It was a busy weekend for us. Not only had we offered to help make apple juice at the Fête de la Pomme but we took part in the Country Dreams line dancing demonstrations on Saturday afternoon.
The Fête de la Pomme is a big annual event at the Griottons in Cluny. There are lots of craft and artisan stalls, a hundred types of honey, fancy gourds and pumpkins. And people busy peeling apples. It is amazing all the things you can do with apples! The apple juice, apple tarts and apple fritters were sold as quickly as they could be produced. The boudin (served with cooked apple) was sold out by Sunday afternoon.
Pressing apples for the fresh juice
Pressing for the pasturised juice..
which had to be heated before bottling
We were selling the juice as quickly as we could make it
Time for the line dancing. Christiane our teacher is leading at the front
Four performances with Country Dreams in the afternoon
A welcome glass of cider afterwards provided by Francis, the president of the Forêt Fruitière (the rearmost of the three men)
And some fooling around with the ponies
Sunday’s entertainment was Polish dancing with Polonia St Vallier
Very lively dancing
and lovely costumes
The Forêt Fruitière needs a huge number of volunteers to make the event a success and we hope we have done a little bit towards it. Meanwhile I’ll never look at an apple again!
On most weekends you can watch some sort of horse event at Cluny. Often there are jumping competitions, working horses, pony games and horseball. This weekend it was carriage racing, a friendly competition that was a rehearsal for the French championships next week. There was a variety of size of horses and teams of one, two and four in hand.
A prize for the prettiest horse?
The smallest competitors
Expert driving of the four in hand
If Sunday’s performance is anything to go by these carriage teams should do very well next week.
The hottest day last week was probably Wednesday, on the evening we took part in the line dancing demo for the Fête de la Musique in Cluny. We were down in the Narthex, the ruins of the Abbey between the Hotel de Bourgogne and the marketplace. Despite the heat and the uneven ground we managed to put on a good show, thanks to Christiane’s training and the enthusiastic encouragement of the spectators.
In the wonderful setting of the Abbey ruins
Classes 2, 3 and 4 of Country Dreams Cluny
Yours truly feeling rather hot
Being in the beginners’ class we didn’t take part in the more advanced dances in the middle so Chris had plenty of time to take some photos. And here’s a couple of videos, the first three dances on https://youtu.be/tHvZQdrxveM and ’Gypsy Queen’ on https://youtu.be/lvly7p3pNXY Next year we hope to join Class 2. Yee-haw!
It is one of those weekends which are très chargés with various events. Yesterday we went to help with the Bourse aux Greffons, an event organised by La Forêt Fruitière to help promote the propagation of the old varieties of fruit trees.
Chris was immediately hands on with the grafting. Customers can ask for advice as to what varieties would suit a particular use or location. They then progress to the grafting table where the rootstock can be chosen to produce the size of tree required.
The grafting table
and the book stall with Chantal and Monique
I was enlisted to help with the books but business was so slow that there was plenty of time to look round, and to sing and dance to the old French songs played on the orgue de barbarie.
Waltzing with Annie to the organ music
Meanwhile there many other stands. The lacemakers of Cluny were out in force, there were stalls of bulbs, gardening equipment, chocolate, cheese, wine….. There was a girl good at scrapbooking and making personalised birthday cards.
The lacemakers hard at work
Towards the end of the day Chris grafted a tree for ourselves. A variety called La Nationale. It’s ideal for a high windy spot in the garden. It flowers late which reduces the risk of damage by frost. I had asked the experts what varieties were the best for cooking but they looked perplexed and said all varieties are good. So no place for the Bramley here.
Chris and Jean working together
After this weekend thoughts turn to the next event with La Forêt Fruitière, the Fête de la Pomme planned for 7th and 8th October 2017. Details will be found on the website www.laforetfruitiere-cluny.com when its relooking is completed.