Sunday, 18 December 2016

SNOW ON THE MOUNTAINS AND FIRST FROSTS.

Since getting back from our visit to England we have felt so much more at home here. Something almost imperceptable has shifted toward this new place feeling like home. We have again relished the unspoilt nature around us and new places to explore.


We have been holed up in our little living/ sleeping space which sometimes feels like a tiny fortress against the cold of the rest of the house. Trips to the toilet are the briefest of affairs, the toilet seat itself is so very cold, even the wooden floor feels like it might give feet frostbite through socks. I'm really hoping that this British obsession with 'hygge' at the moment means I get some warm socks for Christmas. This mass comercialisation of a concept that is apparently untranslatable has come at the best of times for our family hoping for warming gifts. Our luxury at the moment is our bed. Two double matresses we place in the middle of the room each night giving all four of us a lot of space to sleep. Heaven.

It's felt very festive and cosy and we've had a veritable industry of present and card making taking place. One of my favourite things about Christmas, at least in theory until I realise that it's the 18th of December and all I have that is nice enough to gift someone is one small jar of homemade trail mix. Then the next day I see that Florent has eaten it anyway. Neither is the room an inspiring workshop of artistic crafts and inspired prints but more a working definition of carnage itself; cellotape stuck to the floor, glitter glue decorating the heater and a thousand miniscule pieces of paper everywhere, the detritus of fourteen paper snowflakes that shortly after creation were all destroyed by Little I. Despite this, I still love making things even if we will still find ourselves giving in and buying a load of craft beer for everyone at the last minute...

The mornings are frosty and the air is sometimes so cold it catches in your chest as you breathe in. I've tried to go on some early solo morning walks which are very much worth it when I have the courage to leave the warm room. The horses grazing in a nearby field have beards of ice and their breathe steams out of them. Ice covers puddles and frost every leaf and stone.
 




Work on the house slowed as we try various tricks in the engine to ease the bus through its French MOT and we prepared for our own 'Atelier de Création' at the village Marché de Noël. We plan to pick it all up again in January...
 
 
 
 

And now we're on our way home to Somerset. After two days on the road and a chilly night in the back of a van in a car park somewhere towards the middle of France we have stopped in Normandy. Visiting Florent's family is always a treat and the girls are beside themselves in the sea of toys and the lavishing of attention. Little L has also begun to speak in French, something that has moved both Florent and I as she begins to speak to her grandparents in their language for the first time: "C'est pas very much chaud!"  and "Oui, I like ça" etc. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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