Our Life in Burgundy

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May 25, 2017

Art in Cormatin


Cormatin is becoming more and more a centre for pottery and creative arts. There’s a super show this week at l’entre2, the exhibition space created by Patrick & Martine adjoining their jewellery business, L’atelier de Galadrielle. It’s on the right as you enter Cormatin from the south.


Patrick & Silvyane with Chris outside l’entre2

Exhibited is the work of Patrick Ballériaud and his partner Silvyane Sabato. Patrick can turn his hand to any form of drawing or painting, watercolours, pastels, oils, charcoal or pen & ink. He illustrates books and is skilled at portraiture. He drew the portrait of the last Curé of Cormatin which hangs in the hall at la Maison du Curé. He also teaches a variety of courses. Chris & I enjoyed a day out learning to paint landscapes. Coming up on the 10th June is a day sketching along the voie verte, picnic provided, and in July there will be a life drawing course.

Silvyane’s specialty is working with wire. She and Patrick published ’La Vie’ a poem written by Silvyane and illustrated by Patrick’s paintings, with the key phrases picked out by Silvyane and transformed into wire sculptures. I can also vouch for her wonderful cooking as she caters for Patrick’s art courses.

Do go along and meet Patrick and Silvyane in Cormatin.  More of their work and contact details can be found on www.studioballeriaud.fr

July 30, 2016

Wedding Day

Filed under: Events — Tags: , — Mary @ 22:22

We were delighted to receive un faire-part from our mayor,  an invitation to the religious ceremony and the vin d’honneur of the wedding of his daughter Marina to Nicolas. The church at Cormatin was full when we arrived at midday.

We found this wedding very different to the ones we are used to. In France the couple start by going to the mairie for the civil service, usually just with close friends and relatives. Then comes the blessing in the church to which work colleagues and neighbours are also invited. There were no bridesmaids or best man but several witnesses. Very few flowers were in evidence except for the bouquet of white lilies carried by the bride.

The priest was jocular and the ceremony was not overlong. I was impressed that when the couple exchanged vows they said ‘Je le veux’ which sounded to me far happier than ‘I do’.

Guard of honour

The couple, doused in confetti, left the church between a guard of honour made up of the groom’s airforce friends and the brides labcoated work colleagues.

Off to the chateau of Boutavent

Normally a procession of cars following a wedding will flash their lights and toot their horns all the way. Perhaps we were too far behind but we missed that.

At the chateau the vin d’honneur provided  an opportunity for the village to give their good wishes to the newlyweds. We were entertained by a young cavalière and her three horses, en liberté.


 The chateau park and the horses provided an ideal photo opportunity

We left mid afternoon,  leaving the wedding party to look forward to the big dinner and dance in the evening. I’ve heard from a friend who was married in Cormatin that usually the celebrations go on until dawn when onion soup is served. Then the married couple are allowed a couple of hours rest before their bedroom is invaded by their close friends who bring a chamber pot full of a disgusting looking mixture, perhaps some wine, sausages and chocolate paste, and the bride has to drink from it first and then the groom. I’ll have to ask about that!

July 31, 2015


Filed under: People,Places,Village Life — Tags: , , — Mary @ 09:16

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.

May 14, 2015

The Cycle Club of Cortambert Rides Out

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , , , — Mary @ 21:08


We’ve been in training the last couple of weeks for today’s event, a 45km cycle ride. It was perfect weather for cycling, quite cool and not too sunny.

We set off from the foyer rural in Cortambert and went north through Toury, Lys, Chapaize and Champagny sous Uxelles.  Then on to Bresse sur Grosne, Santilly and Etiveau before joining the voie verte for a gentle ride to Cormatin.


We had the occasional stop for repairs


and to let everyone catch up.

In Cormatin we stopped for a picnic by the river at the Plan d’Eau.


We enjoyed the sunshine and had a leisurely lunch.

I sometimes think events in Cortambert are just an excuse to have a party!



Time to go back so we rejoined the voie verte and cycled back to Massilly thence back up the hill to Cortambert. (Some decided that Merzé to Varanges to Cortambert was the way to go and arrived back at the foyer much later, completely exhausted)



From Cormatin I would thoroughly recommend this easy circuit through the villages of  Lys, Chapaize and Champagny sous Uxelles and Bresse sur Grosne, to return on the voie verte. It takes you through pretty villages, past chateaux and along the river. It is fairly flat all the way and you will rarely meet any traffic. For us, having to climb back up to Cortambert is a disadvantage of living in the hills, a disadvantage far outweighed by our wonderful views over the Grosne valley.



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