A Christmas Story

I am typing this on 2nd January 2021, and there is good news and bad news. Let’s leave it to the media to discuss the bad news. Among the good news here in France is that we are no longer compelled, every time we leave the house, to carry an Attestation de Déplacement Dérogatoire signed […]

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December In The Morvan

Type CHRISTMAS into your search box and you will see that what we call Christmas today is essentially a pagan midwinter festival, which was adopted by the early Christians to coincide with the (supposed) birth of Jesus. In December, Jews celebrate Hanukkah, their eight-day festival of lights. Digression That calls to mind a limerick. “A […]

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November In The Morvan

I am typing this on October 30th 2020. I have just looked up my earlier November effusions. Those were the days! At 8 pm last night, President Macron announced the reimposition of lockdown – le confinement. So, once again, we must all carry an Attestation de Déplacement Dérogatoire every time we leave the house. We […]

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The Shadows Of Bubbles

One very intriguing aspect of living in a place like Hong Kong is that you often find yourself treading niftily between parallel cultures; and never more so than with language. For example, I recently learnt a new Cantonese expression – the above title – while daydreaming on a bus. I kick-started my knowledge of Chinese […]

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Heritage Days

We always look forward to the Journées du Patrimoine – European Heritage Days – during the third weekend in September. You can visit the European Heritage Days website here. European Heritage Days enable us to visit public and private buildings, including some which are rarely open to the public. For many years, friends, family and […]

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September In The Morvan

Another free library The free library in Corbigny, which I featured in my August effusion, prompted John’s brother, David, to send this picture of the one in his village in the West Country. He wrote: “I am sure that you remember the Great British red telephone box. Due to the rise of the mobile phone, […]

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Overrun With Tourists And Gasping In The Heat And Humidity!

Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely readers around the World, I am writing to you on 15 August, and it’s as hot and humid as can be. It is also Ferragosta, the festa day when traditionally the Italians would have all gone to the coast or mountains in search of a cool breeze. But […]

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Book Exchange

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.Mind you, I have been […]

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Summertime…

…and the livin’ is, well, not exactly easy but manageable with the requisite forbearance needed when living in these parts. Yes, after a few weeks of very pleasant spring weather we were instantly swamped by the sweat-inducing, energy-sapping ambience of a Hong Kong summer, trademarked by sweaty armpits, sodden back and an unfortunately damp seat, […]

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Return Of The Tourists

Yes, the tourists have returned to our little bit of Chianti, although mostly from northern Europe, Dutch, Belgian, German, Polish and Austrian. These are the few that we are aware of, there may be lots more nationalities in Florence and Siena. So, our tourist industry friends are sighing with relief and are even taking some […]

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