Our Life in Burgundy

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The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

June 15, 2017

Preparations and Répétitions

Filed under: Events,Places,Weather — Tags: , , — Mary @ 11:18

There’s lots going on in June with shared meals to finish off the year’s courses and next week’s midsummer celebrations. We finish our first year of line dancing with a performance during Wednesday evening’s Fête de la Musique in Cluny. Hopefully with all the rehearsing we are doing nobody will put a foot wrong.

Christiane, left, putting us through our paces for the Fête de la Musique

Before that comes another midsummer event, the Feux de la St Jean. The men were out yesterday building the bonfire.  On Friday morning they will be building the stage for the band, and Saturday will involve putting up the barnum and catering.

Here are some photos Chris took yesterday -

A bit of mechanical help this year

This photo reminds us if “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”

With the cock perched on top the team is ready for their picnic lunch

There’s another big event the following weekend of 23rd, 24th & 25th June. The Cant’Azé choir present their end of year concert, “La Magie des Chansons”. It will be the last time to hear the choir under the direction of David Aubrec. It’s at Azé church and everyone is invited for aperos afterwards.

Hopefully the fine weather will continue for all the outdoor events and we don’t get too many thunderstorms. Perhaps we will be dancing in the rain!

June 5, 2017

Randonnée des Roses 2017

Filed under: Events,Places,Weather — Tags: , — Mary @ 17:20



We’d been worrying about the weather after last week’s storms and heavy showers but yesterday was cool with plenty of sunshine in the afternoon, soft underfoot but not muddy. The perfect day for the Cortambert randonnée.

The organisation was like a well oiled machine. Pascale has an excellent team and the many compliments of the walkers were well deserved. Chris was in charge of devising the four circuits of 8km, 13km, 17km and 24km. For everyone there was a drinks station en route and further refreshments once back at the foyer. For the longer walks there was a ravitaillement at Culey (8km) and another at Donzy (16km).

Here are a few photos of the day -

Marie Antoinette and Jean-Louis on registration

Raymond & Annie and the family picnicking at the point d’eau

At Donzy the 24km walkers enjoy a welcome rest with Georges, Claire and Dominique

Back at the foyer rural Anne Marie was recording the finish times

Patrick was pouring out the coffee and wine

Pascale was in charge of refreshments

Simone was making gaufres by the dozen

As the walkers were finishing it was time to go out to collect the direction markers

A chance to enjoy the lovely viewslooking back to Mont Saint Romain

And finally a debriefing…Burgundy style

Everybody enjoyed the randonnée, both walkers and organisers. At a total of 245 we were well pleased with the number of walkers, particularly as it is yet another long holiday weekend when people are away.

Chris has now started to prepare for the next event, the soapbox cart rally in July. Watch this space!

May 7, 2017

Chansons Québécoise

The highlight of a rather dreary weekend of rain was the concert last night given by Richard Trépanier, a singer-songwriter from Quebec. It was organised by the Amis du Collectif, the group of neighbouring foyer ruraux, and the Bourgogne Québec Association with Georges Pierre its president.

Richard Trépanier’s own songs included ’Le Cri de la Terre’ which became the anthem for the Fondation Québécoise en Environement. But he also has a vast repertoire of songs, including French, British and American favourites. What impressed me most was Richard’s engaging personality. Before the concert he chatted with people as they assembled in the hall and, remembering the faces and names and snippets of information, he conversed with the audience between songs and created a wonderful rapport. Everybody joined in the French songs of the 60s, even I knew  Joe Dassin’s Les Champs-Elysées. Chris commented that all these years listening to Nostalgia on the radio had not been in vain. Luckily half of the Cant’Azé choir were there to drown us out.


Pascale and Georges join in with Richard

Afterwards, in true Burgundy style, we sat down to a meal together. Our end of the table enjoyed a bit of nostalgia of their own, discovering family friends and grandparents in common and describing life in Varanges when they were young. We’ve been intrigued lately by how many of the people here are related. Not surprising really as even though people may go away to Paris or Lyon to work they are likely to inherit the family house and retire here. Being a close knit community parcels of land and houses belong to branches of the same family so most of our neighbours are related in some way. It must have been a busy place at one time as the farm at Varanges employed about a hundred workers who all lived locally. There was even a cafe. Everybody agrees that now, without the pigfarm, the air these days is a great deal sweeter.


April 26, 2017

Remember when it used to be sunny?

Filed under: Events,Places,Weather — Tags: , , — Mary @ 18:48

This is only our second cold grey rainy day and after weeks of dry weather we welcome the downpour. But it is surprising how quickly you begin to think you might never see the sun again. So I’ve just been looking through some photos taken in sunnier times.

In March I arrived to find snow in Glasgow but, although it was never warm, the following sunny weather meant that I was able to enjoy some interesting trips out with Maggie and Jo. The first weekend we visited friends who live in an idyllic spot on Loch Long, not too far from Faslane, the Scottish naval base, home of the Trident missile and the nuclear submarines.


The shore at Cove

The children spent the evening fishing in the rockpools

We had picnics, this one at the Kelpies near Falkirk

where, as usual, there were plenty of opportunities to get cold and wet

People from the old folks’ home wrapped up and taken for an afternoon out

Another day we went to see the Falkirk Wheel which links the Forth & Clyde Canal to the Union Canal

It’s the only rotating boat lift in the world.

The Falkirk Wheel replaced 11 locks; the difference in height between the two canals is 35m.

This weekend Cluny hosted the 10th Grand National. It was the 2nd stage of 11 competitions held in venues throughout France. Although cold the weekend was sunny, perfect weather for competitors and spectators.

The Grand Prix on Sunday

The jumps were huge

All the more impressive as you can stand so close

I make no excuses for such a long blog, seeing it is ages since I have written anything. Moreover this is my 500th blog. Never did I think when I started I would manage 500. I will deserve my glass of wine tonight.

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