I qualified as a doctor in 1974. After normal post graduate training I was a Genertal Practitioner for 12 years before moving into Occupational Medicine gaining specialist Qualifications in 1997. I retired in December 2012 and was living in France a month later. I bought my present house after extensive searching and then embarked on an ambitious renovation. My reasons for being here were the ability to have the house I wanted, to live in peaceful countryside, to enjoy my classic cars on quiet roads, and to enjoy the slower pace of life in rural France. I have sung in good choral groups for many years and have joined a group based in Argenton sur Creuse with English, French and Dutch members. I am a member of a local dance association, and the only non french member, I am a member of a local car club, and have both english and french friends. I hope my spoken french is improving all the time. I believe it is very important as an English community living in another country that we do our utmost to integrate to support life in this rural area and support french associations rather than starting our own where possible, and see the Library as a resource to help English people to do that.
My name is John Bowler and I am the recently elected Treasurer of the Library.
Together with my wife Glennys I have lived near Lauriere in the Haute Vienne for the past 3 years. We have 3 grown up daughters.
Born in 1950, my professional life took me to Switzerland for 17 years where I was president of the English Speaking Club of Lausanne for some years.
I was also president of the Gym d’Hommes of Renens, which is a section of a national organisation under the tutelage of the Swiss army.
Back in the UK in the mid 1990’s, I ran my own business for over 20 years, and volunteered as a school governor, finishing as chairperson. I look forward to getting to grips with the Library accounts.
- Library volunteer Co-ordinator
The time came when I realised a lifetime ambition to finally work with books when I started to help at the English Library in La Souterraine.
After a working life as a Mental Health Nurse and Social Care Manager I was looking for a new challenge when I came to France.
I have always been an avid reader and meeting up with Rodney Sabine, being asked to help him with the new venture was my idea of heaven.
The Library went from strength to strength with our team of helpers and Rodney showed me how to maintain the book collection.
I am still happily working with the library several years later and have met so many people who enjoy reading and books in the same way I do.
The Librarians Prayer
Our librarians at Puy Charraud
Hallowed be thy categories
Thy issues be increased
Thy books be strict ordered in fiction as they are in non fiction
Give us back this day our overdue books
And forgive us our classification errors
As we forgive those who misplace our books
Lead us not into false subject headings
But deliver us from categorisation
And from cuts in opening hours
And reductions in the book fund.
For thine is the issue system
And the date stamp
For ever and ever.
- Cafe Volunteer Co-ordinator
I am responsible for the making sure consumables are available and volunteers are trained, I will also take care of the Calendar for Library so I am a good source of information for the day to day activities.
I have been a cafe volunteer for several years and a member of Conseil since December 2018.
So why not come and join us for coffee and cake.
- Integration Co-ordinator
A degree in Psychology followed by a career in Human Resources has encouraged the enjoyment I get from dealing with people. Patience, both with myself and others, is a strong point.
I’ve had to learn both English and French as an adult, and am more than aware of all the difficulties. Over the last 12 years, with the assistance of a French neighbour, I have organised and given French classes, at intermediate level, in our village hall. Besides joining the Conseil last November 2018, I am now enjoy helping a small group of beginners coaching French at the English Library.
I was born in Milan in 1948. In my twenties I moved to work in London, where I stayed for 30 years. My wife and I moved to the Limousin in 2004, and we enjoy giving our horses and dogs the freedom afforded by the unspoilt French countryside, and also getting involved in local organisations. I like reading – especially about cosmology, and I’m trying to learn to play the cello!
- French Liaison
As a bilingual French person having experience with associations, I think I can help at the Library, especially with translations or with contacts with the French community.
I learnt how to speak English very early, because both my parents could speak English. Then I studied English Litterature, language and Civilisation at Limoges University. I worked as a replacement teacher near Limoges for a few years, then we moved to La Souterraine as my husband worked there. I then trained as a Montessori teacher in order to be able to do home schooling for my 3 children. When they grew up and went to grammar school, I did some tutoring with children who had difficulties at school, I even helped English pupils. We are both retired now and enjoy gardening, cooking, reading and generally taking it easy !
- Membership Secretary
I spent 40 years in IT for 2 major UK retailers covering lots of new technology which required travel in the UK and abroad. During this time I yearned for a more creative job but had to be content with following my ambitions at night school where I tried my hand at everything from car maintenance to interior design….and I loved it all.
I like to say I enjoy ski-ing and scuba diving, but these days the most energetic activity I manage to do is yoga unless you count all the work done converting our barn here in France. Since retiring to France with lots of encouragement I’ve finally unleashed my creative side. I combine my artistic flair with building projects both large and small. My favourite pastime is spent at ‘Maximum’ (better know as ‘the tip shop’), seeing what I can pick up to turn into something interesting and functional with either a simple lick of paint or a complete makeover.