Last night, despite the cold weather, there was a good turnout of families to see this year’s lights in Cluny. Thankfully the events were not so drawn out nor so weird as usual. The Ombres Blanches, four ladies on stilts in beautiful floaty costumes led the procession through the town to the market place.
One of the shop fronts on the main street
In front of the Abbey we gathered to watch a lively performance of fire dancing and pyrotechnics with Lughna by Cie l’Arche en sel.
Don’t try this at home
After another wander round town we returned to find the Abbey open, and the four ombres blanches were leading a procession round the cloisters. Following behind was the semeur d’étoiles, alias Gérard Thélier, our resident historian.
The ombres blanches in the Abbey
Le semeur d’étoiles
It was nice to see the children so enthralled. The evening was cut short as the horse spectacular was cancelled. Just as well as the snow had begun to fall and it was nice to get home to a warm fire.
It’s been a weekend très chargé. Saturday was the day of the Foire de Saint-Martin. It’s a huge event with stalls filling the centre of Cluny in addition to the normal Saturday morning market. The livestock events took place on the Champ de Foire. As well as the judging, this year there was a show of equine ability with the horses from the Haras. The St Martin’s Fair is a tradition that is fading away in parts of France but in Cluny it seems to be getting bigger and bigger.
The horse fair
The horses brushed and plaited
and different breeds of sheep
Later in Cortambert there was a really good concert hosted by the Québec-Bourgogne Society. A group from Quebec, FolkloFolie, had been booked originally but the weather in Quebec has caused major flooding and the group were unable to leave Quebec on Tuesday as planned. So a more local duo, Emilio Armillès and Salvatore Gréco, appeared instead. Their show ‘Chansons de Toujours’ was a mixture of our favourite old French songs, some Quebec songs and some wonderful instrumentals on the guitar. All peppered with a touch of Naples and Spain, denoting the origins of Emilio and Salvatore.
Emilio Armillès (left) and Salvatore Gréco
This weekend there has also been a huge vide grenier in Cluny, filling the Griottons, the Boulodrome and the parking for the campsite. Bargains everywhere…
Lots of useful stuff outside…
and treasures in the Boulodrome
The weather is changing this weekend. It’s much chillier than the recent warm sunny days we have been used to. We’re enjoying a hectic few weeks before the quiet days of winter.
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.