June Is Bustin’ Out In The Morvan

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 … Read more

The Fun Starts Here

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 … Read more

April In The Morvan

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 … Read more

En Marche! – March In The Morvan

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 … Read more

Pancakes And Valentines In The Morvan

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 … Read more

Bonne Année ! From Rural Burgundy

I am typing this on 30 December in the lull between festivities. First there was Le Réveillon on Christmas Eve, with champagne, foie gras and oysters. Christmas Day came and went, with turkey or goose and bûche de Noël and, for new expats, the baffling absence of Christmas crackers, not to mention mince pies and … Read more

Christmas In The Morvan

Advent, the traditional run-up to Christmas, begins on 1 December, but the big sales drive starts soon after La Toussaint on November 1. The Christmas market season starts on December 1. Here at Maré le Bas the dates to remember are Corbigny (8/9 December) and Lormes (15 December). The Corbigny Christmas market was held in … Read more

November In The Morvan

Pumpkins and Chrysanthemums I am typing this on 28 October. The clocks went back last night and everyone is preparing for a long weekend of socialising. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Hallowe’en has not caught on here despite the best efforts of the local supermarkets. Pumpkins are on sale, but nobody … Read more

Autumn In The Morvan

Quarré les Tombes is a pretty village with an enticing weekly market. Its claim to fame is not its unremarkable church but the large number of empty stone sarcophagi (tombes) in the graveyard surrounding the church.A Nice Day Out 46 coffins and 66 lids surround the church. There were originally 1000 or more, placed there … Read more