Our Life in Burgundy

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The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

May 10, 2018

Garden Makeover…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Mary @ 20:43

…or how to change a patch of weeds into a Mediterranean garden in a couple of days.

I’d been unable to do anything with the patch of derelict garden near the shed for several years as Chris had always said that he was going to make himself a herb garden. Early on he had installed a water feature where water trickled out of a Greek urn. But then the project was forgotten. The garden was colonised by wild thyme, and it was a dumping ground for used compost, pots of mint and rescued lavenders. The cats shared a favourite patch where they all rolled in the dust.

Some miracle happened this week, perhaps prompted by the advent of summer. In the space of a couple of days Chris had made a gravel path that led to the deck, made a border at the back with some old wooden beams, planted some nice rocks with fossils in them, rearranged the herbs, and voilà, a Mediterranean garden.


Chris enjoying a well earned beer

While taking photos I came across this striking butterfly on the chives.

A Scarce Swallowtail butterfly. The head is on the left.

Apparently these Scarce Swallowtail butterflies are not at all scarce in Europe, although you are more likely to find them in the south of France than here. But a few occasionally go off course and foolishly drift over to Britain so that’s why the  English call them ‘Scarce’. The French call them Flambé.

So thanks to Chris we now have a corner of the garden that is both beautiful and useful. Meanwhile I’m still waiting for the predicted rain to come as I planted beans and peas in anticipation of them being watered. The forecast was for storms this week but as usual they seem to have bypassed us.


May 5, 2018

A most spectacular sport

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Mary @ 22:52


The Horse-Ball Pro Elite competition is being held in Cluny this weekend. It draws quite a crowd as horseball is fast and furious. In horseball there are teams of 6, 4 players and 2 substitutes. The ball is thrown in and the team that catches it races towards the goal. They must pass the ball at least three times before trying to score, and a player cannot keep possession for more than 10 seconds. The other team try to block them by pushing with their horses, or wresting the ball from the other player’s grasp, which may result in the attacking team galloping back up the field in order to regroup and attack again. If the ball is dropped either team can retrieve it but they must be going in the same direction as the ball was dropped. Despite the rules about safety it’s a very violent game.  Thanks to Chris here are some photos of this afternoon’s action.


Chasing the player with the ball

He’s blocked

And they all turn to race up the field

The ball is dropped and the other team take possession

And it’s a goal!

Goals come thick and fast

Horseball is a great sport demonstrating the strength and agility of both horse and rider. All the teams play each other and the finalists will battle it out tomorrow afternoon.

October 23, 2017

First Sunday walk of the season

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary @ 16:45

Our rentrée for the monthly Sunday walks was a bit behind schedule due to other events in September. But we began yesterday with an easy circular walk from Cortambert through the vineyards of Bray and back via Toury.

Recently it seemed that summer was going to last forever but this weekend the weather suddenly changed to cold and showery. The vines, bright gold in last week’s sunshine, were looking a little battered by the wind. The showers didn’t bother us as we were prepared.

Here’s Pascale modelling the latest in emergency rainwear 

Wending our way….

to a photo opportunity with a menhir. 

These Salers cattle are a change from the more usual Charolais

Hopefully we’ll continue with our walks led by Chris on the 3rd Sunday of the month. We are also looking forward to Denis’ promise of an organised cycle ride on the second Sunday, starting next month.

*Photos kindly given to me by Sylvie, standing on the far right in the group photo


June 25, 2017

La Fête de la Musique

Filed under: Events,Places,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Mary @ 14:05

The hottest day last week was probably Wednesday, on the evening we took part in the line dancing demo for the Fête de la Musique in Cluny. We were down in the Narthex, the ruins of the Abbey between the Hotel de Bourgogne and the marketplace. Despite the heat and the uneven ground we managed to put on a good show, thanks to Christiane’s training and the enthusiastic encouragement of the spectators.


In the wonderful setting of the Abbey ruins

Classes 2, 3 and 4 of Country Dreams Cluny

Yours truly feeling rather hot

Being in the beginners’ class we didn’t take part in the more advanced dances in the middle so Chris had plenty of time to take some photos. And here’s a couple of videos, the first three dances on   https://youtu.be/tHvZQdrxveM and  ’Gypsy Queen’ on  https://youtu.be/lvly7p3pNXY  Next year we hope to join Class 2. Yee-haw!

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