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20 May 2016

Casablanca (1942) is one of my all-time favourite films – which I still watch from time to time; I know much of the dialogue by heart.  One of the great scenes is in Rick’s Café – when all the customers stand and sing La Marseillaise – drowning out the anthem of the ‘nasty’ German soldiers.  The scene closes on the passionate face of a young French girl who defiantly, and tearfully shouts ‘vive la France’.  Apparently this woman was called Madeleine Le Beau, who has died in Spain aged 92.

            It seems that Casablanca features on more ‘best film’ lists than any other title – but it’s not obvious why; examined critically the film is full of clichés – even corny.  In this essay about Casablanca, the Italian writer Umberto Eco counts the clichés and suggests that, to some extent, the film ‘made itself’: “If not actually against the will of its authors and actors, then at least beyond their control.”  I don’t consider this fanciful – the creative process is influenced by unconscious forces we don’t understand; but an intellectual analysis misses the point here – myself and others return to this favourite because it makes us feel good: “of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks into mine” – what a line!

            My newsfeed informs that Madeleine Le Beau lived in Estepona – the part of Spain I visit – and that she broke a hip bone in a fall; it also says that she was the last surviving cast member of Casablanca.  Thank you Madeleine – your rendition of La Marseillaise will always inspire us.



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The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.

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The SENs: Friday 20th May 2016

Diane Cameron left Senscot in April to head up the Ardroy Outdoor Centre – delighted to report that Diane’s been in touch and enjoying her new role - even the sun has come out since she started!  We’ve now gone through a recruitment process and Alan Johnston has been appointed as the new SE and Sport Co-ordinator. Alan currently works for Senscot as Partnership and Procurement Co-ordinator. Alan has a wealth of experience in sport, business and public sector and is looking forward to taking up the new challenge on 1st June. Alan will be making contact with Sport SEN members and key stakeholders over the coming months. In the meantime, if you’d like to get in touch with Alan, email


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