28 December 2010

Christmas at Le Brin

Last year it was a quiet Xmas at home as Guy was in Ireland and we had no planned lunches, dinners or parties. This year was quite, quite different but onto the festivities later, first the weather over the festive season.

I know the UK has been suffering with Arctic conditions and just to keep in touch with what’s happening at ‘home’, I have the weather for Glasgow (my brother and sons), Margate (my aunt) and Oldham (my mate Steve) programmed into my iPhone, so I know it’s been pretty cold, indeed, my brother told me on Xmas eve that the temperature in Glasgow had not risen above zero degrees for six weeks!

Over here in ‘sunny’ France, it has been raining non-stop for days on end – two inches a day! It’s impossible to do anything; the wood for the fire gets wet no matter how well it’s covered, the fallen oak leaves get soggy and block everything up, and poor Shadow comes in looking like a drowned rat, a pretty big drowned rat it has to be said.

And then the cold came. For the last few mornings Tan and I have had skating rinks instead of swimming pools and I see the cats wondering what on earth is happening. They can’t quite work out how they cannot put their paws into the fish pond and hook out a juicy bit of fish. I’m just waiting for them to spot a bird on the other side of the pool and go for it only to find a watery grave instead!

But back to Xmas. Quite a few weeks ago, four couples got together and suggested we do a combined Xmas with all the food costs and the cooking shared. And, despite finding our previously ordered turkey had been sold to someone else (probably to a French family - they don’t seem to be worried about totally unscrupulous actions like this), we managed to feed the fourteen people who shared our table quite easily.

The ladies all did marvelously well getting food for fourteen people cooked and served on time with a special mention going to Linda who came over on Xmas Eve and helped J turn a nondescript piece of patio furniture into a beautifully, festive dinner table.

Starting at about 2pm, eating at about 4pm and beginning the games about 9pm, it was a great day. As usual, I ended up at 2am snoring away, lying fully clothed on the carpet in the hall covered in Shadow’s towel. At least this time, my so called ‘friends’ covered me up!

Secret Santa was a success despite most people guessing who had given what to whom, but I reckon I got away with my edible g-string and can of squirty cream! My present was a ‘Demotivational’ calendar with the naughtiest wrapping paper I’ve ever seen. I’m still trying to work out what to do with the calendar but the paper is on my office wall already! Thanks Angie!

And then, as usual, just as the party was abating, we all headed over to Tan and Angie’s where it continued well into the night on their terrace, despite the freezing conditions. Apparently, I did participate in the heated debates about one thing or another and did dance a few steps before my lack of sleep, due to watching the cricket through the night, caught up with me.

And so it’s on to New Year. I’ve had people I don’t know stopping me in the village to say how much they are looking forward to spending New Year at our place! Methinks I need to make another visit to the wine store, oh and maybe wash Shadow's towel - just in case!  

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