Saturday, 18 May 2013

Heavenly Horses and a Mexican Bullfight.

Medieval horses
I was looking in the paper last Sunday morning and saw an article announcing the annual festival Chevaux en Ciel (Horses in Heaven) which said that there would be medieval games and Cossacks doing acrobatics on horseback. Now what else did we have to do on a Sunday afternoon? Unfortunately there was no mention of where this spectacle was to take place, so I passed the paper to Cees to see if he could figure out where to go. “Ah, there’s a three star Romanesque church there which we haven’t seen yet” - apparently Ciel is the name of a village in the Bresse not too far from Chalon – and well, if there is a three start church we haven’t seen, even having to watch horses won’t stop him from going, so off we went. We should have know better…

After being rather bored for half an hour or so, looking at horses and then eating a hot dog, we spotted the medieval section of the event which turned out to be people wandering round in medieval costumes with horses in tow, not exactly what I had imagined. We gave up waiting for the Cossacks and left for the three start church, which was in fact quite interesting. But the reason that this turned into a worthwhile day out, was neither of these things.

Animals abound
On the way to Ciel we passed through a village called Damerey and noticed a house which had a number of “animals” outside it. Unusual, but not really worth a stop and look. But, on the way back, we saw the house from a different angle and realised that there was more to it than initially met the eye. Someone had turned the back “garden” into a Spanish hacienda with a bullfight going on in it ! There were bulls and matadors everywhere, not to mention the numerous beautifully clad ladies, the flamingos, peacocks and cacti.

Mexican bullfight in the Bresse
Whilst photographing the whole thing, the owner came out and we had a chat with him. He has made all the models himself in reinforced concrete, since he retired in the late 80s. He previously worked supervising construction sites, mostly out in Mexico, hence the Hispanic theme. At 87 he is very fit and well and puts it all down to getting up at 6.00am and keeping active. I’m not sure if it is a wonder to behold or a dreadful eyesore, but whatever it is, it was great fun to look at and it was really interesting to chat to the artist himself.

It got me thinking though, Cees used to be into reinforced concrete and he is up at 6.00am most days, I wonder if he is going to start making models for our garden?

La Tuilerie Website

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Weird Weather

Stranded cruise ships in Mâcon
This last year has given us some weird weather, but the last couple of weeks have been the weirdest. I blame the Bank Holidays, so far in May we have had three Bank holidays and we aren’t even half way through yet and as everyone knows, it always rains on a Bank Holiday.

Last week’s rain beat all records. We had about two months’ worth of rain in a couple of days and there was flooding everywhere. Even now - a week after the rain has stopped - the waters in some rivers are still rising. The news was telling us last night that Paris is under threat as the water is finally making its way to the Seine.

Stranded boats on Canal du Centre
But round here we have heard conflicting stories. Twenty five cruise boats on the Saône and Rhone have been stranded at various places because the water is so high that they can’t get under the bridges, but then I saw an article saying that the Canal de Centre has gone dry. How is that possible with so much water? Well it’s simple, they weight of ground water has caused one of the banks to collapse, filling the canal and blocking the flow of water, so one side of the canal has literally run dry. They have no idea when they will have the boats afloat again but it won’t be very soon.

So if you were thinking of a canal boat holiday, think again. Why not come to us instead !

La Tuilerie Website
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