We’ve had fun this week with our two little grand-daughters, Maggie and Jo. They normally live in Glasgow.
When they first arrived it was hot. All they wanted to do was to go swimming, from the moment they woke up in the morning.
Swimming under supervision
It was fun with the neighbours
The girls enjoy cycling and some afternoons we took them along the voie verte.
Jo and Maggie out on their bikes
Always room for a friend
At Bois Dernier near Cormatin is a picnic area with escalades, a zipline and monkey bridge for the children.
Jo climbing the rocks
Coming down on the zip wire
More challenging was the Accro’Lugny where there is a parcours suitable for everyone from four years old to adults. The girls quickly learned how to clip themselves on with the carabiners.
Giant strides for Jo
Maggie in her harness
And for the brave the parcours noir. Frightening to watch but perfectly safe with the harnesses. Perhaps an idea for the next foyer rural outing?
Most of all the girls enjoyed the life in the country.
Getting to know the hens
They could feed the horses and the hens. They were invited to visit the bees. And there were sessions of football and climbing trees in the garden.
Jo helping Claude keep goal
Maybe next year they will be old enough to stay with their mamie and papy in the summer while their mother works. Just like the French kids.
Perhaps too much sun just now?
What do you do when a heatwave goes on for ever? It was 36° again today and it hasn’t rained for six weeks. Everything’s brown and withered, the veg garden has given up except for the tomatoes, there’s no fruit, the trees are losing their leaves…
The French government gives lots of advice, mindful of the disaster of August 2003 when thousands of old people died in the heat. Motorway banners urge people to stop for a drink and to check up on their nearest and dearest. We are advised to go to the cinema or the supermarket to take advantage of the air conditioning (reminding us of time spent loitering in Leclerc while camping in the canicule of 2003).
We have water restrictions in place until mid September. No watering during the day, no car washing, no filling of swimming pools, no using water from the river. It’s hard on the farmers and we have seen the cows being given hay.
A swimming pool is an essential this weather. In our small neighbourhood we have seven. Perhaps the government should refund part of the cost as they do (although less and less each year) with energy saving improvements?
Keeping cool with friends
Forget the notion that French houses are cool in the summer. Ours goes up to 32° despite the shutters being closed against the sun. And not much cooler at night. But there’s climatisation in the car so it’s comfortable to drive around. Today we headed off to Beaujolais and found a landscape green with vines. A contrast to our golden brown fields.
Looking down on Fleurie and its vineyards
There is a chance it might rain at the weekend. Lets hope so or the countryside will be like a Cézanne painting. Hopefully come the winter we will remember the happy times spent in the swimming pool and the long warm evenings eating outside.
And we’ll look back at the photos and try to imagine what hot was like….
How many people have patted that painted cat at Fleurie?
After a flurry of end of term dinners and performances we can relax and enjoy the holidays. (Yes, I know every day is a holiday for us!).
Midsummer was celebrated with the Feux de la St Jean at Blanot.
The team setting the bonfire
The music was provided by Duo Héritages who kept us entertained until the early hours. As soon as it was dark the bonfire was lit and the warm night became even warmer. The buvette did a roaring trade in cold drinks.
Our keep fit class celebrated with a meal in Blanot. The year’s torture must have had some effect because, despite the heat, many found the energy to walk over the hill from Cortambert. We met at the Auberge du Prieuré where we had a delicious yet healthy meal.
L’Auberge du Prieuré
La, la, la, la…….
A good time was had by all and we celebrated with the Burgundy song.
A successful year was terminated by a concert by our local choir, Cant’Azé. We went to the last of the three performances and the choir said a very tearful goodbye to Jacqueline Delaigue who has been in charge for the last twenty five years. She shared the direction of this concert with the incoming choirmaster, David Aubret.
The Cant’Azé Choir
David is boyishly goodlooking, and we enjoyed his talents the following week when we attended a performance of one of his groups, Du Vent dans les Cordes. David played the accordian with two violinists, Claire Vincent (also on viola) and Yves Marrilliet. We are used to the accordian/violin combination at ceilidhs so it was a treat to hear them playing classical music; the short pieces from Vivaldi, Chostakovitch and Puccini were my particular favourites. You too can enjoy them on www.dvdlc.fr.
Du Vent dans les Cordes
I have no doubt that the number of women joining Cant’Azé will rise when the choir meets again in September. But don’t think about the Rentrée yet. We have the two long months of summer to enjoy first.
Many villages and hamlets hold a yearly Repas du Quartier. Today it was the turn of our hamlet, Varanges. It was organised by Marie Pascale & David and Jan & Joke.
Jan & Joke’s home was the ideal venue. Les Sarilles is a beautiful 16th century farmhouse which has been recently converted into a chambres d’hôtes and a gîte (www.lessarilles.eu). It is set in a park and has wonderful views over the Grosne Valley.
In temperatures of 35° we kept in the shade and enjoyed the view over Varanges.
A good opportunity to catch up with each other
Everybody brought a plate of something to share so there was a wonderful assortment of salads and desserts. And plenty of cold drinks and wine. We were able to eat comfortably in the shady barn. There was lots of animated conversation as we had a chance to catch up with news of the neighbours we don’t see everyday. Later Jan gave an impromptu piano recital to an appreciative audience.
A leisurely lunch in the shade of the barn
Today was a great success and was enjoyed by 43 of our neighbours. Now the baton will be passed to another two couples who will decide on the date and venue for next year’s repas. I just hope it won’t be so hot next year!