Our Life in Burgundy

Version française

The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

March 30, 2014

Fundraising Afternoon for La Clunysia

Filed under: Events,People — Tags: , , — Mary @ 19:32


We were lucky enough to be invited to a short concert by a local choir, La Clunysia. An excellent performance particularly as they had just finished one of those huge French lunches that go on all afternoon.


La Clunysia

La Clunysia has been going for 62 years and welcomes all newcomers. There is quite a mix of people. The leader is an American, Greg Johnson, who teaches music in Cluny and runs several local choirs.  There are some English and Dutch people in the choir. Good for learning French, they say. Bad for the nerves, I reply.


Drawing the numbers for the tombola

The afternoon finished with a tombola. I’ve never seen so many prizes, every ticket seemed to be a winner.

Thank you La Clunysia for a very entertaining afternoon.

March 29, 2014

Events at the Equivallée in Cluny

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 11:36


After watching the recent improvements over the early part of the year with the resurfacing of arenas and the building of the commentary box we were pleased to see the Equivallée back in action this weekend with the first major jumping competition of 2014, the CSO Grand Prix.

Saturday mornings in the summer involve going to the market and staying on to watch the horses. Not just jumping. In previous weeks there have been horseball and pony games.


This morning's CSO from Cluny

You can see the calendar of events on the Equivallée site  Next week there is carriage racing and the weekend after that the 2014 Grand National. Not as in Aintree but an international jumping competition.


March 23, 2014

A Visit to La Trufière

Filed under: Places — Tags: , — Mary @ 21:10

La Trufière, the goat farm at Lys, held an open day today. We had often passed by and seen the goats in the fields but hadn’t gone up to the farm before. It is famous for the quality of its cheese and supplies most of the local restaurants and schools.

We were invited to taste a range of cheeses from the young and soft to the mature. It is the custom here to buy a new cheese and keep it outside in a cage under the eaves until it has gone dry, hard and mouldy.

The goats come in from the fields

Best of all we were able to visit the goats. They were just coming inside for the night. Along with an extra little one who had been born out in the field.

La Trufière is very near Cormatin and well worth a visit. It is left off the main road just past Lys. Open every morning from 9-12.

Election Day

Filed under: Events,Village Life — Tags: , , — Mary @ 11:04


Elections will be held all over France today. All  36,680  mayorships will be up for re-election as will all city, town and village council seats. In total there are 926,068 candidates, 1 one for every 49 voters in France.

So we are going to elect the conseil municipal of Cortambert for the next six years. It depends on the size of the commune how many councillors you can elect. And you do not vote for individuals but for lists of people.

From 2014 the lists must have an equal number of men and woman alternating by gender with the name of a man at the top. It is just the councillors who are elected and they will meet next week to elect the mayor. Another change is that in a small commune of less than 1000 people it is no longer necessary to show identity. This helps the older population who have probably lived here all their lives and may not possess a passport or a driving licence.


Arriving at the Mairie to vote

Arriving at the Mairie to vote

Our commune is small, comprising three villages with 200 people. So we are entitled to 11 councillors. That’s about one to every 15 people not including the children. There are 13 who wish to be considered so all we have to do is cross off two people.

In larger communes such as Cormatin there will be 15 councillors elected. The mayor’s list of 15 has been published but there has been a heated debate between the ruling clique and the dissenters who have put forward their own list, albeit incomplete with only 11 names.

Voting in large cities such as Lyon and Paris is much more complicated and if the lists do not get a good enough majority the voting goes to stage 2 next Sunday. Paris is excited to be electing its first woman mayor. It is hoped that either of the two female candidates can infuse Paris with the economic and political dynamism to boost the working Parisiens and save Paris from becoming just a tourist attraction.

Mayors and their deputies are paid very little considering the work they have to put in.  The Mayor has be responsible for the administration of the commune’s budget and the execution of public works. He is a registrar of births, marriages and deaths and a law enforcement official. He has specific powers as regards the granting of planning permission. All proposed renovations have to be run by him first.


Identity check by the scrutineers

Identity check by the scrutineers

We went to a meeting this week where we met the candidates. Somebody from the back asked Can our European friends vote? referring to the latest incomers to our commune, the English, Scots and Dutch. The Mayor kindly replied that yes we can. He is very keen that newcomers integrate and encourages people to take part in all village activities. So he explained that anybody from the EU who registered by the end of 2013 and is resident in the commune can vote.

So voilà, off we went today, our first experience of voting in France.

The results were published the same day and can be found on Chris’s Cortambert website here

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress