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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

April Fools' Day In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Wednesday March 29, 2017 (23:28:39)   (843 Reads)
Here in France, April Fools are called Poissons d’Avril . Children try to stick a paper fish on the back of an unsuspecting person. While nobody seems to know why fish would be associated with April 1, many think it refers to the zodiac sign of Pisces. Do we really, cosmically speaking, care?    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

En Marche?

Posted by: marelebas on Monday February 27, 2017 (18:50:52)   (2810 Reads)
Mars, actually, but I do enjoy a good pun and En Marche! is the slogan of one of the contenders for the French Presidency.

Digression: Despite rendering unto Le Fisc that which is due unto Le Fisc, John and I are not allowed to vote in this election. Whatever happened to ‘No taxation without representation’?    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

February In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday January 31, 2017 (22:12:29)   (1353 Reads)
January brought snow. Our birds and squirrels cost us a fortune in grain and fat balls.

Squirrels? Yes: far from hibernating, Tufty and Tess visit our kitchen windowsill daily. John took this photograph through the window.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

The Morvan Greets the New Year

Posted by: marelebas on Thursday December 29, 2016 (23:15:44)   (1915 Reads)
Nobody comes to the Morvan for motorways, theatres, discos or shopping malls. We are 20 miles from the nearest cinema, although movies are occasionally screened at the Centre Médico-Social in Corbigny, which also offers tap dancing classes, sewing bees, tax advice and the annual flu jabs. Even so, there is plenty going on in a restrained sort of way.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Mistletoe, Oysters and Chocklit Log in the Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday November 29, 2016 (23:03:08)   (1375 Reads)
Here we are again: Advent, with its Christmas markets, Christmas concerts and - er- festive fare.

Pedantic Digression: The use of fayre is an abomination second only to the instrusive apostrophe. According to The Free Dictionary website fayre is 'a pseudo-archaic spelling of fair, fare'.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

All Saints and Armistice Day in the Morvan - and Movember in the UK

Posted by: marelebas on Sunday October 30, 2016 (20:59:39)   (855 Reads)
Hallowe'en is a non-event here in the Morvan. Look up Hallowe'en in the big Harraps dictionary and you will find La Veille de la Toussaint, together with an explanation in French, as if Hallowe'en were an esoteric Polynesian custom chronicled in National Geographic. Aldi and Atac, our local supermarkets, have a few packs of supposedly spooky sweets on display, but in 11 years at Maré le Bas I have never opened the door to a troop of trick-or-treaters.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Fun in the Morvan and a Flea Circus in Suffolk

Posted by: marelebas on Thursday September 29, 2016 (20:29:19)   (1129 Reads)
Charity Cottage did everyone proud in September. Stuart from Canada and girlfriend Alice from Yorkshire would ordinarily have stayed in the main house, but on their proposed arrival date I was having cataract surgery in the Polyclinique. I had no idea how I would be feeling after the operation, so I cooked and froze several days' grub the day before, and we agreed they would sleep in the cottage and eat with us.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Paradise Lost, Paulownia And The Burkini Ban

Posted by: marelebas on Monday August 29, 2016 (19:17:24)   (1118 Reads)
I am typing this on (British) August Bank Holiday, in a sizzling heatwave. Our trees, notably the paulownia adjoining our patio, are shedding their leaves. When the paulownia flowered for the first time in 2015, I emailed Carmela Delcros, who had planted it as a tiny sapling when she and Georges built the house 22 years ago. No flowers this year, but we collect a barrowload of handkerchief-size leaves daily.

Was there a Paulownia in the Garden of Eden? Carmela also planted a fig tree...    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Burgundy by Bike, Delays at Dover and Sex on the Beach

Posted by: marelebas on Thursday July 28, 2016 (22:13:06)   (1033 Reads)
Our next visitors to Charity Cottage are due on 13 August. Keith, his son and his son-in-law are coming by car – with three bikes on the car roof. They emailed us several weeks ago, asking about interesting places to see by bike. As always, I was happy to do a spot of research.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

A Centenary, a Climbdown, Some Puzzled Locals and a Unique Railway

Posted by: marelebas on Monday July 04, 2016 (21:31:52)   (865 Reads)
July 1 2016 – 100 years since the murderous Battle of the Somme began. Most families have tales to tell. Here is mine. My Uncle Harry served in the Royal Field Artillery. There are few contemporary photographs of them in action – understandable – but here is one.    more ...




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