Monday, 9 December 2013

St Nicholas comes to Burgundy

Wine tasting with no wine
Two bank holiday fall conveniently around St Nicholas in Spain, which meant the Cees’ son was able to join us for the weekend. Hearing this, his daughter hopped on a plane too and so our first St Nicholas in Burgundy came to be. For those who don’t know, St Nicholas comes from Spain (just like Cees’ son) in a steam boat (not like Cees’ son who cheated and opted for Iberia Airlines instead) and he gives presents on the eve of his birthday, to all the boys and girls who have been good during the year. As an adult you write poems to go with the presents you give, including funny or embarrassing stories you have been able to amass over the previous year. Great fun for all the family.

Both of Cees’ children were landing at Lyon airport within a few minutes of each other on the Friday and so we decided to spend the day in town and watch the festival of lights in the evening. The predicted heavy rain started at the same time we arrived at the airport and so we aborted mission and went for a Chinese meal in Mâcon instead!

Raku pottery, Genouilly
Saturday we were out and about, first the Téléthon in Cormatin (mulled wine before lunch - very decadent) and on to the market and lunch. In the afternoon we attempted to go for a wine tasting. To be honest, we only went to see the chapel the wine tasting was going to be in, we weren’t interested in the wine at all, which as it turns out was a good thing. When we tried to see the chapel in the summer we were rather rudely told to go away, they only let people in for wine tastings - not exactly customer friendly. On this occasion, things were open and we went into the chapel, we could have swiped a dozen or so bottles, because we waited a good 15 minutes for someone to spot we were there and talk to us about their illusive wines. After taking all the photos we wanted to, we left, disappointed in both the winery and chapel, neither had been worth the visit.

Then on to a raku pottery exhibition in Genouilly. The pottery was absolutely lovely, some very original figures had been created using this Japanese technique. Finally a visit to the spice sellers in St Martin du Tartre and a quick look at the church in the village, which is being restored and the day had been well spent.

Mary and Josheph being serenaded
After a lovely evening sharing poems and presents, we had a very slow start on Sunday. By the afternoon we were in need of some fresh air and what better way to get some than to walk up to Taizé to look at the pottery there and check out the ever expanding nativity scene - some Mexican minstrels have joined Mary and Joseph.

All in all a busy and enjoyable weekend, roll on the next St Nicholas!

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