I promised another blog before this year comes to an end and with only a few hours now remaining, I have the chance to write a few words.
We were invited round to French friends (Hélène and Pascal) one evening just before Christmas and it was nice to feel that we are "integrating". It just takes a bit of getting used to because it's not always obvious what you're being invited to! We were asked to come between 6pm and 6.30pm so I deduced that this was going to be for apéritifs. Sure enough, when we got there we were offered a glass of mousseux which is a sparkling wine and a substitute for champagne. Then they brought out loads of plates of a variety of canapés, salad etc. This even included some escargots (snails of course!!). Now I haven't eaten snails since I tried them in Paris on our honeymoon so I decided to taste them again - mmmm délicieux!! Anyway, we sat there drinking and eating our way through these delights and I kept thinking that we ought to make a move because they would be wanting to have their evening meal. However, they showed no sign of wanting us to leave and indeed, when I said that we ought to be going, they brought out a bottle of bière rouge. I don't remember what time we finally left but when we saw Hélène a few days later and I asked her about it, she said they were in no hurry at all for us to go and were happy to eat the snacks instead of a meal. Go figure!
So, on a gloriously sunny morning Christmas arrived! It was strange because this year, both Danny and I had been feeling a sense of what I can only describe as loneliness in the days leading up to Christmas. I say it was strange because this is our second Christmas in France and we didn't feel like that last year. As it turned out, when Christmas Day came, we were both fine and we had a lovely enjoyable day. We exchanged presents; Danny spoke to all of his sons and I spoke to my brother. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we were able to see the grandchildren enjoying all their presents too. At lunchtime we went to one of our favourite restaurants, Vue du Chateau (all our summer visitors will know and remember it!) where we had a fabulous meal with excellent company and we had a thoroughly good afternoon. There were maybe 16 guests and it felt like being in someone's home rather than in a restaurant. We didn't get home until nearly 6pm, just in time to feed our poor animals!
Here's a photo of us at the table....
Since Christmas, it's been business as usual here although we haven't really done anything more than the 'essentials'. We are both nursing colds at the moment so we have decided to stay in and have a quiet New Year's Eve tonight and tomorrow we have been invited to friends for lunch.
So, that's the end of 2013 and I want to take this chance to wish everyone who takes the time to read this blog a very Happy New Year. I hope that the year 2014 brings you all Peace, Happiness and most of all, good Health.