Saturday, 25 October 2014

Changes on the Campsite

Since we started the campsite, 8 years ago, we have been constantly changing things in response to comments from the campers and changing things as we saw opportunities to improve the campsite, its facilities and the whole camping experience. It has always been our aim is to create a campsite that we would want to stay on. We wanted a simple campsite, with no frills, but one or two extra comforts. Hence the generous toilet facilities, the fridge, the freezer and telephone loading points, but no electricity on the site itself.

Originally we allowed caravans and campervans as we thought that if those campers were prepared to accept the lack of electricity, they were the type of people who would appreciate what we are offering, simplicity in peaceful surroundings. Sadly we discovered that the weight of caravans and campervans is such that we can’t permit them on the site, so we have been a tent only campsite now for a few years. It raised a few eyebrows when said we were not going to have any electricity on the site and it raised a few more eyebrows when we made the change to no caravans, but both ideas have have been sucessful and have been appreciated by the campers who come here.

Now it is time for the next big change.

Car park for the campsite
Our favourite campsite in The Netherlands in Loenen, was the model for what we wanted to create in France. We have followed most of their principles, but for whatever reason, we didn’t think that their policy of no cars on the site was a goer here in France. Having said that some damp summers have shown us that we can run the campsite successfully in this way and so from next year we are not only an electricity-free zone, but a car-free zone as well.

The car park has been spruced up since the summer, with measured and marked spaces and we have been looking round for the best way to help the campers transport their belongings from this new car park to their chosen camping spot. Thanks to Cees’ daughter and son-in-law, we have now come up with a brilliant solution.

New Brouettes
So here is a photo of Cees and me modelling the “his and hers” brouettes, just waiting for the first campers of our next season to use them to transport their camping gear.

I am sure our new policy will raise a few eyebrows yet again, but I am equally sure that our campers will appreciate what this will bring. Peace, quiet, your own tent and nature - what more could you ask of a campsite?

For more information see our website by clicking here.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Picnics, Buddhists and Magnificent Churches

When we have visitors to stay we always try and take them to places they have never been to do and do things they don’t normally do. When Cees’ daughter arrived with her partner, we had to think up a nice day out with something for everyone.

In my opinion, a day out wouldn’t be a day out without a picnic, so off we went to get to Digoin in time for lunch at one of our favourite picnic spots, the Pont-canal. This is where the Canal Lateral à la Loire crosses the Loire to enable the canal network to be connect through to the Canal du Centre. There are some nice benches there and a lovely view of the bridge and the fast flowing waters of the Loire. An excellent place to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

After lunch we headed to another of our favourites, the Temple of the Thousand Buddhas at La Boulaye. Maybe it is not the first place you would take visitors to give them a sample of Burgundian life and culture, but it is such a special place, it is well worth the trip.

Finally on the return leg of our journey, we were passing close by Perrecy les Forges and since that church has been reopened, after a five year closure for refurbishment, I can’t tire of making a quick visit. We are not the only ones either. Every time we visit, there are always one or two locals who pop in for a few minutes, possibly like us to enjoy the majesty of the place, but also to take a look to make sure that it hasn’t been closed again. This time Cees’ daughter got chatting to an old lady who was more than keen to tell her all about the place.

After a successful day out., we headed home to have one final dinner en famille before they headed home.

For information about holiday accommodation near all of these places click here.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Dirty Deeds?

Cluny cinema provides us with at least one outing a month, if not more. It has a great selection of interesting films, not your usual Hollywood pap, but lots of English films and the more arty American films. We have also seen less popular, but nonetheless very interesting, French films and even a Tibetan film once.

In February every year they dedicate a week to Chinese films and they have a smattering of other interesting films from around the globe, most often in the original version (ie not dubbed which I despise) with French subtitles. In short we look forward to our monthly email from the cinema. Well actually we look forward to our monthly letter from one person, Anne Krief, the mythical woman who sends out the emails. We had no idea who she was, or even if she existed, until quite recently, but her mails were awaited with eager anticipation, along with the weekly updates to remind us of the films we might just have forgotten about.

Comfortable cinema
Anne has worked for the cinema as a volunteer for the best part of 10 years I think. She chooses and organises the delivery of the films and makes sure that we, the viewing public, have an interesting selection of good films to see. At the beginning of September, after all those years of doing this work for nothing, she was offered a contract to be paid part-time for the work. Finally a small reward for all her years of dedication, or was it a poisoned chalice?

housed in the histroic St Hugues stables
Last night we received an email from her which saddened me immensely and made me very cross. Her contract to work for the cinema was being cancelled after the one month trial period. So as from 1st October she no longer works for the cinema for free or paid. This all smacks of nasty work to me, how can someone who works for free, for so long and provides an excellent service to the likes of us, someone we appreciate and admire for their efforts, suddenly be no longer required after one month of being paid?

All I can say is beware of Greeks bearing gifts, or should I say Algerians. Enough said. We will miss Anne very much.

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