Saturday, 24 March 2012
We parked near the Plan d'Eau (the fishing lake) and walked towards the circus tent. The first thing we saw was a small hump-backed cow (a miniature version of the ones you see in India) a very long horned cow, a lama, a goat and lots of chickens. My mind boggled what they were going to get the chickens to perform, or maybe they were just there to feed the other animals?
Absolutely brilliant, I haven't enjoyed so much in a long time.
La Tuilerie Website
Saturday, 17 March 2012
We were on our way to the library where Mlle B, the mayor’s secretary, manages the town’s motley collection of books. So we asked about the heavy police presence in town. Mlle B looked baffled, this is not an unusual reaction from her, we do seem to cause more than our fair share of confusion for her and the other town hall workers by asking weird questions. Fortunately the deputy mayor was there and he chipped in, quite disappointed that Mlle B did not know about the hottest gossip in town in the last two hundred years. Some one had tried to rob the new bank machine, the previous night.
The bank machine is Cormatin’s pride and joy, or should I say the mayor’s pride and joy, as he had been trying to get one installed in town for the last 10 years and finally succeeded just two years ago. We were all so proud of this achievement that a party and opening ceremony was held in its honour, with a representative from the French government in attendance, yes it was THAT big an event.
For whatever reason the bank were not been able to remove the money from the machine on Tuesday or Wednesday and only managed to send someone to empty the machine about mid-day Thursday. So what do you do if you have thousands of Euros in a damaged bank machine in the criminal capital of Burgundy? Yes that’s right, you put a plastic garden chair next to the machine and you hire someone to sit there day and night, with SÉCURITÉ written in big letters on his back, just in case the bad guys come back. If the security guard needs to go and have lunch or just to stretch his legs, what does he do? He leaves the chair and the thousands of Euros unattended and un-amazingly they are still there when he gets back. I love this town.
La Tuilerie Website
Saturday, 10 March 2012
The rock never ceases to impress me, as you stand at the base looking up. Since our last visit, they have built a nice new car park, even though it is a bit difficult to get in and out of and to be honest it is nowhere near big enough.
When we entered the museum, we were given a audio guide device, which you can have in any language. We really like these gadgets as they allow you to get in-depth information about the exhibits at your own pace. On this occasion, the English voice was a female non-native speaker who stumbled over a lot of words, and words like Palaeolithic and Neanderthal caused serious problems, which is not too clever when those are the sort of words used rather a lot in a museum of prehistory. Another very annoying thing, is that the everything in the museum is laid out right to left so 2,000,000 BC is on the right and 1,000 BC is on the left, it took me ages to match the commentary to the exhibits, it just shows how pre-programmed we all are at reading everything from left to right.
The museum continued outside, quite why I am not sure, as there was nothing in the commentary that had to be said outside. The dreadfully small steps (shorter than the length of my huge size 2 ½ shoes) that undulate up and down outside did not help our mood or enjoyment of the views, constantly having to watch our feet so that we didn’t fall over.
Back inside and I had given up on the irritating woman doing the commentary and I went to play in the kids’ section, which was actually fun and interesting.
Overall, I am glad it was free, but to me the whole thing was a missed opportunity, far too much boring detail on what is actually a very interesting subject. Our mood dampened by the cool and cloudy weather and the uninspiring museum, we put off the walk to the top of the rock and went back to the car.
As we walked along, we were greeted by a paraglider who was swooping over the rock. We had more fun watching him zipping back and forth, catching the thermals, than in the whole of the museum. We went to retrieve our car, as he landed nearby. Having seen signs to a different car park, we decided to have a look at it. This second car park is much bigger and nicer and has a stunning panorama over the area and it is only 200 metres further away from the rock. It made me laugh that all these visitors preferred to park on the side of the road, half in ditches, or in the cramped car park, rather than walk the extra few metres, when the whole reason they had come here was to walk to the top of the rock !
The paraglider had actually landed in this second car park and as I took a photo of the magnificent view of Roche de Solutré and Roche de Vergisson, he was packing up his kit in the foreground.
Next time we come, we will choose a sunny day, we will avoid the museum and we will climb the rock.
La Tuilerie Website
Saturday, 3 March 2012
The beautiful, red, persistent flowering, climber by the entrance to the toilet block (in the photo) has been a worry to me as it only seems to flower at the top, but over the years I have slowly got it to flower lower down, by guessing at what I should do. So imagine my excitement when there was a FREE rose pruning course at the rose garden in Cluny last weekend.
The poster said that there were two courses, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, bring your own secateurs. It was obviously a way to get all the roses pruned in as short a time as possible. A case of “We tell you how to do it for free, then you prune our roses.” Not a bad idea I thought.
It was a cold morning and many people drifted away, perhaps bored by the lack of action, but I was transfixed. I told him about my climbing rose and what I had been doing to get it to flower lower down and to my great surprise and pride he told me I was doing exactly the right thing ! I was also thrilled to find out that all my rose pruning techniques (mostly based on gut feel rather than anything else) were the text-book French way of doing things, so now I can confidently prune our clients’ roses without feeling that I might be doing it wrong.
Even though I do look rather cold in the photo, I really enjoyed those couple of hours. Thank you Mr Rose Man.