I’ve just had my yearly tiring but fantastic weekend – the twinning weekend!
10 years ago I joined the Devizes Twinning Association and apart from one year, when I couldn’t attend, I have enjoyed some brilliant weekends. The Devizes Twinning Association is twinned with Mayenne in France and Waiblingen in Germany and every year members from all three towns meet for a weekend. This year it was again in Devizes.
If you have ever been involved with twinning, you know how much hard work but also how much fun  goes into it. If you don’t know what’s involved, let me tell you about ours this weekend:Our guests from Mayenne and Waiblingen arrived around 5pm on Friday.This year I had a French guest and a German guest. I’ve known Isabelle, my French guest since 2004. So far  I have stayed at her house 3 times and Isabelle has stayed once with the whole family and twice on her own. This year was a first for me, as I also had a German guest. Klaus, my German guest speaks French but little English, Isabelle speaks English but no German, and my French is virtually non existing (but my German isn’t bad ;-)) ….. very confusing but great fun!So apart form confusing each other with our language skills, what else did we do?
One of the hightlights of the weekend is the conference for the delegates. Both my guests were delegates and I am also involved with the conference because I translate everything the Germans say into English. This year I also translated everything English into German.
When I started twinning I could not understad why they called the conference the highlight of the weekend – I couldn’t think of anything more boring, and it was only the panic, that I may have to translate something that kept me awake. But gradually I began to enjoy them as the topics started to get interesting. This year’s topic was ‘Volunteering’ and it was very interesting to hear what type of volunteering goes on in the three towns.
Apart from the conference, we had street entertainment, guided walks through Devizes, tours of some church towers, see here the view from St Mary’s church tower:

 Isn’t it a fantastic view?

Saturday evening we had a lovely dinner and  barn dance with over 200 people.
Sunday’s options were a church service in all three languages, more tours, including a barge trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal and the weekend finished with a street party with more entertainment.
Of course, it is entirely up to the hosts and guests how much of the activities they join in, but whatever they decide, it’s a fantastic way to really get to know how people in other countries live. You’ll never get this when you stay in a hotel!

At 8am this morning we took our guests back to their coaches. Nobody really wanted to leave and I even saw a few tears. Thankfully, everybody arrived safely back home, and that’s another twinning weekend over!

So, a big ‘Thank You’ to the Devizes Twinning Association and Devizes Town Council for organising a very succesful weekend – I am now  looking forward to going to Waiblingen next year.


Did I whet you appetite?
Have or ar you involved in twinning?
What’s your experience?
Let me know!


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