Place de l'église, Champagny-sous-Uxelles, Southern Burgundy, France.

Events : Visitors : Family & Travels

OR (with apologies to a certain well known author) 

A year in Southern Burgundy

As always we try to list the visitors to us as well as our own travels during the past year. We also note other village related events especially when we have pictures to put on view. 


As we look back on 2017with Christmas just a day or two away its tempting to say “phew what a year”. A year in which, with our aches and pains, it seems to take us twice the time and effort to do all our jobs around the house and garden and sadly a year during which we have lost several good friends and neighbours. We are now beginning to accept that we are surely “not as young as we thought we were” feeling our advancing years.

The year did however begin well with the birth of our fourth grandchild Eliot, and our first trip of 2017 was to the UK in January to see him and the rest of our family plus a few friends.

 Subsequent holidays and trips had to be organised to fit in with Barbara's hospital visits and treatments but we managed a visit to Jersey via the Loire valley at the end of July, staying with Barbara's sister on Jersey and meeting with her brothers who were also there for a few days. In September Barbara spent a weekend in Berlin with her brothers and sister for a reunion of the families who attended the German school in Tehran.

 September also gave us a long weekend in Germany at the invitation of Klaus and Christa who were celebrating their wedding anniversary and Klaus's birthday. Later in the same month we spent a few days with Gilbert and Lulu who showed us a good part of Frances Jura region.

 Our final trip of the year was to Zurich, for Barbara to attend a seminar while Jon had a guided tour of the city with our (part time) neighbours Martin and Dore.

Image description


Reading through our previous comments about Britain leaving the European Union, I realise how little has been achieved over the eighteen months since the vote to leave. Although there is now some agreement on the general terms of “the devoice” there is little clarity and the lack any final agreement now appears to be a real possibility.


As always things look different when one looks at Britain from outside. Europe and the rest of the world look on in bewilderment as they see a British government engaged in kind of self flagellation at a time when there is clearly a widening gap between sectors of society and severe problems with infrastructure, education, health and social care.


While Europe continues to recover from the 2008 banking crises regardless of its other difficulties the UK’s economy can best be described as sluggish.


The popular press has coined the “B----- word” which tends to deflect people from the seriousness of the situation. The use of a phrase such as “leave the European Union” would return some reality to the situation.


To face the historical facts the western world is in a cycle of decline and the UK along with the USA is loosing its influence under current political leadership. Europe could benefit from this situation. The basic structures are in place but it will take some restructuring and better leadership to strengthen its position in the world order. Lets be controversial and suggest that there is every reason to embrace nationalism or regional differences within some type of federal European structure.

Even senior administrators (civil servents) are suggesting that it will take ten to twenty years for the Uk to adjust to being outside of the EU. We cant help but crack a small grin when the fanatical anti-Europeans realise the extent of the problems ahead. But the reality is that our pension and the future of our children and grandchildren are in the balance. 

Referendums are always divisive and a cop-out by insecure politicians. But having gone down this path "the will of the British people must be respected" and they mast be asked to approve the final deal and on that result decide upon leaving or staying in the European Union. 


Family visitors were Babsi and Jason with the boys for a few days in May while Pamela and Rob were restricted to the October half-term week with Fiona and Jacob. As I write this Babsi, Jason and the boys are with us for Christmas.


Image description

 Photo-call at Klaus and Christa's.

Image description

The Findlays; Rob, Jacob, Fiona and Pamela.


September was a busy month with visits from Nigel and Lesley as well as Erwin and Rachael.

Unfortunately we are unable to find any photographs of their visits!

Image description
Image description

Gilbert, Lulu and Jon waiting fror the little train over the mountains to Lake Geneva. 

 Lulu laughing at Barbara's photographic technique.

Image description

Jason, Sebastien, Eliot and Babsi enjoy a Christmas- Eve session in the Hot Tub.

Our new Grandson!





Image description

Saturday 14th January 2017 

at 13.50 

7lbs 11oz (3.49kg) 

Image description

Zurich from above and (below) viewed from over the river.

Image description


Life is full of changes and surprises and tends to throw the odd curved ball when things are going well. We seem to have got rid of the hornets in the old apple tree and managed to stop the pigeons roosting under the eaves but a major failure of our main computer following a Windows 10 update came just at the worst time in November. 

There is life without Microsoft and although we can’t pretend its been easy we have finally changing our system to a Linux based one. Its faster and safer but for Jon its been like learning about computers all over again!

Image description

The autumn of 2016 saw the replacement of the street lighting around the village church and laying new underground electricity and telephone cables. The birds will have for find some ware else to perch.