Monday, 31 October 2011

In Memory of Lost Friends

We were invited to a little remembrance service just the other day, when the ashes of a friend, who died a year ago, were to be scattered in Taizé. Our friend Chris passed away last year on 27th October and his wife Linda has made a journey over the last week visiting places they loved, making sure she was in Taizé for the anniversary of his death. After his ashes were scattered (with the brothers’ permission I might add) we had a little ceremony at one of the small shrines. Whilst Linda had said it should be a joyous not a sad occasion, I had my doubts, but it was a very joyous occasion, we were able to remember Chris and think about what he had brought to our lives and then, as I am sure he would have approved of, we went out for a superb lunch accompanied by local wine. Thank you Linda for inviting us and letting us say our last farewell. (BTW the photo has been blatantly stolen from her blog).

Coincidentally this week sees the Jour des Morts – All Souls’ Day (2nd November) which is the day the French remember their family and friends who have passed away, conveniently the day after Toussaint - All Saints Day which is a holiday in France, so that everyone can have the day off to get their chrysanthemums to their family graves in time. It is a lovely tradition as once a year everyone visits the graves of their family and friends giving themselves the time to think about those who have gone before. Graves all over France are decorated with chrysanthemums and other flowers which makes the graveyards a stunning site, not dissimilar to a garden show, at this time of year. Interestingly the tradition of honouring the dead started by St Odilio the abbot of Cluny in 998 and this spread to the rest of the western world yet another demonstration of the influence that the Cluny Abbey had in those days.

La Tuilerie Website

Monday, 24 October 2011


It has been a beautiful autumn, which has allowed us to get some much needed maintenance done around the place. Well I say “us” quite loosely , let’s just say it has allowed some maintenance to be done. The front shutters were taken down more than a year ago by friends who can cope with ladders and have been waiting to be painted and returned to their rightful position and as has previously been blogged, we have had a TV aerial in our kitchen for a year waiting for someone to attach it to the wall or roof outside. That is not to mention the kitchen window shutters which were desperately in need of a lick of paint and a washing line that needed to be put up on the campsite. So how does on get all this done when you are a couple of weak wimps who can’t go further up a ladder than the second rung?

Well this is where children come in very handy. Not having any myself, it was down to Cees to supply the person-power. Cees’ daughter had said she was coming for a week one of the gites at the beginning of October with her partner who is not afraid of heights ! Now what better opportunity was there?

The last weeks in September were busy with painting shutters and organising a scaffold tower and we were all set for the work. And boy did they work. The shutters were up in a flash and then the TV aerial. Zip off to remove the kitchen shutters, felt the need to paint the window frame too while they were up there, shutters painted and replaced.

What more could one ask? Well…… maybe dig a couple of holes on the campsite for a washing line? Great here we go. The clay on the campsite was so hard and dry they had to use a drill to loosen the soil then dig it out using a trowel. Holiday over, no time to mix the concrete and put up the posts, oh well I suppose we ought to do something ourselves !

So a super big thank you to you two and I am glad you managed a couple of days of cycling, walking and sightseeing while you were here as well, next time……..

La Tuilerie Website

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Cormatin Randonnée

Records have been broken at the Cormatin Randonnée (organised walk) last Sunday. Not records we wanted to be broken, but broken they were none the less.

I’ll just go back a couple of steps first, to explain what this is all about. The annual walks are organised by the Amicale de Cormatin of which we are both active members and this year it was decided that all the walks would be changed. Now that is one heck of a lot of work and we have been walking the highways and byways around here all of August, different groups of us, to sort out and agree on the four new walks, 7 km, 13 km, 20 km and 30 km. We spent all day Friday and Saturday marking the walks on the road with paint arrows (the way to go) and paint crosses (the way not to go) and we have been hammering in posts of coloured indicators and “watch out there are walkers about” signs at junctions, we have done shopping for food and wine to refresh our walkers and we have set up the feeding posts in suitable locations.

In an average year, the walks usually attract about 300 walkers, but we have been known to have more and it is one of the two big events that swell the coffers to pay for the annual pensioners’ lunch.

Sunday dawned and it was raining, well not raining actually, it was pouring down. Not a good start to a walking day after the hottest and most beautiful few weeks we have ever had in September. Off we set to do the final arrangements and then go to our feeding post at La Moutonnier. At eight o’clock on the dot the first walker arrived to sign up for the walk, he was actually going to run the 30 km and as we were feeding the 20 and 30km walkers, we headed off shortly after him to make sure we got there first. It was a bit of a slow cold start to the day, but at 10 o’clock our first mountain-bikers arrived, then our runner and then we waited. A little later two more mountain-bikers. We were expecting 50 people for the 30 km and 100 for the 20 km and had sandwiches and wine for them all, along with dried fruit, chocolate and cake. We waited and waited and it rained and rained and we got colder and colder. To cut a long story short, before we shut up shop, only 16 people had passed our post. It was a good job the farm cat
came to join us or we would have had nothing to do at all. We returned to base camp, a little despondent, to hear how the other walks had gone. The 13 km was as usual the most popular walk, in a normal year this walk would attract 150 walkers but this year only 23 hardy souls made it and the 5 km (very popular with after-lunch walkers) had the grand total of 0 people.

So this is a record year for the fewest walkers ever in the 33 year history of the club and our coffers have not only not been swollen, then have significantly shrunk. Not a good day in the life of our little club, looks like it will be leftover sandwiches for the pensioners' lunch this year...

La Tuilerie Website
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...