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Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Hamfest, Heritage Days, And The Bounty Of Nature

  Posted Thursday August 30, 2018 (16:56:20)   (551 Reads)



Charity Cottage is undersubscribed, alas. Since we opened our doors in 2012 Combat Stress, who receive 100% of our visitors’ donations, have sent us just one family (who enjoyed themselves so much that they came again two years later). Our friends and relations come from time to time. John places ads in his radio magazines, and in April Neil Robertson from Suffolk asked about availability in August. He had seen John’s ad in SPRAT, a magazine for radio amateurs.

The answer was ‘Come whenever you like and stay as long as you wish’.

Well, they came in August for 10 days and a riotous time was had by all. Neil, Mary and 14-year-old Lonny are all licensed radio amateurs. They brought with them a Russian army surplus telescopic radio mast which they erected in our garden. The heatwave continued – see our poor parched grass –

and the Robertsons very sensibly timed their sightseeing for the cool of the evenings. They are determined to come again at Easter 2019.

Nature’s Bounty

After sulking for several years, a small tree in our garden suddenly produced an abundance of mirabelles, tiny yellow plums. Lonny harvested them and I dug out my granny’s jam pan. Twelve pots of jam and a big bowl of compôte de mirabelles later, I reached for my hand cream: cutting out all those stones is a chore and I must look up the French for a gizmo to remove stones. Meanwhile here is the link to the recipe I used.

Leaving the fruit, sugar and lemon juice to macerate overnight is an old trick I learned from John’s mother.

Heritage Days

September 15 and 16 are European Heritage Days – read all about it here.

The trouble with these special days is the impossibility of fitting in all the wonderful sights on offer, many of which are not usually open to the public. The Lac des Settons is offering educational visits to the famous dam, while the Gaulish museum at Bibracte is laying on guided tours of the archaeology dig.

There is a special exhibition at the Musée des Nourrices et des Enfants de l’Assistance Publique at Alligny-en-Morvan.

See here for more details.

Une nourrice is a wetnurse, and Morvan women breast-fed the rich and famous as well as pauper babies from the Assistance Publique. Can John and I fit in a visit?

We have visited the château at Bazoches so often with friends, family and Charity Cotttage guests that we have a permanent free pass. But this time there will be two special exhibitions, and the opportunity to see parts of the château which are not normally open to the public. These include the pédiluve, a sort of footbath for muddy horses. I found this picture online.

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.

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