Thursday, December 24, 2009

BONNE ANNÉE December 2009

It is time to reflect on the year that has passed. It has been a good year for us.


Keith worked for DuVine Adventures (website) from April through October, working here in Burgundy and the Loire Valley.

He also found time to go to the "Semaine fédérale internationale de cyclotourisme" [literal translation: week federal international bike tour], which he thoroughly enjoyed. It was in north west region of France, Pas-de-Calais.

Keith has ridden over 10,000km this past year on his bike. Really something, yes?!

We had great weather this last summer and he was also able to get out and do a few camping trips between his work trips.

In June, we went down near Macon for a couple of days with our friend from London. Nice wine and beautiful scenery. Nice trip.

I went to Normandy region in July(west side of France)to visit a high school friend for a couple of days. Great visit with Diane and family. Let us not count the years we have known each other though! !

I went on a tour of Cluny with my Photo club in September. Very interesting.

All in all, we have stayed close to home and enjoyed the year completely. We have been busy with our hobbies (and Keith with work too). The summer weather was great and we were able to really enjoy the outdoors.

Month of December

As for this past month. Marie Therese somehow arranged for us to view the ceremonies at Clos de Vougeot on Decemeber 5th. It was a great surprise and a wonderful evening. I appreciate very much what she went through for us to see it. The Clos Vougeot has a Fete for St. Hubert (patron Saint of hunting). There is a ceremony in the courtyard before a grand dinner. The dinners at Clos Vougeot are renowned, (as is the price - and we just went for the ceremony in the courtyard, not the dinner). But it is a private affair and not open to the public.

After that we had a nice dinner with Marie Therese and Christian (at Messanges). Below are a few photos I took of the ceremony. You can see the hunting dogs (race St. Hubert, type of blood hound) in the photos too. The ceremony included the dogs and horns. There were three groups of horn players. They played several different hunting calls, each tune represents a different communication. At the end, all three groups played together. I have uploaded this ending video. The video is not real sharp, it was outside and dark. Also I believe the horns are ever so much better in person ( I love to hear the horns ).

Here is the connection to the video: click or if that doesn't work just click on this connection

Horn Players and Dogs rushing in
One group of Horn Players
Old Wine Press at Clos Vougeot

The genealogy/history club had its Exposition this month (Dec 12th to the 20th). It was the exposition of old post cards. It went over quite well. There were visitors every day, so it was a success. After helping with the set-up of the Exposition, I never got back to see it (see next paragraph).

We both got the flu this month. I had the vaccination for H1N1, but not the annual flu vaccination. Oh well, it was on my to do list. It shot us down pretty well for almost two weeks. It was not a good time to be house bound, just before the holidays. Consequently, not much got done. No Christmas decorations this year at all( but the positve side : I do not have to take anything down..yeah).

Then the weekend of the 20th, WINTER hit here in France, and Gevrey too. Cold wind from the north and snow. The temperature plummeted to about 5 degrees(that is cold). The total accumulation of snow was about 6 inches. Then on Monday Dec 22nd, the wind switched from the south. Most of the snow melted and was gone in one day.

Since we had been house bound for so many days, Keith suggested taking the train to Lyon for the day (on Tuesday). And so we went. It was a beautiful warm sunny day in Lyon (about 50 degrees). Lyon is a pretty city, especially the "old Lyon".

Keith played tour guide and we toured around to see some of the sites. It is amazing how fast the day passed. Below are some photos from Lyon(opening photo is the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon), one of a silk shop that has weaving looms in the back. Some really beautiful scarfs and ties for sale too!! Note the photo of the tower is actually two photos put together. The tower is too tall to get in one photo while standing in a small courtyard. So I took two and put them togther.

We had a great day, but tiring. We hopped on the 4:20pm train to return home instead of the 5:20pm that we had planned (it is about 2 hours by train).

Mosaic in Lyon
Guignols (puppets) of Lyon Guignols started 1796 in Lyon
Old loom in Silk Shop
Red Tower of Lyon

Our Christmas Eve was here at home. We had some wild boar steaks (sanglier)and a nice bottle of red wine. On Christmas we went to Messanges and celebrated with Marie Therese, Christian, Marie Therese's father and sister. A wonderful dinner and a warm afternoon with friends.

Les pleurants en Amérique ! I have to tell you about the Dijon exhibit that is coming to the USA. The Beaux Arts Museum in Dijon is going to be under repair for the next three years. The one room will not be open to visitors. The "Pleurants"- Mourners are from around the tomb of "Jean sans Peur" (John without Fear -Duc of Burgundy). The museum has decided to put the Mourners on Tour. Go and see them, they come from right here in Dijon. Some of you on my list live in New York,Minneapolis or Dallas.

Infos pratiques :

• The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2 mars 2010–23 mai 2010)

• Saint Louis Art Museum (20 juin 2010–6 septembre 2010)

• Dallas Museum of Art (3 octobre 2010–2 janvier 2011)

• Minneapolis Institute of Arts (23 janvier 2011–17 avril 2011)

• Los Angeles County Museum of Art (8 mai 2011–31 juillet 2011)

• Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (21 août 2011–1er janvier 2012)

• Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond (20 janvier 2012–15 avril 2012)

Recipe of the Month

Due to time, I am using a very easy recipe this month!!

It is a nice appetizer. 

Camembert Cheese Starters


  • Puff Pastry
  • Camembert
  • Pesto
  • Olive Oil


  1. Preheat over to 325 degrees
  2. Depending on the puff pastry, roll and cut into squares (3 inches by 3 inches). If rolled already, just cut.
  3. Cut Camembert into 1 inch cubes
  4. Place cheese cube in the middle of the pastry square
  5. Pull points together and pinch/seal the edges (make a small pyramid shape).
  6. Place on baking sheet with cooking paper (or grease sheet).
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until pastry has browned
  8. Place each one on a serving plate.
  9. If pesto is thick, add a little oil.
  10. Swirl pesto around pastry on the plate.
  11. Serve and enjoy