Apologies for not quite managing to post before the end of 2013 - December was a busy month! On the 14th we ran a quiz night in the local bar - with live music from Marc and Sarah. We thought that we might get 25 people at the most but, in the end, 65 people turned up. We raised almost €300 for the Phillippines Relief Fund - and also caused the local bar to run out of red wine!!!!!! Many thanks to everyone that came and helped make the evening such a success. It was hard work but great fun and we are already planning another one for Easter. Happily, as far as I know, there are no pictures of me asking all the questions in my Santa outfit.
Our lovely children and their partners came for Christmas and we had a very festive day in Bergerac. It was lovely to meet Martin - first class sense of humour so fitted right in!
It was great fun decorating the house for our first Christmas here.......
The run up to Christmas is very low-key here in France. A refreshing change from the relentless, commercial assault which seems to start in October in the UK. Only Christmas day and New Year's day are bank holidays - the rest of the time it is business as usual and even a visit to the supermarket on Christmas Eve was stress-free - no evidence of people stocking up with enough food and drink to feed an army.
The rest of the family should have arrived on the 23rd, but the abysmal weather in the UK meant that their flight was delayed for three hours and actually landed at 0130 on Christmas Eve so that was a very late night for everyone! Luckily the weather here was a lot nicer and we had a sunny Christmas. Once everyone had left we had a quick turnaround to get ready for the 20 people who had booked for New Year.
Louis had been busy in the run up to Christmas with his Shine On London Road light installation in Brighton. It's quite hard to explain it, but this short video sums it up nicely:
We are now the proud owners of some nice hacks:
Keen-eyed readers will have spotted that, despite the title of this post, there has been no mention of the lovely Ozzy yet. He had a nasty accident a few days before Christmas and we really thought we had lost him. A million thanks to the fantastic vet in Valence who managed to rebuild him for us :-) He's well on the way to a complete recovery now but is definitely down to eight lives
His subdued state did make him the ideal place to put your beer though :-)
So, what does 2014 hold for us? Summer bookings have started and Marc will be playing live music in some of the local towns and villages. Long, sunny evenings seem like a distant memory at the moment, but the days are getting longer and summer will here again before we know it - although it would be nice if we could avoid the in-between part with the snow this year!.