We spent a very enjoyable afternoon at a private concert in Blanot. Two old friends from their days at the Conservatoire at Dijon have recently formed a duo, David Aubret on accordion and Bertrand Di Leone on saxophone. Readers of the blog will know that David used to be the choirmaster for Cant’Azé. They call themselves Parole d’anches. David showed us where the anches were on the accordion, and how the sound is produced, and Bertrand explained about the reed on his sax. There was plenty of discussion about the music they played, some from classic films.
Parole d’Anches (www.facebook.com/paroledanches)
As is usual here everybody took along a dish to share and we had apéros. We enjoyed the company of a group of Africans from Benin who we were renting the house next door. In the pause between the savouries and the sweets they treated us to an impromptu concert.
Apparently they arrived earlier in the year during the freezing cold weather in just their cotton shirts so they were enjoying the heat of the sun this afternoon. They are performing in various local venues and we will look forward to seeing them again in May.
This morning we were surprised to see on entering Cortambert that the nameplate had been wrapped in plastic film and sprayed with the words “A VENDRE”. It was part of an ongoing protest by farmers who say that our local villages will soon die if the government goes ahead with its plans.
Protest on entering Bray (photo JSL)
Trouble has been brewing for some time. The government want to reduce the number of agricultural areas that qualify for subsidies from the EU to support agricultural activity in areas of low potential. There was mayhem in February in the southwest when the motorways around Toulouse were blocked with burning tyres and straw, and Montauban was completely cut off. The situation was likened to a civil war.
It seems that the government will not listen to people unless they resort to force. Farmers are especially well equipped with tractors to block motorways and tons of manure mixed with dead rats to dump in the centre of Paris. Also potatoes to block the streets, and rotten apples to throw at the police. Last September there was a protest about the proposed ban of glyphosate weedkillers and the farmers blocked the Champs-Elysée with hay. In a protest about food labelling the farmers paraded around Carrefour releasing scores of pigeons. These shows of strength are relatively frequent in France.
The president of the Young Farmers Union said that Mr Macron wants to be the World’s Mr Clean but he is the gravedigger of agriculture. These words were repeated this morning by our mayor, Pierre-Jean Bardin, who has threatened to resign if this reassessment goes ahead. With him would go Jean-Luc Delpeuch the president of the community of communes of Clunisois, and the mayors of Berzé-le-Châtel and Bray. “We do not do it cheerfully but this is the last card in our possession to denounce an absurdity”. The mayors of the other five communes affected will give their support and will press the Prefect of Saône-et-Loire to come to see for himself the difficulties in farming this area.
From the left the mayor of Blanot, Pierre-Jean Bardin mayor of Cortambert, Jean-Luc Delpeuch and the mayors of Donzy and Chissey (photo JSL)
The final decision will be taken in May. We sincerely hope that the proposed declassification will be dropped and that Pierre-Jean remains our mayor.
After an interminable winter spring seems to be tentatively making an appearance. For the first time it is warmer outside than in. People are cutting the grass and the bats are flitting about. The cattle are out at pasture and new lambs are leaping around in the sunshine.
It’s the beginning of the school holidays so no classes for us during the next fortnight. It was nice to finish the spring term of line dancing with a ball at Charnay les Mâcon. These things go on so late, we hadn’t even got through half of the playlist by the time we left after midnight. But the company was good and we enjoyed some rather challenging dancing. Must do some revision during the holidays!
Our group from Country Dreams Cluny
Chris found a new friend
With the weather being better we’ve tried to get out on bikes every day this week. Lucky we had put in some practice as Denis took us out for a ride this morning.
Chris, Frédéric, Denis & Sophie
This jaunt took us along the voie verte past Cormatin, turning off to Malay and Ougy, and back via Lys.
View of the church at Malay from the voie verte
It was an easy and traffic free 37km. Hopefully this will be a regular second Sunday of the month event. Meanwhile let’s have a bit more warmth and sunshine. At least there won’t be a drought this summer.