Our Life in Burgundy

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June 22, 2018

Fête de la Musique 2018

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 21:34

June 21st is the date for la Fête de la Musique when every town in France resonates to the sound of bands, choirs and dancing. Our line dance club, Country Dreams, plays a part in the events staged in Cluny each year.

It felt like we had been practising for weeks so all went well except for the odd times the concentration slipped, or the feet didn’t slip, that is when they were caught by rough concrete of the Narthex. Here’s a few photos of a super evening -

We danced in the Narthex, the old foundations of the abbey

Cours 3 & 4 (photos Chris)

Christiane and Beatrice smile with relief when it’s all over!

Chris was busy with his camera when we weren’t dancing and took a couple of videos too.

https://youtu.be/uZFqvzW4PjA

https://youtu.be/dKmb_9In8B8

If anybody near Cluny reads this please come and join us. We especially need some more men. There are lots of social occasions besides the dancing and if we can do it anybody can!

 

May 22, 2018

Holiday Weekend

Filed under: Events,People,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 20:13

 

Montgolfières in Chalon on Saturday morning (photo JSL) They drifted over Cormatin

With Monday being the 4th public holiday in May it’s been another long holiday weekend. The weather was perfect and everyone was out and about enjoying the many events on offer.

The Saturday morning market in Cluny was very busy, and we stopped to have a coffee and watch the world go by.

At the Nation on the main street in Cluny

Having time to kill we wandered through an alleyway we had never seen open before, and found Eric Clavel exhibiting his sculptures. Mainly horses’ heads cleverly made of carved wood and bits of machinery, and this life size snorting bull which amused people as it had a clock set in his bottom.

Solange and Frédéric from the School of Dance staged a festival this weekend. Solange led the exercises at the ‘barre‘, a crash barrier along the middle of the street. Anybody could join in.

Exercises at the barre

We were waiting to see the flashmob which was to take place in the marketplace at noon. It was not exactly a flashmob as we know it as it had been advertised for weeks. The routine was on youtube so that anybody who felt like it could learn the dance and join in. It was not unlike some of the routines we do in keep fit.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53cG1LaSJZw  We did consider doing it.

The first showing of the flashmob in the market with Solange and Frédéric

Then to the Nartex where there was a bit more room

And then home to watch The Wedding!

O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!
O, and then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Meghan, thou shalt be my Summer’s Queen.

(after Thomas Dekker, 1599)

On Sunday there was the AutoMotoRetro at Boutavent, the chateau at Cortambert. It was organised by Pierre-Jean, the mayor, and was a huge success seeing it was the first year it had been held. There was an astonishing number of vintage cars and lots of visitors. The setting  in the grounds of the chateau was perfect with a wonderful view.

The backdrop of the Grosne valley

Catherine, the châtelaine of Butavent

Plenty of visitors arrived in their own classic cars and bikes

It was a fun weekend. With all the holidays it is no wonder that not much work gets done in May!

May 5, 2018

A most spectacular sport

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Mary @ 22:52

 

The Horse-Ball Pro Elite competition is being held in Cluny this weekend. It draws quite a crowd as horseball is fast and furious. In horseball there are teams of 6, 4 players and 2 substitutes. The ball is thrown in and the team that catches it races towards the goal. They must pass the ball at least three times before trying to score, and a player cannot keep possession for more than 10 seconds. The other team try to block them by pushing with their horses, or wresting the ball from the other player’s grasp, which may result in the attacking team galloping back up the field in order to regroup and attack again. If the ball is dropped either team can retrieve it but they must be going in the same direction as the ball was dropped. Despite the rules about safety it’s a very violent game.  Thanks to Chris here are some photos of this afternoon’s action.

 

Chasing the player with the ball

He’s blocked

And they all turn to race up the field

The ball is dropped and the other team take possession

And it’s a goal!

Goals come thick and fast

Horseball is a great sport demonstrating the strength and agility of both horse and rider. All the teams play each other and the finalists will battle it out tomorrow afternoon.

April 28, 2018

Cat World

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 20:19

 

It seems that Cluny is a good place for cat lovers as well as equestrians. At the Griottons today was a show organised by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, originally an American institution which has recently arrived in Europe. The hundred or so cats in the competitions were groomed to perfection and very much admired by the various judges. But many of them have those ugly flat faces which seem popular nowadays, or so much fur that I doubt they could live a normal life. Many of the owners had travelled from Germany and Switzerland, and the judges were from all over Europe. The judge in the photos below was an American who lives in Finland.

 

Examining a Cornish Rex

The proud owner of a prize winning Persian

Funnily enough we found that some cats looked just like their owners, as above. I find it a bit unnerving the way the cats did not object to being hauled out of cages and passed around by strangers. Learned helplessness?

On leaving we were given free samples of cat biscuits which were wolfed down by our cats tonight so I assume they’d like us to go back to the Griottons tomorrow and get in a supply.

Seeing those unfortunate show cats makes us appreciate our four. A trip down the road to the vet is traumatic enough never mind travelling to another country. They are spooked by anybody who isn’t us, are quite often rather dishevelled and have an ongoing battle with fleas. But at least they seem to enjoy life.

Mother

Little Smudgie

The boys, Kitten and Benedict

I wonder whether if they had more impressive names like the cats in the show they would be a bit more glamorous.  Instead of Mother perhaps Ivy Cat Nitro of Snomyst.  Benedict could be Suavere’s Dark Secret of Penobscot. (Actual names of a couple of the show cats). Or perhaps not.

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