Our Life in Burgundy

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April 26, 2017

Remember when it used to be sunny?

Filed under: Events,Places,Weather — Tags: , , — Mary @ 18:48

This is only our second cold grey rainy day and after weeks of dry weather we welcome the downpour. But it is surprising how quickly you begin to think you might never see the sun again. So I’ve just been looking through some photos taken in sunnier times.

In March I arrived to find snow in Glasgow but, although it was never warm, the following sunny weather meant that I was able to enjoy some interesting trips out with Maggie and Jo. The first weekend we visited friends who live in an idyllic spot on Loch Long, not too far from Faslane, the Scottish naval base, home of the Trident missile and the nuclear submarines.


The shore at Cove

The children spent the evening fishing in the rockpools

We had picnics, this one at the Kelpies near Falkirk

where, as usual, there were plenty of opportunities to get cold and wet

People from the old folks’ home wrapped up and taken for an afternoon out

Another day we went to see the Falkirk Wheel which links the Forth & Clyde Canal to the Union Canal

It’s the only rotating boat lift in the world.

The Falkirk Wheel replaced 11 locks; the difference in height between the two canals is 35m.

This weekend Cluny hosted the 10th Grand National. It was the 2nd stage of 11 competitions held in venues throughout France. Although cold the weekend was sunny, perfect weather for competitors and spectators.

The Grand Prix on Sunday

The jumps were huge

All the more impressive as you can stand so close

I make no excuses for such a long blog, seeing it is ages since I have written anything. Moreover this is my 500th blog. Never did I think when I started I would manage 500. I will deserve my glass of wine tonight.

December 5, 2016

Update on Glasgow

Filed under: People,Places,Weather — Tags: , — Mary @ 17:27


It was the third time this year I’ve been to Glasgow. Jennifer was away both weeks on courses, one in London, and I went to take care of the infants. They are not so wee now as Maggie is 8 years old today. I thought I would be missing her party but it was brought forward a week so as not to clash with her friends who have birthdays the same week.


Maggie left and Jo centre at her birthday party

It was a stress free experience for us grown ups as we went to the Laser Park and the kids were taken off to play shooting at each other and negotiating the laser maze. The party tea was also provided and all we had to do was to bring some cake.

Maggie blowing out the candles on her caterpillar cakes

The weather was probably better than the wind and rain in France but the dampness made it feel colder than it was.

You needed to wrap up warmly in the mornings

Any paving was like an icerink and Maggie had a spectacular fall off her bike outside the Transport Museum. Despite the screams she recovered to enjoy her afternoon on the tall ship.

The Glenlee on the Clyde with the Armadillo in the background


and the ship is reflected in the windows of the museum


It is amazing how many activities the children have. What a complicated timetable. After school club twice a week.  Maggie goes into town Mondays to sing with the Glasgow Philharmonic choir. French and music after school, ballet on Saturdays, church and drama class on Sundays. And every week there seems to be a party for somebody in their class to which they both get invited.


Maggie and Jo with Bobby going off to school. Note the scarf that Jo has knitted

There wasn’t a lot of free time at home but we started doing a bit of knitting and sewing. Maggie made me a circular scarf and I helped them make drawstring bags. They wanted to copy the bag their mother had made when she was at school.


Doing a bit of sewing

It’s not much use asking me to teach them handicrafts but they didn’t do too badly. Back at home it seems very quiet and I will look forward to my next visit in the spring.

June 17, 2016

Glasgow in June

Filed under: Places,Uncategorized,Weather — Tags: , , — Mary @ 22:43

The day after the randonée I flew off to Glasgow to look after the infants while their mother was working away. I thought the pilot had veered off course and landed on some tropical island as we arrived to sunshine and a humid 28°.  While it had been pouring in France it had been fine weather in Scotland.

I was left a timetable of the girls’ activities. Afterschool club Monday and Tuesday,  swimming Wednesday, French lesson for Jo, music lesson for Maggie… Chess for Maggie with a Russian grandmaster. (Jo isn’t bad at chess either but I can still beat her). Although the girls are at school all day with their friends they still like to play together on the way home. Then Saturday afternoon it’s party time, it’s always someone’s birthday. Sunday morning more swimming and to Church for Sunday school. It’s an exhausting schedule and I’m just watching!

On Wednesday it was the school sports day. It was wonderful weather and lots of mums & dads turned out to cheer the children on. As Glaswegians are unaccustomed to the sun there were plenty of pink shoulders by the end of the afternoon.


Jo racing well…

and showing off her winning stickers

Maggie with the egg and spoon

The highlight of the week was meeting up with the family in Falkirk to see the Kelpies on Sunday afternoon. The Kelpies are a couple of 30m high statues of horses recently constructed by the new extension to the Forth & Clyde Canal. They represent the horse powered heritage of Scotland.

Approaching The Kelpies

Close up they are enormous

The Kelpies are set in The Helix which is a huge parkland project with a new playpark which is meant for children and adults alike.


A good push for the rope swing

Jo and Maggie

I enjoyed my time in Glasgow but it was good to touch down in Lyon and return to more restful life in France.

 Landing at Lyon (photo Chris)

December 14, 2015

Biblical Floods

Filed under: People,Places,Weather — Tags: — Mary @ 17:25

It usually rains in Glasgow but even the local papers were saying that the rain was of Biblical proportions. It had already rained for forty days and forty nights but no-one was prepared for two inches of rain in a single night with winds of 85mph. And more rain the next day and the next….

Splashing along the road (and this was a good day!)

But the Glaswegians are a hardy lot and the rain didn’t diminish their cheerfulness. There’s lots to do indoors. I enjoyed the David Lloyd leisure centre with a cinema club for the kids so the grown ups can spend an evening in the pool, spa and saunas.


Maggie at the climbing wall

It was a particularly hectic time as the older grandchild, Maggie, celebrated her 7th birthday. She has so many friends we had two parties. On the Saturday we took one group to a climbing wall and next day entertained 22 school friends at the bowling alley.


Jo getting a helping hand bowling

With those two birthday parties and another one for the family I think I will never eat chocolate cake again.


Blowing the candles out

Besides the birthday parties life seemed to be an endless round of activity. French lessons and piano lessons, the after school club, Church youth club, Messy Church….  the kids don’t seem to stay still for a minute.

Jo at the piano


I was lucky to be there to see the School Christmas Play, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Maggie was one of the maids a-milking and Jo was in the chorus. Everybody sang in tune, remembered the words and came in at the right time. What confidence at such a young age!


Maggie as one of the Maids a-milking

I had help childminding as our son Malcolm came to visit from Bedfordshire. One sunny morning (no rain until after lunch!) we went to the nearby Museum of Transport.


The Riverside Museum

Moored alongside is the old tallship the Glenlee. Built in Glasgow in 1896, she was a cargo ship, and later was a sail training ship for the Spanish Navy. Neglected and scuttled in Seville, she was rescued by the Clyde Maritime Trust and towed back to Glasgow to be restored in 1996. It’s open for visitors and I notice you can have a birthday party in the cargo hold. Perhaps an idea for next year!


The Glenlee

I was glad to come home to warm sunshine and a quiet life. But I do miss them!


Until next year


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