Monday, 18 February 2013

Preparing for the first guests of 2013!

Tomorrow our house will come alive with the noise and laughter of visitors as Danny's son Mark arrives with his girlfriend and her two young children, who we'll be meeting for the first time!  As you can imagine, we are really looking forward to it.... our last guests were our 'old' neighbours from Essex who were here at the beginning of October.  We have been busy for the last few days, preparing for our guests but, apart from some last minute food shopping tomorrow morning, we are ready for them!  So, while Danny watches the football, I've grabbed a few minutes to bring you up to date...

Last Thursday was our first Valentine's Day in this house.... I couldn't find a Valentine's card (I don't know why, other than it seems the shops must display them separately from other cards?) so I ordered one online from and it was "okay".  Danny, on the other hand, went into the newsagent and being unable to find any Valentine's cards on display, asked for them in French.  This may not seem much but it's a huge milestone for him and I think that now he's crossed that bridge, it will give him the confidence to speak more.  If you've never been in this situation, I can tell you, it takes a lot of courage to speak to people in a foreign language you've only been learning for a few months.  Danny also ordered a beautiful bouquet of red roses from a French supplier online...... aren't they gorgeous?

I think I made up for the rather poor card by cooking us a lovely special meal.  Goat's cheese wrapped in puff pastry to start followed by fillet steak, chips, 'petit pois', tomato and mushrooms.... all served with a nice glass of red!

On Friday, we had more logs delivered!  Back in the Autumn we had 7.5 "steres" of logs delivered (a stere being one cubic metre) and it looked so much we couldn't imagine that it wouldn't last us through the winter.  But, to be fair, we were advised to get 10 steres and a few weeks ago we realised we would need more.  We do have central heating but it is powered by oil and it is expensive.  It's going to be something of a learning curve over a couple of winters but what we're doing this year is having the central heating as a back up and using the woodburner for our main source of heating.  Anyway, the wood store looked like this back in November and we've pretty much used all of it!

And here's part of Friday's delivery.....
And in case you're wondering, yes! I DID help Danny to put it all away.... it's amazing just how tiring a job like that is!
Well, most of the weekend was taken up with cleaning the house, making beds, sprucing up the car and so on.  I absolutely love having guests and I like everything to be just right for them.  The children are a boy and a girl so they have appropriate bedlinen and towels, although, come to think of it, perhaps that isn't so politically correct nowadays but I still think of "blue for a boy" and "pink for a girl" so here are their beds ready and waiting for them!
 And here's Danny cleaning the car (with the help of the dogs.... can you spot them?)
Finally, I have at long last, got round to doing some baking!  We do plan to have a new kitchen in the house but until then I'm "making do" with what I've got and I've left a lot of my kitchen equipment packed up and outside in one of our outbuildings.  I do miss being able to lay my hands on whatever I want but luckily I was able to locate my muffin tins, paper muffin cases and my trusted Lakeland muffin recipe book and now the freezer is stocked with this supply of chocolate and choc-chip muffins..... yum yum!
I doubt I'll have time to "blog" over the next few days so I'll tell you all about the visit next time!
A bientôt!

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