Our Life in Burgundy

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The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

June 28, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Mary @ 10:36

Blanche is my white Renault 4 Savane. I bought her in Glasgow in 2006 and she served us well on several camping trips around France.

On a haggis hunting trip in Scotland

Unfortunately a couple of years ago she developed head gasket problems which the garage couldn’t seem to fix. So she was sent back to my son Malcolm in England who did a thorough overhaul and restored her to tip-top condition. Malcolm has just put her up for sale on his Renault 4 forum. There is more information here.

We are giving Malcolm our Renault 4 van which he is coming to fetch soon. If anyone wants Blanche in France he could bring her over with him in July.  She is still registered in France. Yesterday she passed her MoT in England so she is ready be registered in the UK.

So speak up soon if anyone here wants her. You’ll not find many Quatrelles left in such good condition. You can contact me through email address on this website.

June 24, 2014

Patrick Ballériaud

Filed under: People — Tags: , , , — Mary @ 17:11


Patrick is the artist who asked around and came up with a photo of René Laheurte, the last parish priest of Cormatin who lived at La Maison du Curé. The portrait he drew is hanging in the entrance hall. He also produced the pen and ink scenes of Chazelle, Taizé and Cormatin which hang in the sitting room. This one of La Maison du Curé was a special commission.

After many years away in Narbonne, Patrick came back to the family farm in Chazelle where he is establishing himself as a very proficient artist and teacher. At the Saturday morning market in Cluny you will find him drawing live portraits in 20 minutes. Some of his work can be seen on his facebook page  

Patrick and Silvyanne

Patrick’s partner Silvyanne is also an artist and sculptor. Under the name of Créa Sil she decorates pottery and makes figures from wire which remind me a little of the work of Johé Gourmand.  See some of her work here.

Patrick has also proved himself skilled at renovation and has converted the upstairs of an old barn at the farm into a studio for himself and Silvyanne. On Saturday he invited us to the vernissage where we could admire his work, both structural and artistic, and sample some of his own delicious and very alcoholic ‘champagne’.

The new studio - photo by Patrick

Patrick runs painting courses and the next one will be 4th – 7th August. Much of the time his group will work outside drawing and painting local scenes. You never know, I might be with them. Move over Cézanne!

You might also meet Patrick and Silvyanne in Cormatin on a Sunday afternoon.

Playing Away

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 09:53


Obviously our prowess at badminton has spread throughout the Clunysois as we were invited yesterday for an away match at Tramayes, about 25km away, the other side of Saint Point.

Real courts with lines!

Despite the playing conditions we put up a good fight. Here we could only play two a side, not three or four. There were lines on the floor so we couldn’t just shout ‘Out!’ when we felt we should win a point. The floor was hard and we couldn’t skid around as we do on our parquet dance floor. The ceiling was too high so you couldn’t get the shuttle to bounce straight down off it.  You could only hit the shuttle once and you couldn’t let it bounce first. Quelle horreur!

The Cortambert team

We put more effort in than usual, and due to the close rainy evening we were soon dripping with sweat. At the end we were rewarded with drinks and a spread in true Burgundy style.

After the game

After the game

Thank you Tramayes! We promise to put in a bit of practice before the return match.

June 22, 2014

Sunday walk around Lournand

Filed under: Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 22:30

Today we enjoyed a circular walk of 9km starting in Lournand and passing through Chevagny and Collonges. Lournand is in the hills opposite Cortambert on the other side of the Grosne valley and from there we could see the whole of our commune at once.


It was a tough walk and the sun was hot. At first we had a steep descent but after that I began to think I was toiling up The Impossible Staircase as we seem to be climbing the whole time.

Although we were within sight of Cortambert the countryside on the Lournand side of the valley is very different with its hayfields and cereal crops instead of vineyards and forests. Even the houses were different with galleries running the length of the house and huge barns underneath. And the geraniums and roses were wonderful.

The Chapel of Saint Laurent at Collonges


At Collonges we appreciated a rest in the cool interior of the Chapel of Saint Laurent. It’s thought to be 14th century and contains the 11th century font from the Chapel at Cotte, just off the Cormatin-Cluny road.


Next month we will be celebrating the end of this season’s Sunday walks with a rando-picnic at the Chapel at Charcuble with a walk up to the restaurant at Mount Saint Romain for coffee. We’ll keep you posted.

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