Saturday, 29 September 2012

We’re on the Map

We have been very active in the local business network now for about 4 or 5 years. This includes compiling and issuing a little brochure advertising all the businesses affiliated to the organisation and managing the triptych just next to Cormatin Château, which has a little explanation of each business as well as map locating each business.

A little team is responsible for keeping the brochure up to date, which we are part of and this year I helped to design the new cover - I think we did a very good job actually.

But the triptych has been the province of someone else in the organisation who seemed to make a meal out of ordering and placing new names as businesses came and removing old names as businesses went. We were promised that our business would be placed on the triptych as soon as we joined and whilst I don’t really expect anything from it, it has niggled me slightly that nearly 5 years later we were still not there.

Well this year, the “brochure team” was put on the case and we have come up with a new style triptych, to match the new style borchure. We have had many hiccoughs along the way, constant errors in the copy, chasing businesses for their details, inept printers and then the panels were delivered too small for the triptych (whoops! – who measured that one?) but last Saturday, we were up our ladders bashing the old triptych to bits and gluing the shining new ones in place.

So at last, La Tuilerie de Chazelle is officially on the map !

Our business website

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Day out in the Brionnais

Last week we went to a client’s house to install a piece of equipment. To ensure it was working we needed to go back to their house after a few hours. Now you can’t charge someone for just sitting around waiting, so what better a chance than to just clock off and do some sightseeing.

First stop lunch.

Well if you are in the Brionnais, on a Wednesday, the only place to eat is Le Tour D’Auvergne in Saint Christophe en Brionnais. What a lunch - for what a price. We don’t even bother visiting the cattle market any more (which is well worth the visit by the way) we just go there for the lunch.

With hours to spare we went off on a Romanesque church tour. Along with the Clunisois, the Brinnoais houses a very dense population of Romanesque churches. This day we managed a whole host a little gems, but you can’t beat Anzy-le-Duc and Semur en Brionnais.

We had a great day out, but when you get down to it…. no day out is complete without a ride on a giant turkey.

La Tuilerie Website

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Journées du Patrimoine

Every year on the second weekend in September, France (or at least Burgundy) celebrates its architectural heritage by opening buildings to the pubic that are not normally open. We love this weekend, as the local Office de Tourisme organises a walk on the Sunday to one of the villages in our canton and a local historian explains the history and heritage of the village.

Well this year it was Cormatin’s turn. The walk started at Saint Roch, via the church in Cormatin (not exceptionally interesting but there is a mediaeval Pieta that is worth a look) then on to Chazelle via L’Hermitage.

Chazelle on the other hand, has a lot to offer: the lavoir; the water mill (the first electricity generator for miles around); the church (a Romanesque church and part of the Clunisien order) and of course La Tuilerie. Yes this year we were part of the local heritage walk!

Because Paris has its Jardin des Tuileries, many foreigners (and possibly some French people too) think that tuilerie means garden. Actually a tuilerie is a place that make “tuiles” - roof tiles. In our case, this is a slight misnomer. as our little factory mainly made bricks and in fact until a couple of weeks ago we didn’t have any proof that any roof tiles had been made here at all. But now we are the proud owners of two roof tiles stamped “Noël Marembeaud, à Chazelles”, so we can officially claim the title of tuilerie.

The real significance of our property is, that it was pat of the mini-industrial revolution that took place all along the Saône valley, taking in much of the Grosne valley as well in the 1800s. There were numerous tuileries, briquetteries, water mills (for flour and electricity) and spinning mills. Many still exist in some form or another, but many have been lost to decay, which is why we love showing people around our tuilerie, because even though it is not in working order, there still remains enough to fully explain how it all works and it is preserving a bit of history that could so easily be lost.

So that was my bit of fun this morning, showing 20 or so visitors around our little piece of local heritage.

La Tuilerie Website

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Taizé Beamed Across France

It is Sunday today. I always make a full breakfast on a Sunday and I wanted to be in Taizé by 09.00, so I had to get up very early, by my standards. This morning’s service from the Church of Reconciliation was to be televised live. The service was due to start on TV at 10.45 which I found a bit odd, as it normally starts at 10.00. Anyway, at 09.00 the place was heaving with camera crews and technicians. There were at least 5 big lorries outside the church and inside that were cameras, lighting, scaffolding and who knows what other stuff, not to mention the tons of extra equipment lying around waiting to be installed or waiting in the wings just in case.

On France 2, Sunday morning is dedicated to religion. The morning starts at 08.30 with Buddhism, it moves on to Islam, Judaism and then finally the programme I had been waiting for “Le Jour du Seigneur” which covers a Catholic mass from somewhere in France and a couple of short pieces of background. Today it was Taizé’s turn.

Whilst hanging out the washing in the garden, I heard the bells start at 10.00 and they rang until 10.10, so it appeared that the service had been slightly delayed by all the bustle. Off to the TV. I had to wait until 10.45 before the “live” service started - not so live then. But before the actual service, there was an interesting little film about Taizé, interviewing some of the young people who are there for a short stay, some young people who are staying longer - the so-called permanents and a couple of the monks.

The televised service was a normal Sunday morning communion service, but today everything was in French. One thing was different though. Frère Alois has taken to giving “meditations” during the Thursday evening services and he did that this morning as well. I am not sure that this really adds to the service, as in my view, it takes away from the international nature of the whole thing. If you speak French you are OK, but if not, you are excluded, which I would have thought was against everything the Taizé services stand for.

After the service, Frère Alois was interviewed outside the church. It was interesting to hear his views on various things and hear his memories of the earlier years of Taizé and there was some very nice old film footage.

All in all, it was fascinating for me to have an overview of the service and how things operate. When you are down on the floor, you only see your own bit of the church and you miss out on the bigger picture. So I am glad I watched it on TV and not in the church itself, even if I did miss out being on TV yet again.

La Tuilerie Website

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Cormatin School Kids back to School Again

All the school kids in France return to school from their summer holidays on the same day “La Rentrée”. This year it was Tuesday 4th September. Not something I have ever paid much attention to.

But, we have been waiting for this particular rentrée for the last two years.

It was not far off two years ago that Cees was asked by the mayor of Cormatin to take photos of the new school as it was built and this week the school finally opened its doors. Cees has been taking photos at all stages and from all angles and has built a magnificent record for the village. I have just been tagging on for the ride and to play with some pictures.

So here you have it, Cormatin school rises out of the ground.


Happy new school year to all the kids in their new school.

La Tuilerie Website

Monday, 3 September 2012

Magic Cats

My Mum bought me a cat the other day. We were in Lys, a very small village just down the road and we were doing a tour of all the artisans. There is the lady who makes woven tapestries and runs courses, the guy who makes the weirdest shoes in the world, the man who makes sculptures for driftwood and silver, the man who makes both wrought iron and cast bronze sculptures and the potter. Not to mention the lovely little church with frescos on the wall, the swimming museum and one of the cleanest lavoirs around here. That is an awful lot to pack into a village that is probably smaller than Chazelle, but it makes for a very interesting visit.

While we were at the potter’s, I saw this really cute little cat in amongst a lot of mice and a piece of pottery that can only best be described as something you would not be surprised to see in a gynaecologist’s office. All that combined with the little notice saying “SALIÈRES … MAGIQUES” and I was hooked. You must admit that the cat is rather cute, but how many cute little ornaments does one need in a lifetime? Well this chap is a salt cellar and a magic one at that !

The rather weird looking, cut-through, piece of pottery explains how it works. You turn your cat upside down and he has a hole at the bottom of a conical chute. You pour salt into the chute and it fills the body of the cat. You then return your cat to the upright position and the salt settles in the body. If you want you use the salt you hold the cat hole downwards and you shake it up and down and salt jumps out of the body, through the hole and on to your plate. Now that’s magic!

Fifi is not so sure about this cat shaking business. I found her hiding in a barrel, poor little thing.

La Tuilerie Website

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