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Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson


Rosemary Border Rabson
In 2005 Rosemary Border Rabson and husband John Rabson emigrated to the Morvan in rural Burgundy, where few other Brits have ventured. Their chief preoccupation is Charity Cottage, a holiday home-from-home in their garden at Maré le Bas which they run in aid of Combat Stress (money donations) and Help for Heroes (free accommodation). Since 2012, when Charity Cottage won the Daily Telegraph’s Best British Charity award, the total amount raised for Combat Stress, comprising UK royalties and donations from visitors to Charity Cottage, is nudging £10,000.


Rosemary Border Rabson

Pancakes And Valentines In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday January 30, 2018 (19:12:45)   (1412 Reads)
Around the middle of January our local shops are full of pancake paraphenalia. A little early for Shrove Tuesday, you may think. Well, yes: they are in fact gearing up for La Chandeleur, February 2: the date when the Virgin Mary presented baby Jesus in the Temple. Like many other Christian festivals, La Chandeleur – Candlemas - has pagan origins, but the emphasis is on pancakes: les crêpes. See here for more details.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Bonne Année, Bonne Santé!

Posted by: marelebas on Saturday December 30, 2017 (17:31:43)   (1700 Reads)
I wish all my readers Bonne Année, Bonne santé! - a happy New Year, and good health in which to enjoy it. I also wish them better luck with their online researches than I had today. I typed ‘new year celebrations france’ and came across a site which is full of errors in both French and English (clearly neither English nor French is the compilers’ mother tongue!) and inaccuracies (la galette des rois is associated with Epiphany, 6 January; pancakes do not usually feature in New Year’s Eve dinners; and what, pray, is ‘a cruise ride’?).

Digression: My old English master (Ilkley Grammar School 1953 - 60) said, ‘Use exclamation marks as sparingly as if they cost £100 each’. Well, I have just squandered £100 (see above). Thank God it was hypothetical! There goes another.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Christmas in the Morvan

Posted by: Scar on Thursday November 30, 2017 (14:32:13)   (959 Reads)
Christmas is coming, and Le Criquet is bursting with publicity for Christmas markets, Christmas concerts and festive food and wine. Corbigny’s Christmas market opens on 9th December (a memorable date for the Rabsons – see below). It was held in the Abbey until the Elves declared the building a health and safety risk for large crowds. Now it occupies the entire main street, and features musicians, dancers and Father Christmas himself.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

November in the Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday October 31, 2017 (10:38:57)   (771 Reads)
Chrysanthemuns on sale outside Atac supermarket in Cervon
I am typing this on 30 October. As always at this time of year, our local shops and markets are full of potted chrysanthemums.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Autumn In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Friday September 29, 2017 (14:13:38)   (899 Reads)
from their publicity
29 September here, and as I write we are enjoying an Indian summer. There is a great deal going on – wine festivals, antique fairs, exhibitions and much more. Find out more here.

I, however, am typing this surrounded by cardboard boxes. On Monday 2 October work will begin on ripping out our old kitchen and installing a new one.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Vive La Rentrée – September In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Thursday August 31, 2017 (15:44:49)   (883 Reads)
My online Harraps devotes an explanatory paragraph to La Rentrée.

"The time of year when children go back to school – in September – has considerable cultural significance in France. Coming after the long summer break or grandes vacances, it is the time when academic, political, social and commercial activity begins again in earnest."

They can say that again. We are commissioning a new kitchen, but we had to wait for the suppliers to come back from their hols before placing our order.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Mutterings From The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Sunday July 30, 2017 (22:17:55)   (892 Reads)
Black Friday

The last weekend of July is a time of massive traffic congestion, caused by les juilletistes – the people who go on holiday in July – on their way home, and les aoûtiens – the August holidaymakers – setting out for their hols. On Friday 28 July French TV channel TF1 showed a map with the worst-affected roads marked in orange, red and black, with black predominating.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Summer In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Friday June 30, 2017 (15:42:10)   (1071 Reads)
Quelle canicule!’ everyone exclaimed: ‘What a scorcher!’ June was exceptionally hot and dry, and I took to recycling our bath water to wash the car and water the geraniums on the patio. Then, on June 27, just as we were driving home from Avallon (more of that trip anon), the heavens opened. Since then it has been blessedly cool, and the grass is green again.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Flaming June In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday May 30, 2017 (17:47:21)   (1106 Reads)
I am typing this on May 30, during a heatwave – une canicule as they say here. It ain’t half hot, Mum, and John has taken to wearing shorts, while I hang out the washing at 6 am to take advantage of the blessed coolth and to put out water for the birds and squirrels and give the geraniums their morning drink.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

May in the Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Friday April 28, 2017 (22:55:59)   (924 Reads)
You know May is on the way when the bluebells appear in the woods along the road to Lormes. They overflow onto the verges and compete for attention with delicate white stitchwort and red campion. Truly tricolore, just in time for the Presidential Election in which John and I are not allowed to vote (whatever happened to ‘No taxation without representation’?). As I type it’s a a duel between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. There is all you need to know, and probably more than you wish to know, here.    more ...




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