Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The week so far....

It's nearly a week since I last wrote about what we've been up to so it's about time I caught up!  Last Sunday we went to two Marchés de Noël in a town called L'Absie, approximately 14 kilometres south-west of us.  Both were indoors which is just as well as the weather here is starting to get rather chilly!  The first, run by members of the town itself  was predominantly French with (as usual) lots of lovely home crafted goods.  We bought two hand knitted throws for 10 euros each (the animals are very happy with them as they're very snuggly!) and a few jewellery items for Christmas gifts. The second Marché was held in a lovely coffee shop called "Pause" that I often use..... have a look at their website  The coffee shop is run by two English women and the Marché was all English.  I bought yet another Christmas gift there!

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 (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!
À bientôt!


  1. Hi - great stuff!! Good for you putting a video on your blog. Maybe you could start each blog with: Click on Roz and Danny to view.
    Also if you click on the photos it will enlarge them. Nice burner you have. We have the same heating systems as you - oil and wood !
    Stay warm and keep enjoying yourselves - we'll be on our own for Christmas Day as well - but that is OK + is it Brian's birthday.

  2. Hi Jo. Yes that's a good idea also because I've since found out that if people are looking at it on say an iPhone, they don't get the video for example. I'll try it with my next post and see if I get any reaction!!