Our Life in Burgundy

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December 24, 2014

Christmas is coming (2)

Filed under: Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 23:59


Tonight it was still, cold and clear up at Taizé  and a goodly number of people had gathered for the Christmas service.  The nativity scene is almost complete with the addition of baby Jesus to the crib. The Three Kings will take another couple of weeks to arrive, coming from afar as they do.


The nearby villages also make great effort to present their tableaux. The prize for originality must go to the village of Confrançon for their depiction of the manger scene. On the roof of the stable is one of the storks from Cormatin Chateau carrying the awaited baby in its beak. The baby is actually a Smurf. The storks have been rather busy this year as there are quite a lot of Smurfs in Cormatin too.


Happy Christmas to everyone!


December 30, 2013

Bonne fin d’année à tous!

Filed under: Places,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Mary @ 18:27


There’s a little oasis of calm between Christmas and New Year. There’s no such thing as Boxing Day here; I’m always surprised to go out on Boxing Day morning to find everybody working as usual. Likewise New Year doesn’t drag on interminably as I remember it in rural Scotland.

With the urgency of Christmas gone  (too late now to remember who you should have sent cards to) we can enjoy the Christmas period at leisure.

A walk to Taizé

Yesterday we went off with a group of friends for a walk up to Taizé. We found it deserted as the brothers have gone off to Strasbourg for their yearly gathering. Nobody was there but the virgin mother with child and kneeling shepherds, and the hens. The Three Kings had felt it safe to move from the shelter of the hens’ enclosure and had inched nearer the crib.

Mâcon at night

In the evening we went for a stroll around Mâcon to see the Christmas lights. Mostly in silver and gold, they were rather sophisticated.

We stayed for a while watching the children enjoying the ice rink on the Quai Lamartine. Well not ice exactly but Teflon. Much smoother than ice and there’s no getting a cold wet bottom when you fall.

The ice rink on the Quai Lamartine


Each of the roundabouts in Mâcon was beautifully decorated even though some of the themes were not particularly Christmassy. Here’s a very springlike  golden bunny with daisies!

It’s time to look back on the year. Chris is getting together some photos of a few of the events we have enjoyed in Cortambert during 2013. Soon to appear on www.cortambert.eu.

Here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year for 2014!


December 25, 2013

So this is Christmas……

Filed under: Weather — Tags: , — Mary @ 00:28


I thought I might keep my head under the duvet until it’s all over. I’ve always found horrible things happen at Christmas, both on a personal and an international scale. So we try not to travel at Christmas and encourage family to visit in summer instead. This Christmas we have the storms, not as bad here as in northern France and the UK but I would think we won’t get a visit from Father Christmas as he will be grounded.

The Three Wise Men sheltering from the wind

Going to Taizé for the Christmas service tonight was well worth battling against the weather. On the hill the wind was trying to tear off the roof off the Church. The Three Wise Men had been inching their way towards the crib all week and had wisely taken shelter in the enclosure under the heatlamp with the hens. But Mary looked unperturbed, sitting beside her tiny infant.

The nativity scene at Taizé

I’m sure the jinx on Christmas will be offset tomorrow as we are joining a local family for a Christmas meal and games. Until then, under the duvet again!

ps In the New Year we have been walking in the woods at Mont Saint-Romain and seeing some of the damage from the wind on Christmas Eve. There has been a domino effect with the wind cutting a swathe through the forest bringing down both beech and pine.

The paths have been cleared but there are more trees hung up precariously on their neighbours which will come down in the next wind.

December 1, 2013

Advent at Taizé

Filed under: Events,People,Places — Tags: , , , — Mary @ 17:56




Today is the first Sunday in Advent, the time of expectation and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. So what’s better than to go to Taizé to see the beginnings of this year’s nativity scene.




No Wise Men on camels yet, nor shepherds. They will come later. And no baby. But Mary was very expectant, sitting on a stool while Joseph held the donkey. There were not just cardboard models….

A real donkey was corralled nearby, and chickens in the straw under an old cart. The two sheep were happy to be patted in return for pieces of bread.


An icy wind was blowing on the hill so we didn’t stay long and went down to Cormatin to look at the work of Les Oiseaux Rares, a group of artists based in Cormatin. Amongst them was Patrick Balleriaud whom we have often seen busy drawing portraits at Cluny market.  He was interested to know we owned  La Maison du Curé as the old Curé had conducted both his baptism and his marriage. 

Patrick Balleriaud

More local artistic talent was to be appreciated at St Gengoux le National. The Mères Noel are a group of 22 women artists who are celebrating their 30th year of exhibitions. There are an amazing number of potters and painters in the Clunisois area.

We will go back now and again to see how the nativity scene is progressing. We are planning a post Christmas walk there on 29th December to see the final version. Details to be posted later on www.cortambert.eu.

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