Our Life in Burgundy

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May 17, 2014

Flashmob in Cluny

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , — Mary @ 16:55


There was something different in Cluny market this morning, a flashmob . It’s Dance Day and various musical and dance events are being staged. Frédéric Cellé, a choreographer, had posted a video of the intended moves several days ago and invited any wannabe dancers to come to a rehearsal at the School of Music. At lunchtime we saw the results, hardly spontaneous but nevertheless quite enjoyable.  But it was a pity that they chose quite a confined area between the stalls to dance when there was plenty of open space by the Abbey, and I thought the choice of music was a bit weird, Michael Jackson :) and Tchaikovsky :(

You can see the flashmob here . http://youtu.be/m_CphqlwWg8

May 15, 2014

Preparations for the Randonnée des Roses

Filed under: Events,People,Village Life — Tags: , — Mary @ 10:48



It’ll soon be June 1st, the day of the Randonnée des Roses hosted by the foyer rural of Cortambert. So preparations are well underway. There is plenty to do for everyone. Chris has devised the circuits and Jean-Louis has printed the maps. Pascale is ordering the food and drink, posters are up in every village and publicity is being handed out at other local randonnés. Later teams will mark out the circuits with tape and arrows, and the barnums will be erected at the refreshment stops.

Martine had a bright idea that we should print teeshirts with the ladybird logo for the helpers at the buvettes so last night we held a workshop…


The two Martines and Pierre-Jean iron on the transfers


Anne Marie shows the result


Meanwhile Sandrine paints some arrows


Pascale and Marie Antoinette run up some aprons


And Martine proves a good model


While the rest of us colour in the circuits on the maps

Our next village walk will be to test out the 9km circuit on Sunday 25th May.  Participants please meet at the foyer rural of Cortambert at 9.30am.

Further information about the Randonnée des Roses can be found on the Cortambert website


May 13, 2014

A holiday weekend in May

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , , , , — Mary @ 12:33



As it was Victory Day on Thursday many people took Friday off to faire le pont  so the weekend was a continuation of the holiday.

In Cluny the Equivallée was teeming with the 180 young riders who had come for the pony games,  36 teams of 5 riders. Besides the French there were teams from Spain, Switzerland and Italy.  It’s part of the Peter Dale Cup, five meetings around Europe with the final in Turin in September.

Did you know that the Duke of Edinburgh invented pony games in 1957? Pony games are a test of agility and control. Even the youngest riders at 12 years old could jump on and off a galloping horse. And how on earth is it possible to pick a tennis ball off the ground at a gallop??


Lace making exhibition in Cluny

On a more gentle note there was the lacemaking exhibition at the Ecuries Saint-Hughes. Six clubs from around Cluny  presented their masterpieces and showed us their techniques.

Fish by Rachel Schlumberger

At Massilly there was an exhibition by les Belles de Mai. This is a group of 14 women artists with wide ranging skills such as painting on textiles, feltwork and upholstery, besides the usual watercolours and scuptures.


President of the Renault Alpine club and his car

While at Massilly we admired part of a convoy of 170 old Renault Alpines  heading up to Cortambert. They were on the 23rd yearly run round the Mâconnais, arranged by the Renault Classic Club of Charnay-les-Mâcon.



Les Cortambertsois et les amis Donzyrons

On Sunday we were still in the holiday mood as we set off in a coach with a group of 47 from Cortambert and Donzy. We arrived in Pouilly en Auxois to take a boat trip on the canal de Bourgogne to Escommes.


Our boat

Unfortunately there was a problem with recharging the battery, so, despite several offers to row the boat, the crew just took us through a couple of locks and back again.


Talk about the electric barge - photoby Anne Marie

We didn’t get to pass through the famous Voûte,  but we saw the electric barge used from 1893-1987 to tow the boats through the tunnel. It was the replacement for one with a coal fired boiler that had blown up and killed everyone on board. According to the rules of the company the four crew members took 25 litres of wine to drink each day.  Even we couldn’t keep up with that although some tried.


Drinks on board - photo by Chris

It turned out to be a day of gastronomy rather than sightseeing. As compensation for not having our trip up the canal we were treated to aperos, wine and and foie gras. Then we went on to have lunch at a restaurant overlooking Lac de Panthier at Vandenesse-en-Auxois. We enjoyed an excellent meal, beautifully presented in lovely surroundings.



Lunch at the Lac de Pantier

Then on to the Cassissium at Nuits St Georges. We learned everything there is to know about blackcurrants and were invited to taste the cassis at the end of the tour. The SuperCassis is quite strong at 20% proof, and when mixed with Marc even more potent, so we were soon quite merry. The Cassissium not only makes cassis but a huge variety of fruit cordials


Tasting cassis at the end of the tour

We had friends staying with us the weekend and we hope they enjoyed the weekend as much as we did.

May 4, 2014

Rando at Massilly

Filed under: Events,Places,Village Life — Tags: , , — Mary @ 13:32


It’s good to check out the randonnées organised by neighbouring villages as it is only four weeks until we will be hosting our own event in Cortambert,  the Randonnée des Roses on 1st June.

Massilly is best known for its tin factory which is not in the village itself but on the other side of the Cormatin-Cluny road. Massilly is very picturesque with its distinctive church spire on the hill and its winding streets. The houses are very pretty and typical of this area with steps each side leading up to the front door.


A good choice of walking routes

The walk was very well signposted and led us through some lovely countryside. Being so near home we met several friends and neighbours along the way.


Having registered only for a short walk we did not get refreshments en route but once back at the hall we were given a plate of bread, cheese, a good slice of ham, gâteau au miel and chocolate. I hope the refreshments held out as by mid morning there were 700* out on the piste  and still more people coming in to register. I found when I asked for more that the orange juice was already rationed. Note that at our Cortambert randonnée everybody can eat and drink as much as they want!


Back to the hall for refreshments

The verdict: wonderful organisation and reception at the hall. Good circuits clearly shown on a beautifully printed map. Lovely countryside with a good choice of distances with the walkers’ routes separate from the VTT circuits. Bravo Massilly.

* The final number of participants came to a record 1002.


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