Also last weekend we had the French Téléthon here which has so far raised over 80 million Euros for charity. What was our contribution? The local boulangerie (the translation is "bakery" but that doesn't even come close to the mouth-watering place it really is !) was delivering croissants and pains au chocolat on Sunday morning for a donation to the Téléthon. Well, what can you do? It's for charity after all; I just had to succumb and ordered some of each!
We had some good news about Christmas Day this week. Originally, Danny's sons were hoping to come out and spend Christmas with us and also I had hoped my brother, his new wife and my nephews might come but for one reason or another nobody is going to be able to make it. By the time we realised this it was pretty much too late to organise anything else and so it looked like I would be cooking a Christmas dinner for just the two of us. BUT....we have a favourite restaurant here called A La Bonne Vie http://www.alabonnevie.com/ (if you come and visit us, we'll almost certainly take you there!) and although they were fully booked, they've managed to fit us in. The five-course Christmas Lunch looks scrumptious and we're both looking forward to it. It would have been absolutely wonderful to have a great big family Christmas here but I think this is going to be the next best thing!
Unfortunately, there has been some bad news this week too. We had hoped we'd managed to jump the next hurdle in the process of getting Danny's truck registered over here but unfortunately we've hit a brick wall with it - albeit only metaphorically. The problem is that it's an American truck and even though it's registered in the UK, at the moment they are insisting on putting it through a series of tests to ensure it meets European standards! The tests would cost us a minimum of 1600 Euros and it simply isn't worth it. We're exploring other options at the moment but we're both feeling a little deflated by the setback.
It is starting to get quite wintry here and we've had some frosty mornings now. So far, unlike parts of the UK, we haven't had any snow but we don't think it's far away now. Most days we have our woodburner going from the morning. Although we do have central heating, it's oil fired and therefore expensive where wood, being plentiful here, is much cheaper, so we tend to use the woodburner as our primary source of heating. As you can see in this picture, Finn and Liam have no complaints!
To give you an idea of our winter life here, this is a picture of one of our outbuildings shortly after we had the first batch of wood delivered.
Just as a matter of interest this is one of three small outbuildings that were at one time used as a porcherie or pigsty. At the moment this one is a woodstore, another is being used as a garden 'shed' and the other is full of boxes of kitchenware that I can't get into the existing kitchen. We hope to have a swimming pool installed in the spring, and one of these buildings will have to become the 'pump room' - how grand! A pigsty used as a pump room!
We opted to have the wood delivered in half-metre lengths so the logs fit the wood burner perfectly. It means Danny hasn't got to chop it up before using it. Nonetheless, you do need small bits of kindling to get the fire going so he does have a bit of chopping to do.... and I'm going to leave you with this little video clip of him doing just that!