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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

Book Exchange

Posted by: marelebas on Wednesday July 29, 2020 (08:35:03)   (62 Reads)
Chris in Calgary emailed me with a picture of what she called a little free library. Well, the same idea has caught on in Corbigny and there is a larger version in the shopping mall at Avallon. In the lockdown, with socialising so restricted, free libraries like this are a godsend.    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

The Morvan Under Lockdown

Posted by: marelebas on Friday June 26, 2020 (14:45:50)   (65 Reads)
Here in the Morvan we have all been labouring under lockdown. The Mairie has issued us all with washable face masks. It is advised, but not obligatory, to wear masks in situations such as shops. There is a wealth of advice on line for DIY masks and I have seen people wearing beautiful creations they have made from fabric scraps.    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

Lockdown In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Thursday June 04, 2020 (07:47:26)   (337 Reads)
Here in the Morvan we have all been labouring under lockdown, although I have yet to hear of a single case of the virus in our neighbourhood. Last week les pompiers rushed our friend Anne to hospital in Nevers with acute peritonitis. Her surgery went well and she is out of danger, but she is not allowed visitors because of the lockdown.    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

Locked Down

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday April 28, 2020 (17:13:01)   (55 Reads)
The Rabsons are sociable souls, who in an ideal world would be planning a party to celebrate 15 glorious years in the Morvan. Our 10th anniversary bash was a triumph. In normal circumstances the invitations would be in the post or email, Charity Cottage would be packed solid and we would be preparing a feast for fifty.    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

Yikes! Bikes! Cheering 'Em On In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday July 02, 2019 (16:46:11)   (571 Reads)
They say nothing much happens at Maré le Bas. Well, on June 23 2019 a man with a bundle of tiny tricolore flags and a box of nougat rang the gate bell. Were we aware, he asked, that the TNM would pass our gate around 2 pm that very day?    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

June Is Bustin’ Out In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Wednesday May 29, 2019 (19:00:07)   (616 Reads)
Hands up all those expats who remember June is Bustin’ Out All Over from Carousel. Good old Rodgers and Hammerstein!

They should have added a verse about local happenings. On June 9 St Père’s annual Le Jardin dans la Rue brings in the crowds. Their Troc Vert is a swap shop for keen gardeners. There are exhibitions and entertainments, and a brocante (see my May effusion) with a garden theme.    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

The Fun Starts Here

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday April 30, 2019 (19:16:24)   (440 Reads)
Cervon: Spot the treasures among the tat!
May in the Morvan! Bluebells, fields of golden oilseed rape, the first lawnmower of spring – and the Morvan's answer to the British car boot sale, village fête or antiques fair: the vide-greniers, brocantes, foires and fêtes. Most sizeable villages host an annual event, usually advertised in the local free magazine, Le Criquet. Cervon’s vide-grenier is scheduled for May 5.    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

April In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Thursday March 28, 2019 (17:28:08)   (646 Reads)
Poisson d’Avril!

On April 1 French children stick a paper fish - a Poisson d’Avril - on the back of an unsuspecting victim as a prank. No KICK ME ? How tame can you get? Dennis the Menace could teach them a thing or two.

Why the fish? Always glad of an excuse for a little research, I googled Poisson d’Avril for likely origins. One suggestion is that in 1564 King Charles IX decreed that the year would start on 1 January instead of 1 April. That’s all very well, but April Fool’s Day is celebrated in many other countries.    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

En Marche! - March In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Saturday February 23, 2019 (19:08:55)   (338 Reads)
La République En Marche ! is the political party founded by Emmanuel Macron. When something is en marche it is on the move. En Marche! was the title of my first French textbook in 1953.

As I type Monsieur Macron may still be en marche, but he is not having an uneventful journey. Fortunately the violent protests and downright vandalism do not seem to have reached the Morvan. Meanwhile Theresa May in London must be wishing she had never heard of Brexit.    more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

Pancakes And Valentines In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Friday February 01, 2019 (10:40:04)   (731 Reads)
Around the middle of January our local shops are full of pancake paraphernalia: crêpe pans, electric crêpe makers and free crêpe recipes appearing in the supermarkets. A little early for Pancake Tuesday, surely? Well, yes: they are in fact gearing up for La Chandeleur, February 2.

Digression: I can never resist an excuse for a spot of research. In my student days research involved hours in the library paper-chasing through dog-eared index cards. It is a joy to be able to sit in my warm study and type ‘Crêpes history’ and sift through the dozens of references while playing online scrabble with my buddy Beardie in Yorkshire.    more ...

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