Our Life in Burgundy

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The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

October 9, 2017

Fête de la Pomme 2017

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , — Mary @ 12:32

It was a busy weekend for us. Not only had we offered to help make apple juice at the Fête de la Pomme but we took part in the Country Dreams line dancing demonstrations on Saturday afternoon.

The Fête de la Pomme is a big annual event at the Griottons in Cluny. There are lots of craft and artisan stalls, a hundred types of honey, fancy gourds and pumpkins. And people busy peeling apples.  It is amazing all the things you can do with apples! The apple juice, apple tarts and apple fritters were sold as quickly as they could be produced. The boudin (served with cooked apple) was sold out by Sunday afternoon.

Pressing apples for the fresh juice

Pressing for the pasturised juice..

which had to be heated before bottling

 

 We were selling the juice as quickly as we could make it

Time for the line dancing. Christiane our teacher is leading at the front

Four performances with Country Dreams in the afternoon

 

 

 A welcome glass of cider afterwards provided by Francis, the president of the Forêt Fruitière (the rearmost of the three men)

And some fooling around with the ponies 

Sunday’s entertainment was Polish dancing with Polonia St Vallier

Very lively dancing

and lovely costumes

 The Forêt Fruitière needs a huge number of volunteers to make the event a success and we hope we have done a little bit towards it. Meanwhile I’ll never look at an apple again!

 

 

 

October 3, 2017

Carriage racing in Cluny

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , — Mary @ 19:21

On most weekends you can watch some sort of horse event at Cluny. Often there are jumping competitions, working horses, pony games and horseball. This weekend it was carriage racing, a friendly competition that was a rehearsal for the French championships next week. There was a variety of size of horses and teams of one, two and four in hand.

A prize for the prettiest horse?

The smallest competitors

Expert driving of the four in hand

If Sunday’s performance is anything to go by these carriage teams should do very well next week.

September 25, 2017

The 20th anniversary of the Voie Verte

Filed under: Events,People,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 17:28

In 1997 the department of Saône-et-Loire constructed the first 44km of the Voie Verte  by concreting the disused railway line between Cluny and Givry. Today there is a continuous cycleway extending 300km, in the north joining the Voie Bleue along the Canal du Centre. Extra circuits called boucles are waymarked cycle rides which direct you round the villages and local points of interest and take you back to the voie verte again. Specially created paths link the various sections together and now there are plans to link all the 600km of paths in Burgundy and extend them to join the cycle paths of the Loire and the Voie Bressane, as well as the Voie Bleue running along the banks of the Saône.

So there were lots of events happening at the old stations along the voie verte over the weekend. St Gengoux kicked off with picnics, guided cycle rides and an stunt bike show, ending with a giant selfie taken by drone, and aperos with the cave des Vignerons de Buxy-St Gengoux.

We cycled down to Massilly on Sunday afternoon to hear the speeches given by the mayor, and other local dignitaries.

The mayor of Massilly, Alain De Javel, flanked by Jean-Luc Delpeuch (Communité des Communes Clunisois) and Jean-Luc Fonteray (Conseillor Général of the canton of Cluny)

There was an interesting exhibition photos from the time the railway was built. We were given straw hats by Jean-Marc which proved really useful as, despite it being the end of September, the sun was very hot.

The station at Massilly

We pedalled on to the Plan d’Eau at Cormatin where there was a very much more noisy celebration with the group Drugstöre Rock giving its all. Rather too loud however for the ladies making lace nearby.

Drugstöre Rock

Later Sabrina Sow from Equinoctis appeared with three horses and a foal. The foal was a great hit with its antics. It could not seem to step over the ringside to join its mum and gambolled at the side. Mum was completely unconcerned.

Sabrina Sow with her mare and foal

and on one of her Percherons

Grazing peacefully afterwards on the Plan d’Eau

A good time was had by all. Here’s to the next 20 years of cycling on the Voie Verte!

 

September 23, 2017

Notre Dame des Roches

View over the Grosne Valley from Notre Dame des Roches

 

The statue of Notre Dame des Roches can be seen high on the hill overlooking Varanges. She was erected after the war to give thanks that the local villages had not been bombed as had Cluny in June 1944.  She had been restored at least once since the 1950s but she was looking rather forlorn, especially as her nose had been used for target practice.

Fortunately Marianne and Peter from Switzerland have come to stay in Cortambert. They are sculptors and painters who specialise in restorations. They took over the old mill at Merzé and have spent several years renovating it. Marianne is a member of the society Cortambert, notre patrimoine, and she and Peter with the other members were keen to take on this local project.

First things first, the scaffolding was borrowed from Yves at the château of Boutavent.

Yves supervising the erection of the scaffolding

Just finished!

Not everything went to plan as there was not enough water power to use the pressure washer and the statue had to be scrubbed by hand. The left hand had been badly repaired before and looked like it should belong to a boxer, but Peter did what he could to make it more elegant. The nose was rebuilt and now the madonna looks quite beautiful.

Before…

and after

David, chief co-ordinator, with Peter and Marianne giving a toast to a job well done

and some of the other volunteers

There was a little celebration this afternoon on completion of the work. The scaffolding will be taken down next week, and sometime soon there will be an official gathering of dedication for the newly restored Notre Dame des Roches.

 

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