There was an excellent potters’ market this weekend in Cluny. There were fifty stands with artists from all over France exhibiting wonderful pieces that were useful or quirky but always beautifully made.
August 15, 2010
June 19, 2010
Rain, rain, go away……..
It’s hardly stopped raining this week. We envy friends and family in the UK who are basking in the sunshine. We too are turning brown, but with rust. Let’s hope the rest of the summer makes up for the miserable weather we have been having for most of May and June.
We were at Cluny market as usual this Saturday morning and we ducked into an exhibition to get out of the rain. There was a display of photographs of the time when President de Gaulle visited Cuisery in 1947. He drove through Cormatin on the way but didn’t stop!
I wasn’t too bothered about reading about the political situation and his reason for visiting Cuisery. But what fascinated me was the photos of his family. His four brothers in their uniforms (they all survived the war). His three children and the tragedy of his younger daughter who had Down’s syndrome and died aged 20. Also the pictures of farming in the 1940s before mechanisation arrived.
This area has many connections to another president, Francois Mitterrand. The Roche de Solutré became very popular since he used to climb it every Pentecost Monday until he died. This pilgrimage became a ritual and all his close friends and family, ministers and courtiers, had to be seen following him up the hill. Of course he was Maire of Chateau-Chinon in Nièvre for 22 years but our part of southern Burgundy was his favourite place.
April 17, 2010
In France the markets are not just for tourists but a part of everyday life. One of the highlights of visiting this area is to go to Cluny market on a Saturday morning. It opens all year round and most people from the surrounding villages go there to buy their fruit and vegetables, sausages and cheese. If you haven’t seen your friends and neighbours for a while you are bound to bump into them at the market. Around the market place there are plenty of restaurants and places where you can sit down in the sunshine to have a coffee and a chat.
Nearly all of the fresh produce is grown within France so the variety changes according to the seasons. So I was surprised to see such a beautiful array of artichokes, asparagus and early strawberries. Local producers were selling their goats cheese and honey. There was the lady who keeps donkeys and makes soap out of donkey milk. Also stalls with huge steaming vats of extremely tasty food which people can buy for dinner. I was very tempted to try the stuffed squid today.
Another advantage of visiting Cluny on market day is that the main street is closed to traffic and you can stroll around the shops without having to squeeze onto the narrow pavements when a car comes through.
From the plant stall we bought a variety of lettuces, brocolli and strawberries to grow in the potager. We met our neighbours who shook their heads and were very doubtful about planting anything out until mid May. You can see their point as it is still very cold at night. But we are looking forward to warmer weather next week and perhaps the start of summer. On verra.