Saturday, 29 September 2018

Exposition 2018 Photo Club Cluny

Setting-up the Expo 2018
Last year, while walking across Cluny's Saturday market, we noticed a poster near the Salle Malgouverne in the town centre announcing a picture exhibition of Photo Club Cluny. And since both of us are interested in photography we decided to walk in and see what the club had to offer.

Making the mats
The pictures on display were varied and interesting, we bumped into someone there whom we knew from another occasion, and we were invited to see what it was all about during the next biweekly meeting. When we arrived there a couple of weeks later, we found more people like us who had found the club through this exhibition.

In the concert hall
We received a short introduction in the activities the club had on offer: dedicated outings to cover a specific event, or a specific seasonal phenomena (autumn/mushrooms, Carnaval Vénitien in Annecy, playing with light ant lighting, a deer park, etc.), taking part in competitions of photo clubs in the department, access to a whole host of photography magazines, etc. It sounded interesting enough to give it a try for one year.

In the country
And soon the time has come: our club organises its yearly exhibition. We are now a group of 12, whilst there were 5 members when we joined. Not exactly a massive number, but nevertheless… Each member has to fill 3 exposition panels, covering 3 different subjects of max 6 pictures per subject.

Romanesque heritage
I am very curious to see what the rest of the group comes up with: my subjects are "In the concert hall", "In the country" and "Romanesque heritage". In this blog some of my chosen pictures.

And even the local newspaper had item on it! 

Saturday, 15 September 2018


The church of Lancharre
The church Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption in Lancharre, or what is left of it, once was part of a priory. The original nave of this Romanesque church was demolished in the 17th century, and only the transept, apses, choir and the bell tower are still in existence.

Interior 2012
Even though the church was not open, but closed off with a wall and a door, and hence not directly exposed to the elements, the building was in bad shape. The walls were full of cracks, the plaster was here and there heavily damaged or absent, in a word, the church could do with a renovation. It is always difficult for a commune of this size (Chapaize, 150 inhabitants) to cough up the dough for a restauration.

Interior 2012
However, with a little help from some friends, in this case the State, the Province, the Community, generous gifts from private persons and the revenue of cultural events in the commune, there has been enough money raised over the last 20 years to fund a restauration. The church has been given new stained glass windows, cracks were repaired, plasterwork and decorations were patched up, in a word, the church obtained a facelift.

Interior 2018
September first was the big day: this part of the restauration was finished, and the church was re-opened to the public.
An inauguration is not complete without festivities: there were 2 bagpipe players and a hurdy-gurdy player, there was a lecture about the history of the church, the Dutch madrigal choir Roundelay gave a concert and at the end the mayor of Chapaize declared the church officially opened.

Interior 2018
We saw the interior of the building for the last time in 2012, and comparing the before and after pictures reveal what has been done.
Hence: I take my hat off for those who contributed to the metamorphosis of Lancharre's church!

Roundelay 2018
For those who are really interested in what the church looked and looks I have set up some picture albums:
Exterior of the church
Interior around 2012
The church in September 2018

Saturday, 1 September 2018

The downfall of a pizzeria

A very thick pizza (from Dr. Oetker's website)
Once upon a time, whilst living in the Netherlands, I saw pizzas as huge circular thickly cut sandwiches, with a topping that was usually varying from tasteful to acceptable. Since I am not really a dough-liking sort of person a pizzeria did not rank very high on my list of favourite restaurants. Until one day, in the vicinity of Avignon in France I discovered that when pizzas are made wafer-thin they could be very nice indeed. This held for most of the pizzas I ate in France. When we settled down in this part of Burgundy we quickly found a pizzeria that ranked high on the list of making the thinnest pizzas in the world.

A reasonably thin pizza (from Koopmans' website)
And even though the restaurant recently changed hands and recipes, the quality of the pizza bottoms stayed as it was.
However, at the beginning of this year "Le Loup Garou" closed down for a number of months, and we had no idea what was coming in its place. A boutique? A drugstore? A restaurant offering local specialities? Recently we found out. A new restaurant opened its doors, under the same name with a similar menu: "Le Loup Garou" ("The Werewolf") had risen from the dead!

The old Loup Garou
After the restaurant had been going for a couple of days (never try a new restaurant on its opening day, we have found out) we decided whether the chef could match his predecessor. All signs were pointing that way. The old oven had not been replaced; the machine that produced thin pizza bottoms was still there, in a word, provided they would produce decent toppings as well there was not much that could go wrong. At least that is what I thought. The pizza bottoms turned out to be hand shaped, and unrealistically thick with a very thick edge as well, and what was worse, the edge was toppingless. On top of that the topping of my pizza saumon was not a shadow of what the original "Loup Garou" offered….

The new Loup Garou
Something that had never happened to me happened here. The bottom was so thick and tough, that I could not cut it with the provided knife. After 6 attempts of cutting it the waitress brought me another, sharper knife, which cut marginally better. When I finally had a mouthful of pizza I needed more wine then there was in my glass to work it down. The result: after half a pizza, of which I had removed a 5 cm wide edge, I could not eat anymore. Despite all this (we had paid for it!) we took the other half, without the edges, home. As far as I'm concerned I am waiting for still another owner, and in the meantime I will be roughing it with the other pizzerias in Cluny….