For the third year running “Les Oiseaux Rares” the group of artists and artistic tradesmen and women from Cormatin, have opened their “nests” to the public and have been giving demos and exhibiting their wares. The last weekend in November has become a popular fixed date on the Cormatin calendar.
This year as always, the standard has been very high. Each artisan invites someone from outside their group to display their items as well and it makes touring the studios very interesting. I could have spent a fortune in each location.
As every year, a soup bowl was on sale which entitled you to free soup at each “nest”, the soup was less obviously available this year compared to other years and so we only partook of Pascale’s (the silk painter) soup, but we did go to see her both days. The bowls are made by Pierre (the town’s potter) and as usual, they are lovely items to have in your cupboard, I am only sorry we missed the first year, so our collections is not complete.
This year the church was opened up for the two days and the display of Patrick’s paintings, Silvyane’s wire sculpture (both from our very own Chazelle) and someone else’s pottery - sorry I didn’t find out whom. The beautiful items on display did not feel at all out of place in that building.
For those hungry punters, a mobile burger van had been invited to provide food for the two days. We decided to support this initiative and so we ordered and paid for our burgers and chips and then we were told to come back in 20 minutes!! Excuse me? A snack bar that takes 20 minutes to make two burgers and chips when there are no other customers? If we hadn’t already paid, we would have walked away. Fortunately we hadn’t finished our tour of the nests and so we went off to see some of the other artisans during our wait.
When we got back after 20 minutes we still had to hang around for another 10 minutes before our “food” was available. The chips were the most horrible things I have ever had the misfortune to be served, they were overcooked, brown and soggy, now being English I like my chips soggy, but floppy, squishy and falling apart go way beyond my taste. The burger was edible, I must admit I didn’t spot the bacon that was supposed to be in it, but Cees assured me that it was there. Summing up the burger wagon - a serious disappointment on an otherwise super, successful weekend.
I am happy to say that loads of people visited our little corner of Burgundy this weekend, despite the weather and the artisans involved did good trade and the village was once again put on the map. I can’t wait for next year, I think we’ll be eating at one of the restaurants in town.
Monday, 28 November 2016
Saturday, 19 November 2016
|One big parcel|
There is a brilliant system here by which you can go on-line and reschedule your delivery date (next day possible) or have it dropped off at a post office or other accredited shop - newsagent, garage you name it they are all on the list, if I did nothing the parcel would go to Cormatin post office and I could collect it any time after 11.00am the next day. As the next day was Saturday and the post office closes at 11.30, I decided to have the mystery parcel delivered here the next day.
|Address "corrected" by Mme La Poste|
She greeted me with a cheery “what a coincidence I have a parcel for you”. I explained that I was driving around the countryside looking for her which caused some amusement. She opened the back of her van to show a huge parcel. “Funny thing though”, she continued, “they put the wrong address on it.”
As I have said before, addresses can be a little vague around in this neck of the woods, everyone who lives in Cormatin has the address Cormatin, no road name or number, just Cormatin, so the postman or woman has to know where everyone lives. We are supposed to have our name on the letterbox, but not everyone complies with that rule and even though we have now been given “proper” addresses with road names and numbers, no one uses them, so even with the modern world encroaching on our little bit of rurality, the postwoman still has to know her stuff.
An added facilitation to post delivery is of course the post code. In the UK and in The Netherlands this postcode will narrow the address down to about 5 houses. Here the postcode narrows it down to about 10 villages.
So with that little bit of background in mind, let’s get back to my parcel. This parcel was indeed addressed to Madame La Tuilerie de Chazelle with our postcode, but there was a road, house number and village name, which were not ours, in fact the house in question is about 10 km from La Tuilerie and not even on our postlady’s round. But at that moment, the mystery was solved.
|With its rightful owner|
So they placed an order in the company name La Tuilerie de Chazelle, with their address but they just happen to have the same post code as us. As I mentioned earlier, Madame La Poste knows darn well where La Tuilerie de Chazelle is, so instead of delivering it to the “wrong” address in a village about 10 km away, she decided to deliver it to its rightful owner ME. What a woman, what a service and what proactivity.
Saturday, 5 November 2016
|Walnuts to keep us going through the winter|
Well times have changed and now every year I go scavenging. We have grown used to having walnuts available all year round – for free. We put walnuts in salad, I make walnut tart, we eat walnuts in all sorts of yummy dishes or we just nibble at walnuts straight from the shell.
This year it has been a different story, I have searched everywhere. The trees in our garden yielded a total of 6 nuts (we have 6 trees but all the nuts came from just one of them) and my usual trees only yielded a few more. So this year, instead of 25 kilos we got about 25 nuts.
As we parked our car at their house, we immediately spotted a huge quantity of walnuts on the ground and we joked with them that we would pinch a few. Their response was, take as many as you like, we have enough. Looking in their store, we saw that they had already harvested about 25 kilos and so we set to.
|I do like to be beside the seaside|
Winter can now begin.