agit d’être solidaires
Si vous vous sentez inspiré, portez une touche de jaune ou de bleu cyan pour le drapeau ukrainien, orange pour Kate Powers ou violet pour la Journée Internationale de la Femme.
9h à 19h Croix-Rouge Monégasque La Croix-Rouge Monégasque (CRM) a aimablement accepté de mettre à disposition une boîte de collecte pour les dons en espèces ou en chèques à destination de l’Ukraine. Les chèques sont à libeller à l’ordre de : Croix-Rouge Monégasque – Ukraine.
Tous les dons en espèces et en chèques à CRM mardi seront faits au nom de la Fondation Kate Powers.
La CRM n’accepte aucun article de quelque nature que ce soit. Vous pouvez également adresser un chèque directement à la Croix-Rouge Monégasque, 27 Bd de Suisse, 98000 Monaco.
9h à 19h Drive pour Ukraine Il y aura une collecte d’articles pour l’Ukraine devant StarsnBars. J’ai organisé avec mon collègue ukrainien un chauffeur de la communauté, et aussi un point de contact en Ukraine pour s’assurer que ces articles soient conduits à la frontière où ils seront ensuite récupérés et transportés dans différentes villes du pays. De nombreux articles donnés du monde entier arrivent à la frontière mais ne peuvent pas être distribués en Ukraine même. Certains traversent la frontière pour se retrouver entre les mains de ceux qui vendent au marché noir.
Ceci fait partie d’une liste envoyée vendredi à mon collègue par un volontaire en Ukraine. Le focus mis ici est sur les femmes et les bébés. Ces articles ne sont probablement pas dans votre garde-robe, mais un petit effort de votre part fera beaucoup de chemin.
– antiseptiques – anti-inflammatoires – antispasmodiques – gel hydroalcoolique – aiguille et fil – des lingettes hygiéniques – lingettes pour bébés – Pampers – nourriture pour bébé, lait pour bébé – vêtements bébé (chaussettes), jouets bébé – tout pour les nouveau-nés – la nourriture pour animaux – produits d’hygiène féminine – articles de toilette, notamment brosse à dents, dentifrice et savon, shampoing pour bébé
Veuillez partager cette information pour encourager les autres à soutenir cette cause humanitaire le 8 mars.
Merci à Annette Anderson et Didier Rubiolo au Starsnbars, Françoise Cellario à la Croix-Rouge Monégasque, Yana Kryshtofovych et Merrily Lustig Tornatore, qui ont tous contribué à l’organisation de la dernière minute.
Soyons solidaires Monaco. Rendez-vous tous mardi 8 mars 2022 à 09h au StarsnBar, quai Antoine 1er.
My inaugural open water came in the summer 2012. I had signed up for my first triathlon, the Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix-en-Provence, for September of that year. I needed to get comfortable in the water as opposed to the Olympic-distance pool in Nice where I had been training.
Considering I had not swm since my teens, at the age of 43 I was a reasonably strong swimmer thanks to endless childhood summers at our family cottage in Canada. Swimming in a lake and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, however, are two different ball games, especially when the warm currents in the Med in the South of France favour jellyfish.
That first swim with my ever-patient husband is a memory we both chuckle over to this day. Embarrassing to admit, I thought my air bubbles were jellyfish. When I was not literally swimming on top of my husband for protection, I was stopping because the fear of jellyfish was interfering with my breathing. We maybe swam 500 meters that day before I’d had enough but I quickly understood the vital relationship between controlled breathing and open water swimming.
A decade later, and thanks to swimrunning, the sea provides a connection to nature that I simply cannot live without. In the winter season, when the water here can be between 10°C and 14°C, I still manage two to three 5-6km swims a week, depending on the weather.
As openwater swimmers and swimrunners, we take all the necessary precautions, from swimming when possible with a buddy and with a visible safety buoy to sticking close to the shoreline and being smart about marine conditions.
I am not what you would call a risk taker. I may push myself out of my comfort zone but I am overly cautious in everything I do in and out of the water. I swim year-round in swimrun shoes, so I can exit at any time should I need to – a jellyfish infestation, change in swell, feeling cold or unwell. Before every swim, I ask myself: what am I dealing with today? I look at my course from the shore. We have paragliders who offseason land on the beach and so there are security boats. I have many times mentally prepared myself for the possibility of a paraglider falling on me.
There are fears about open water swimming that we share. Some we talk about, like jellyfish (I have lost count on how many times I have been stung although I have several scars to remind me) and cold water (having succumb to hypothermia during a swimrun race I know the difference between mental cold and physical cold). Then there are the dreads in the back of our minds that we don’t talk about: more dangerous marine life, such as sharks, and the fear of getting hit by a boat.
I don’t have to worry about sharks but I got hit by a boat. So let’s talk about it.
On Sunday, February 6, I did my regular 5km swim with ideal winter conditions: calm sea, clear skies and no wind. The water was 14°C. I had a bright orange safety buoy attached and looked up often to check my direction and for any boats. With cold water swimming, the longer I am in the water the more likely I can become disoriented so I am vigilant about maintaining visuals.
With less than 200 meters to shore to end my swim, an oval shadow appeared overhead and I thought it was a paraglider falling in the sea. Instead of stopping suddenly, I kept my course so the paraglider could calculate my direction and avoid hitting me. I learned this from rowing. Stay the course.
The oval shadow became larger until suddenly I felt a violent hit to the back of my head and neck, which I presumed was the paraglider’s feet plunging into the sea. I was pushed under the water and a voice in my head said “I am going to drown.” I madly tried to lift the parachute off of me only to discover it was not a parachute. It was something hard and flat, maybe a paddleboarder. My face and upper body were pinned down in the water and to my right, I registered a motor moving towards my face.
My face felt hot. I frantically pushed my hands down to try to stop my body. This did not work. I calculated it would be worse to lose part of arm than my life. I used my right arm to protect my face.
The length of the boat ran over me.
Once I was upright and my head above water, I could see the driver. It was a security boat for the paragliders. I stayed in the water, in a treading motion, until I was calm repeating in French “je suis dans un état du choc” (I am in a state of shock). For some reason I could not speak English. I had been in the water for nearly 90 minutes at this point and my body temp was low.
The driver was apologetic. He was not supposed to be within the 300-meter buoys, but he was 150 meters from the shore. He admitted he was not used to seeing swimmers at this time of year so he was looking up at the paragliders and not down at the sea. He did not call the police, which by law he is supposed to do when a boat hits a person.
He did offer for me to come onto the boat. I wanted to get out of the water and get home. My right elbow was throbbing and I approached the boat driver to have him examine it. He looked at and said it was okay, but I was wearing wetsuit. I asked him to watch me swim to shore, for less than five minutes. He said he had to watch the paragliders. I said he had to watch me because I was not sure I could swim with my elbow.
It was hard to swim, something felt not right. I got to shore and he came around to check on me. I gave him a thumbs up and immediately started climbing the 475 stairs that connect the beach to my apartment in less than 10-minutes. I never take off my gear in the winter until I get home.
In the safety of my own home, I threw up from realising what just happened. I took off my wetsuit, my elbow had two slashes and was bleeding. I should have had stitches. I should have gone to had my head checked but my right side was so sore that I did not remember the thwack to the head until it woke me up in a dream the next morning.
Unfortunately, my husband was away that Sunday. He would have told me to go the hospital (which I did do on Thursday for a head scan) but honestly as a sportif, I am used to injuries. Unless I see bone, I think I do not require medical attention. Throw into that line of thinking that I was in a complete state of shock that I had almost been killed. If I had stopped suddenly and lifted my head, the impact from the boat would have been so much worse. Or if he had approached me from a different angle where I did not see the motor before it cut me.
Once the gravity of this freak accident sunk in, I went to the police on the Tuesday afternoon to file a complaint. The first question the officer asked me was, “Why were you swimming?” and then he refused to take my statement. He told me to work out the compensation with the paragliding club. Huh? “I do not want money. He could have killed me. I want to make sure the sea is safe for everyone and this does not happen again.”
Nothing. So I went to the local French press. Following the article, the police have said they would “welcome” me to file a complaint. I have been in touch with a Roquebrune paragliding club who is helping me to find the identity of the boat driver. And another boat driver who was in the bay that Sunday, visiting with his paragliding club from Provence, has contacted me to testify to the lack of measures and security in place for the safety boats. Once I have assembled a file, I will go back to the police to porter plainte but at a different station. I have six years to do so.
My biggest fear has happened and I survived. But shock is a funny thing. You are in no man’s land somewhere between “I’m okay” because you are alive and “I’m not okay” because I almost got killed.” You try to do things as normal. For example, I went rowing with a friend two days later, in hindsight I should not have with my arm, and fifteen minutes outside the port of Monaco I burst into tears and wept uncontrollably, slumped over my oars.
For nearly two weeks I have felt like I was floating outside my body wondering why I lacked focus and was randomly crying uncontrollably. When I tried to write, the words I typed were not the words formulated in my head. I have been frustrated that I am not “strong”, that I cannot put mind over matter and get on with things. I have done everything I am supposed to do – meditate, breathing, exercise, good sleep, eating well (lots of pots of homemade soup and homemade breads) – but honestly this is my regular lifestyle and it was not improving my state of zombie mind.
I consider myself strong minded I do not have the tools to help myself. I reached out for help and contacted Gavin Sharpe at Riviera Wellbeing. He explained to me about trauma and the window of tolerance. I knew nothing about hyperarousal and hypoarousal. Gavin put me in touch with a counsellor who has helped me understand, among other PTSD elements, that because my accident was silent – that I could not scream or physically respond to protect myself because I was stuck underwater; nor was there any car crashing sounds – that my fearful reaction has been trapped inside me. I am working on letting it out. It will take time but I am confident I am on the road to recovery.
I also reached out to a few water safety organisations to ask if they could provide any advice about what to do when you are in this situation, like the difference between fire prevention and the steps to take when you are in a fire. But maybe it is a question of whether it is your time or not.
I got back in the water a week after the accident and managed a very cold 3.5km swim with my husband. My neck hurt looking up and looking back too much but the waves welcomed me back with each caressing crest. I have since swam solo and have no fear. Bliss.
For those who do not open water swim, the sensation is impossible to describe. I refer to the words of Gillian Best, who wrote “The Last Wave”, a story about a woman who swam the English Channel: “There is nothing in a pool: no current, no tide, no waves, and most of all, no history. The sea is alive, expansive; a pool is dead and confining. The sea is freedom.”
Reading the British press over the past week and the news of Sarah Everard’s disappearance and now confirmed murder, I have been shocked by the hundreds of stories women have shared about living in fear of walking home at night and harassment.
Jenny Jones for the UK’s Green Party suggested a possible “amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6 pm” adding “I feel this would make women a lot safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened.”
In Monaco, the question of security has come up in every conversation I’ve had with single women – who between 25 and 64 make up 7.7% of the population, see chart at end – and the idea of being able to walk home in safety at night was the biggest incentive in moving to the Principality, outweighing the exorbitant rent.
Having lived in Nice for nearly two decades, the deteriorating sense of safety during the last five years is what drove me to move. Even in the Carré d’Or, a block from the Negresco, I would not go out by myself after 10 pm. But I have never been harassed. Or have I? Looking back over my years in France, I can recall four times men have exposed themselves to me:
1/ walking home from the bus in Bois Fleuri in Biot a pantless man confronted me and started masturbating.
2/ after seeing Radiohead at the Frejus amphitheater, waiting for the train home a man in très short shorts whipped out his penis and started yanking on the stairway.
3/ my personal favourite, stopped at a red light on the southbound outside lane at blvd Gambetta and rue de la Buffa in Nice, a drunk came up to the passenger side, unzipped his beige cords and smudged his penis in a slow windshield-wiper motion against the window. My car was wedged in, I had to wait for the light.
4/ Walking the dog on the Prom in Nice, some guy called out for help and when I turned he starting jerking off and laughing.
Then of course there are the countless zizis I’ve unwillingly come across as men in France deem fit to urinate anywhere in public, which is still a culture shock having grown up in Canada.
It brings to mind an interview with Ricardo Antonio Chavira, who was at the 2005 Monte-Carlo TV Festival when I attended for People Magazine. Discussing his character Carlos Solis on the then new series Desperate Housewives, he said when the show first aired in the US, men would stop him on the street to berate him for bringing such a macho character back on TV between because it made their wives angry. in Europe, he said men offered him a congratulatory slap on the back for bringing back a macho character to TV.
But is being a macho European a green light for men to cause offense? I am no snowflake but when I read a headline like “Convincing Win For G-Spot” in reference to the Monaco team who won at the Primo Cup sailing regatta last Sunday, I can only sigh. This is not National Lampoon.
This type of hyper-sexualised culture feeds into the bigger picture of why young girls and women, regardless of their relationship status, feel unsafe. From inappropriate body references to catcalling, objectification sends a detrimental message. Even in my own case, I have somehow normalised public flashers.
I doubt a 6 pm curfew for all men is the answer but simply wishing a “Happy International Women’s Day” does not cut it. Maybe the headline “Convincing Win For Ball Sac” would help open the dialogue.
IMSEE’s most recent census statistics (2016) on women living in Monaco.
For animal behaviourist and trainer Victoria Morris: “Often, we can get caught up in the excitement of getting a pet that we sometimes forget to be realistic. A pet is not only for Christmas but is your companion and dear family member for a very long time.” Victoria suggests 20 questions for potential owners to consider before choosing a pet.
1. What pet would you like to offer a home to? Have you had experience of this species before? Perhaps you want to first consult a professional, such as vet, and maybe a behaviourist for some tips, perhaps purchase a book or research on the internet.
2. Perhaps you would like a dog or cat? Have you considered if it would be appropriate to choose a puppy/kitten or adult dog or cat? Would you like to offer a home to one that has been rescued?
3. Do you have existing cats/existing dogs or other pets already in the house? Is it your feeling they will get on? It’s always good to ask a professional on how best you can introduce a new member of the family, especially if you don’t know how your cat will get on with the dog you would like to introduce or if you already have a cat, what’s the best way to introduce a new cat to a multi cat household? How can you successfully introduce your rabbit to your dog if you’d like them to get on? What dog breed is best suited to be around your rabbit? A hunting breed, for example, with a high prey drive wouldn’t be advisable. What breeds of rabbit are also suited to be with a dog? It is always a good idea to use the appropriate approach to introduce new pets to a household and to employ some good techniques to nurture a good relationship with those pets where possible (of course being always aware of safety, being responsible and not leaving pets unobserved/unattended or pairing pets together that are not best suited to be together or it may be dangerous to pair together). The objective may not be to develop a strong bond between the pets concerned but that they respect each other’s presence and know how to behave. You also need to think about the neutering/spaying of both rabbit and dog as hormonal levels need to be in check before introducing them to each other, you can speak to your vet regarding this.
4. A good question to ask is: Are you able to offer this pet a home? Do your work hours suit the needs of this pet? What contingency will there be if you travel? Do you travel a lot that would make choosing this pet unadvisable?
5. If welcoming a rescue pet into the home, are you willing to work with any existing behavioural problems/issues if there are any? do you have the time to dedicate to this? If it is a rescue dog for example, have you visited many times to observe the dog? Have you walked the dog before to become familiar with them? Have you had the dog stay with you for some time to gradually introduce them to your home and again become familiar with them? Have you a strategy for introducing the new dog to existing pets?
6. If you are choosing a young pet like a puppy or kitten, are you available to provide that vital early learning and socialisation? Will you have time for training? Are you ready to go through that ‘naughty teenager age’ where young pets can test you?
7. Do you have children? Is the pet if a rescue pet already well socialised with children? Or would you be welcoming children into the family later? Are the whole family willing to participate?
8. Is the whole family in agreement to offer a home to a pet?
9. Whose responsibility is it to look after the pet? Are all the family prepared to help?
10. Do you have a veterinary professional in mind to care for the health of your pet and can you commit to veterinary costs?
11. Am I able to dedicate finances to purchase all the housing, food, bedding, enrichment (toys) etc that that pet needs.
12. Am I able to dedicate finances to purchase all the housing, food, bedding, enrichment (toys) etc that that pet needs. How should you house that pet? Does that species benefit from being with others? Is the housing the right size to meet the welfare needs of that pet? How can you provide an enriching enclosure to prevent issues with stereotyped behaviour? Parrots, for example, can suffer behavioural issues such as feather plucking if they are stressed and not stimulated.
13. If you are visiting a dog breeder for example, have you seen the parents? How does the breeder appear to you? Are they asking you lots of questions about your home environment that suggests they are a responsible breeder? Are they giving you the puppy at the appropriate age e.g. (at least 8 weeks for a puppy)? Do they have breed papers and are they registered? Have hip scores/eye scores been done and are they attending to the appropriate veterinary care at the appropriate time before you collect the puppy? Is the breeder introducing experience with early socialisation e.g., desensitisation to noise/movement using toys and additions to the enclosure etc? Is the breeder abiding by correct animal welfare legislation and acting ethically? Note: Tail Docking and Ear clipping is illegal in most countries including most European Countries. This is not acceptable and is contrary to animal welfare. These procedures generally involve surgeries without anaesthetic, they are barbaric, and these incidences need to be reported. This procedure also has profound behavioural effects in dogs, interfering with their ability to communicate and can negatively impact behaviour.
14. If your choice is a dog, for example, what type of exercise can you offer? Are you able to exercise the dog regularly? How active are you and what type of activity would you be able to offer that dog? Can you have a significant enough presence and feel able to direct the behaviour of a larger dog?
15. Is the breed of dog you are choosing a hunting breed that requires a lot of exercise and has a strong pre-disposition to follow scent?
16. Is the breed you would like very active; can you provide the exposure and opportunities for exercise.
17. Does the breed you are choosing require a great deal of grooming? Can you commit to this? Does budget allow trips to the groomers? What type of grooming will there be? will my dogs’ hair need trimming regularly? Will my parrot’s beak and nails need trimming?
18. Are you versed in what vaccinations are needed for your chosen pet? For example, for your rabbit will usually need vaccines for Rabbit haemorrhagic disease 1 and 2 and myxomatosis. Your cat will usually need vaccines for feline infectious enteritis and feline leukaemia virus and some parrots may need a polyomavirus vaccination. You may need to think about regular flea treatment, worm treatment and may need to consider the pros and cons of sterilisation/castration for your dog/cat.
19. What about diet? Will you feed your dog dry food or wet? What are the pros and cons for example giving a raw diet? Does my new pet require special vitamins for example for coat health or feather health? Am I prepared to give live food to feed my reptile?
20. What kind of veterinary products are good to keep in the house?
Illness and disease Depending on the species you choose, animals can be very good at hiding disease, from an evolutionary point of view, it’s what we call adaptive. If you think about it, it is never good going around advertising your illness to potential predators or animals within your group. As a result, you need to have a certain knowledge so you can prevent illness as far as possible and prevent behavioural problems. Sometimes behavioural problems can cause physical illness such as your cat or dog constantly licking areas, tail chasing or biting etc causing injury to the skin.
Training You need to be able to train your pet so you can handle them effectively and regularly check health and pet enclosures/environments need to be stimulating so to prevent behavioural issues.
Training is also a great way to provide enrichment. Obviously, this all depends on the requirements of the species and how complex their needs are; however, I am a strong advocate for training and good enrichment schedules for all pet species. It cannot emphasis this enough! A lot of people don’t think they can train their kitten/cat or rabbit, but you can and there are so many positive reasons for doing so.
Choosing a breed I am asked many times by clients who have chosen certain breeds of dog or are amid choosing a breed, did I make the right choice? Or what breed would be best? Yes, the breed is important, certain breeds have certain activity levels, are predisposed to behave in certain ways and have certain drives, this must always be understood and taken into consideration, this is very true, but on occasion it can be a limiting factor. For example, many think Jack Russell’s are aggressive and never get on well with other dogs, that they have a “little dog-big dog” thing going on. It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and people think that’s the way they are, and little attempt is made to prevent this behavioural pattern, so everyone continues to think of the breed in this way when it doesn’t have to be this way with appropriate shaping and training.
Yes, certain breeds are renowned for being better with children, but this is not always a forgone conclusion. We not only have a responsibility to shape a dogs’ behaviour, so they are desensitised to children and know how to behave with them but that the child also knows how to respectfully interact with that dog.
At the end of the day the environment must be right and depending on when you get that dog and its behavioural history, social ability can be successfully shaped. It is important to think what commitment we can make and if we can provide that dogs’ needs in terms of exercise and attention.
Having a pet is an extremely rewarding experience and I highly recommend it. I certainly find the owners who decide to get a puppy find my Puppy Programmes extremely helpful as I help the client get everything in place to start in the best possible way with their puppy from the point of choosing their puppy to bringing their puppy home and the exciting journey that follows!