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10 July 2006

Chateau events in July

Yellow roses planted by Elizabeth Dickens

There are five babies in the nest and the parents are working very hard to feed them

Dinner before the concert
There was a concert in our little church on the top of the hill here at Chateau on Friday, organized by our small local cultural group. It was really great. Two young artistes, a soprano and a flautist just out of the Paris Conservatoire who were in their early twenties and have just started performing professionally. They were terrific and the acoustics brilliant. The piano accompanying was a bit ordinary but it didn’t matter. Marvellous to have such a high standard here – they both must be destined for a brilliant future.

We read in the paper that there will be a performance of Mozart’s Requiem at Autun Cathedral of St Lazare at the end of the month, and it sounds as if it will be a great occasion. It times in with our visitors at the end of the month, so hopefully we can all go. It’s about 85 kms, and we went yesterday morning to see how it was. It took us nearly an hour and a half, but fine. So we’ll see. We got to the cathedral just in time for mass, which on this occasion was being conducted by the Archbishop, and as he was wearing a red scull cap, we think he must also be a cardinal. The congregation was in a group down the front and there were stacks of empty rows between where I was sitting down the back on my own. I had no idea that they would process right in front of me. I was hidden by a pillar and suddenly they came around a pillar and were upon me – I was the only person in the whole church who wasn’t standing up. His eyes went straight to me and gave me a big smile, which I can only think was ‘why is that woman sitting down’ I was very embarrassed, but said to John later, perhaps he thought I was a ‘handicap√©” John was sitting far away down the front, standing up when he was meant to!
Checked out parking and went to see the old Roman amphitheatre which was an amazing sight. Then had a leek and potatoe pie for lunch from a little shop while sitting on a bench in the town square. We bought some postcards for the grand children and went for pictures that might not be too hard to explain. They are sculptures from the 11th century cathedral! One is Noah’s ark, with Mrs Noah looking out of the top window as if it was a doll’s house. The other is a little devil with a cheeky face – so the mums can make up whatever story they like about that!!
I made a huge stirfry/fried rice for 14 last night. There are a team of palaentologists next door who are working on the dig up on the hill behind us for the next three weeks. I agreed to cook
twice a week for the three weeks of the dig to help Jacqueline who has the responsibility of feeding them twice a day. We ate with the diggers last night before going to Jean Paul’s house down in the village to watch the disappointing finals of the soccer on his big screen.
John is starting his talks or interviews with Mademoiselle Desthieux on Tuesday, who is now 94 or perhaps even 95, to try to get some history of this village and area from her. She was the former postwoman, and walked 20 kms every day with her bag over her shoulder. She is now in the Maison de Retraite in Cluny. He will bring the little tape recorder and hope she can cope with being recorded.
On Saturday evening night her sister in law, Madame Desthieux invited us for an aperitif and the diggers too
I spent this morning in the courtyard working with a friend preparing osiers(willows) for a basket making session tomorrow. She is very keen to give it a go, and it will be fun for me to have company. I have just about finished the enormous basket I am making.

The new pergola and basket making

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