Our Life in Burgundy

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March 17, 2012

See Glasgow and Die

Filed under: Places,Weather — Tags: , , — Mary @ 16:05
A piper on Argyle Street

A piper on Argyle Street

I went over to Glasgow for a few weeks in February to help out with the kids while my daughter was away teaching various courses or working. She lives two floors up in a tenement flat above a pub on a very busy road, almost opposite Partick station. It’s a busy station with both the Glasgow tube system (the clockwork orange) and a hub for train services to the rest of Scotland. It takes a while to get used to the trains running past the kitchen window every ten minutes.

The weather was all I expected; at first a constant drizzle, then heavy showers with a freezing wind. The latter meant that if I looked out of the window and saw no rain I would get the kids ready and down the 49 steps to the front door and find it was pouring. Several times I had forgotten to put on a coat. There was no way I could climb back up to the flat so out I would go into the weather. So a cold, probably caught on the plane on the way over, soon blossomed into pneumonia which led to a trip to the local hospital.

 
With the kids outside Paisley Abbey

With the kids outside Paisley Abbey

Anyway I did manage to get out a bit before the lurgy struck me and one of the highlights was a visit to Paisley Abbey. Paisley is a town near Glasgow famous for its weaving and paisley shawls. Also for David Tennant, Tom Conti and King Robert II of Scotland. Paisley Abbey was set up by the monks from Much Wenlock and was the first of two Clunaic sites in Scotland.

Inside Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey

It is seeped in history as many of the Stewarts lived there and you can see their tombs. One of them married the daughter of Robert the Bruce in 1315. She unfortunately died in a riding accident but her unborn child was saved.

Tomb of Marjory, mother of Robert II

Tomb of Marjory, mother of Robert II

 He became Robert II, a forefather of our present Queen. Also important in Scottish history was William Wallace who was educated in Paisley Abbey. There is a stained glass window to commemorate him.

Beautiful stained glass windows

Beautiful stained glass windows

In Glasgow itself we visited Glasgow Cathedral which is beside the Royal Infirmary. It was built in the 12th century and is an example of Scottish Gothic architecture, the only medieval cathedral to survive the Reformation. In the crypt is St Mungo’s tomb as described by Walter Scott in ‘Rob Roy’.

Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral

 

Almost next door is the oldest house in Glasgow, the Provand’s Lordship from 1471. It is the only medieval house to survive the extensive clearances in Castle Street.

The Provand's Lordship - the oldest house in Glasgow

The Provand's Lordship - the oldest house in Glasgow

I was surprised to see on my return the damage done by the incredibly cold weather we had in January and February. Flying towards Lyon the landscape looked like the end of a hot dry August. The grass is brown and the shrubs have been scorched. We have lost all the daffodils in the garden but the tulips seem to be coming up. We’ve had a lovely week of sunny weather so hopefully Spring will poke her head above the parapet and the trees will green up soon.

So I’m glad to be home enjoying the warm sunshine and quiet of the village. Most of our neighbours have been away, just as well as I lost my voice for a week. Meanwhile I am lurking in the house this morning while Chris has gone riding without me. Chris, bless him, has worked like a Trojan both when I was away and in the week I have been back so I haven’t had to lift a finger. We go and feed our neighbour’s horses but all I do is stand in the sunshine and watch Chris heave forkfuls of hay about. He has also been busy at the gite doing all those jobs we don’t have time for in the summer.

Meanwhile I am like some delicate Victorian poet, taking to my bed on an afternoon. Instead of the spaniel Flush I have White Cat to keep me company. One thing is sure, if the weather continues like this I will not need to go to Florence to recuperate!

March 7, 2012

I was left in France alone.

Filed under: Events,Village Life — Tags: , — Chris @ 09:26

Readers of our blog are probably wondering what has happened to it over the past few weeks, well Mary is away in foreign parts (she has gone over to Glasgow to baby sit our two granddaughters). This has left me at home in France baby sitting 5 cats and with a long list of jobs to do whilst Mary is away. As well as the usual clean this and fix that items on the list there were also reminders to go to the Loto and the Bal Masqué. I’m happy to report that these two tasks (as well as some of the other tasks) have now been completed.

Our village Loto (basically bingo) was held on the 26th of February and was advertised as a ‘Loto Gourmaund ‘ as all the prizes were food and drink related. Some of the prizes are bought by the Foyer Rural and some, such as meals out, are donated. The Loto is a big money spinner for our Foyer Rural and can bring in a couple of thousand Euros to the coffers.

The next task was the Bal Masqué. Last year we held our first Bal Masqué in early May and we had a great turn out, this year the Foyer Rural decided to push the boat out and book live entertainment. A young couple, who entertained us at the Repas Dansant in 2009, were booked. They play all the popular dance songs : waltzes, pasodobles , marches and of course the Madison – the girl also entertained us with a cabaret act, which seemed to involve sitting on gentlemen’s knees whilst singing Edith Piaf songs and dancing the dance no French cabaret can do with out ‘le Can Can’.

Most of us turned out in elaborate costumes, there were two cowboys and a cow girl, a monk, a nun and two clowns and a rabbi in a big bushy beard who nobody could identify until she laughed. Sadly though the turn out was very poor, this was possibly due to the timing as March 3rd is the middle weekend of the half-term holidays in our region and also during the ski season. So I think most of the profits from the Loto will go on subsidising the Bal Masqué.

Normally blog service will be resumed shortly as Mary returns on Saturday and I can now cross off another item from the list – write blog.

 

Chris

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