Our Life in Burgundy

Version française

The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

June 5, 2018

La Randonnée des Roses 2018

Filed under: Events,People,Places,Weather — Tags: , — Mary @ 15:27

 

This year’s randonnée was perhaps too successful! We normally expect about 250 walkers, but more than 500 subscribed on Sunday. The weather wasn’t too bad, a little heavy perhaps but without full sun. A storm was forecast for later on in the day so the bulk of the walkers set off early.

Chris had devised the circuits of 9km, 14km, 19km and 25km.  He decided it was easier to mark them out himself than organise teams so we spent several days beforehand preparing the arrows and signs, and going round on the quad hammering them in and tying ribbon to trees along the way.

 

Balisage

The final post to plant outside the foyer rural

We finished the marking out early before the first walkers went off. In the hall teams were busy registering, pouring coffees and setting out the refreshments.


Martine with Chantal, Sophia with little Abelia, and Marie Antoinette who were preparing to register the walkers

Claire, Simone and Pascale prepare the food and drink

David and I had dash off to the boulanger in Cluny to fetch three sacks of baguettes and we just managed to get to our point d’eau as the first of the walkers arrived. This is the first refreshment stop after about 4 km. We were stationed on the top of a steep ascent out of Varanges so everyone arrived hot and thirsty. Although we were really just a water point we also put out nibbles but didn’t reckon on the huge numbers of people passing through and soon ran out of dried fruit, biscuits, chocolate and oranges. However after another 5km there was a stop at Blanot where wine, coffee and more substantial snacks were provided.

 

Martine & Pierre-Jean and Martine & Guy served the refreshments in Blanot


There was a further refreshment stop in Culey, manned by Georges and Dominique for the people on the longest 25km walk.

Back at our point d’eau we were running out of water and had to phone Chris to bring some up tout de suite. He even raided our cave and found an extra 8l of Perrier. Nothing but the best for our walkers!

All the walkers passed the point d’eau

and the cattle next to us were interested to see what was going on

After the last walkers had passed through David and I packed up and went back to the foyer where we got involved in a lot of washing up (me) and serving beers (David).

When we thought everyone was back Chris and I went off in the car to fetch in the arrows around the villages and the warning signs from the roads. He left the markers in the woods until the next day when he could gather them in on the quad.

On returning to the hall we were just in time to join in the usual post event shared supper. It was good to discuss the highs and lows of the day. Generally the opinion was that the walkers really enjoyed the countryside and the circuits were challenging enough for the serious walkers and well marked. The only criticism was from the latecomers who found the refreshment tables a little bare but Pascale had catered for the usual number of people, and had not reckoned on twice as many turning up.

Well earned relaxation after a hard day

Luckily the impending storm held off until the event was finished and and all the tents and tables had been brought in. In general it couldn’t have been a better day for the Randonnée des Roses. That’s it until our next event, the soap box racing in Varanges  on Sunday 1st July.

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!

March 25, 2018

Catching up

Filed under: Events,People,Places,Village Life — Tags: , , — Mary @ 21:17

 

I’ve been away to Glasgow for a couple of weeks and seem to have missed lots going on at home. Glasgow was just as cold as anywhere else with an icy wind, rain and snow. I was thoroughly frozen. With lots of fleeces I went about looking like Michelin Man even in the flat. My catchphrase became ” But Grandma lives in France”, chanted by the girls every time I put the heating on.

 

Waiting for the school bell to ring, the children play in the remnants of the snow

The first week was interesting as it was Children’s Book Week. On the Friday the girls went to school as a character out of one of the books they had read.

Dress up Friday

Meanwhile I kept getting reports from home. Chris was busy rehearsing for the St Patrick’s Dance. Cluny Dreams gave three demonstrations of Irish line dances and all went well. Chris even had his nails painted green.

At the St Patrick’s Ball

Country Dreams did not hang their dancing boots up as they gave a demonstration the following Saturday afternoon during the Carnival parade in Cluny -

After dancing on the street in Cluny

I didn’t miss everything though as there was a good dance yesterday at Pont de Vaux with Lily West, a girl with six foot long legs and an impeccable English accent who sang for a couple of hours without a break.

At Pont de Vaux with Lily West

Chris with Françine and Marie-Claude

I mustn’t forget the mention the main event at Cortambert while I was away. Despite the horrible weather the Trail du Mont Saint Romain went well with as many runners as last year. It was all hands to the deck as a tremendous number of people were needed to make it a success.

Preparing vegetables for the soup (photo Michel)

Teams went out to mark up the circuits (photo Michel)

 Chris was out in the snow next day collecting them in (photo Chris)

So all in all I missed a very busy time at home but it couldn’t be helped. Maybe I’ll be around for all these events next year.

September 23, 2017

Notre Dame des Roches

View over the Grosne Valley from Notre Dame des Roches

 

The statue of Notre Dame des Roches can be seen high on the hill overlooking Varanges. She was erected after the war to give thanks that the local villages had not been bombed as had Cluny in June 1944.  She had been restored at least once since the 1950s but she was looking rather forlorn, especially as her nose had been used for target practice.

Fortunately Marianne and Peter from Switzerland have come to stay in Cortambert. They are sculptors and painters who specialise in restorations. They took over the old mill at Merzé and have spent several years renovating it. Marianne is a member of the society Cortambert, notre patrimoine, and she and Peter with the other members were keen to take on this local project.

First things first, the scaffolding was borrowed from Yves at the château of Boutavent.

Yves supervising the erection of the scaffolding

Just finished!

Not everything went to plan as there was not enough water power to use the pressure washer and the statue had to be scrubbed by hand. The left hand had been badly repaired before and looked like it should belong to a boxer, but Peter did what he could to make it more elegant. The nose was rebuilt and now the madonna looks quite beautiful.

Before…

and after

David, chief co-ordinator, with Peter and Marianne giving a toast to a job well done

and some of the other volunteers

There was a little celebration this afternoon on completion of the work. The scaffolding will be taken down next week, and sometime soon there will be an official gathering of dedication for the newly restored Notre Dame des Roches.

 

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress