Friday, 30 January 2009

Off to the Minervois..

We are heading back to the Minervois in the 'monster' van this weekend. It will be 10 weeks since we relocated to Brittany. Whilst down south work commitments call, signing papers for the Hammeau (though the immobilier has gone into liquidation so not sure where that leaves us?!) and more importantly, la piece de resistance, a dear friends big 40 celebrations! Hubby will be working and I will not though I will be loading furniture. I plan to make the most of the time which includes - catching up with much missed friends and their children, visiting Les Allez Cats and exercising my lungs. A wonderful choir to which I belonged and I miss. Singing is sooo good for the soul. I shall be sourcing mini bottles of olive oil at L'Oulibo Olive centre for a friend who is marrying down that way in June, taking in the market in the village where I will be staying, walking along the Canal du Midi. I am also excited to see a dear friend and neighbour who has been in Alaska for 2 months (rather him than me) and arrives back in the south the same week we do. It will be a given that we must get back to our village bar, Le Bar Mailhac to catch up and see Laurent the owner. And of course prepping my dancing legs for the party on Saturday night. The Birthday Girl is the 2nd youngest of the Languedoc Lasses if my over 40 memory serves me right. I must compile some tips for life over 2 x 20 but she won't need many as she knows how to live life well and to the full already!

I cannot wait, I am loving it here but naturally miss the area where so much happened in the 6 yrs I was there. I have abstained from wine for a while now, no vineyards in view here so the temptation is less and the wine drinking culture is not the same. I am sampling the local cider occasionally! I will be making up for that when I am in the company of those who are well practiced at sampling the local grapes, all in the name of upping my wine knowledge of course! Chateau La Marquise is a favourite I will be reacquainting my tastebuds with and Blanquette de Limoux, well what is a special party without fizz!

I will also tune my ear back into the Occitane twang! Du Vin, Non, DU Vanga!

Thursday, 29 January 2009


Is if it was not enough to ensure one is constantly learning another language, ( don't get me wrong, I love stimulating the language learning part of my brain ) Brittany puts a whole new slant on the language as it has in fact, rather than dialect a whole different patois/lingo of it's own. Occitane in the Languedoc I had just got my grey matter tuned into, sounds like....Ving Blang for Vin blanc, Du Pang for pain, Demang for demain etc and a few other Occitan expressions I learned along the way. Not all printable!

Up north there are completely new words to learn. Though the the Bretons of course speak the general French we know, one can feel positively more local with the use of the Breton version. Breizh" in the Breton language. On one of our house hunts when stopping to ask directions, we were spoken to in Breton, totally lost then! Here is some info..........
It is a Celtic language related to Welsh, Cornish, Manx and Scottish and Irish Gaelic. The Breton people are close cousins of the Welsh and Cornish, having emigrated to Brittany from Britain during the 4th through 7th centuries.

Breton is spoken in Lower Brittany, roughly to the west of a line linking Plouha and La Roche-Bernard (east of Vannes). Roche Bernard is about an hour from where we are located. It comes from a Celtic language community between Great Britain and Armorica (present-day Brittany), and even Galicia. It was the language of the elite until the 12th century. However, afterwards it was only the language of the people of West Brittany (Breizh Izel), and the nobility, then successively the bourgeoisie, adopted French. As a written language, the Duchy of Brittany used Latin, switching to French in the 15th century.

Today, Breton is still spoken as an everyday language by about 200,000 people. At the beginning of the 20th century, half the population of Lower Brittany knew only Breton, the other half being bilingual. By 1950, there were only 100,000 monolingual Bretons, with even fewer nowadays. Breton is now considered to be an endangered language.

In 1977, schools were founded to teach Breton by immersion. They taught a few thousand young people from elementary school to high school and they are still attended today.

Today, Breton is the only living Celtic language which is not recognised as an official language.

I will keep you 'posted' as to how I get on but perhaps will not be writing a whole post in Breton for a while yet!

Home safe and sound..

Well he made it, albeit arriving at 0530 a.m and waking me up because I thought I had left the door unlocked but alas non! My fault but could not rest until he was in safe anyway. Poor chap was exhausted after his whirlind trip and having to fit in a quick supermarket sweep for the store cupboard. Lots of teabags, ( am trying decaff as drink too much tea) some pork and leek sausages, a housey mag for ideas and various other bits and pieces I won't bore you with but the ban saw from his parents garage is going to come in very useful. Nor will I post a pic of the monster van at the mo. It is hilarious. So big, not white, a dirty shade of silver. It is having a once over pre its journey to the Minervois to ensure all secure to load up the wardrobe, woodburner and all the other stuff collected over the years can securely make it up here. We now have 3 vehicles again. Ronnie the Renault is poorly but will be fixed soon. Drive shaft problems, well it is 29 years old and my Hyuandai which is not to be driven by anyone but me without grovelling to my feet as this is the most youthful and reliable one of the lot and needs to be looked after!
Right, off to the stables to watch our friends little girl practice her jumping skills. She is so adorable bobbing up and down on a Shetland pony. I will attempt to work on my slight fear of these wonderful beasts always thinking they will munch my hand off. Maybe I will stick to the smaller ponies at the moment rather than the horses.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Man and van on way....

Well, the new, well 2nd hand van has been purchased and will be hitting French soil about 2200 hrs complete with some carpentry tool from the in-laws garage, much needed for the Hammeau, a super quick shopping supply from the supermarket and I suspect a tired husband. Still, am not going to feel sorry for him as he had fish and chips last night! I need to go and move the other cars from out the front though I am tempted to get him to park it in another spot as fear the size of this thing will block the view from my windows of the fields and trees. I am told there is room for a party of 30 people inside this monster. Let us hope then with some careful planning we can therefore get all the furniture in when we head down South at the weekend.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Crêpes or Galettes?

All around here there are signs for Crêperies, no shortage on choice of where to partake of this tasty nutritious and sometimes indulgent local dish. I have been doing some research - asking some local people about methods etc taste buds directly testing at a local creperie, (home experimenting and I am not a confident cook) and hope one day to have the actual proper cooking utensil for this simple dish. I am addicted!

Galettes originate from Haute-Bretagne (Upper Brittany), or Gallo country, and Crêpes from Basse-Bretagne (Lower Brittany). Depending if you are a sweet or savoury person, you may prefer the Crepes de Froment (wheatflour pancake) or the Galettes de Sarrasin (buckwheat / ble noir pancakes).
The crêpe Froment is generally used as the sweet version can be coupled with a variety of toppings , traditionally including lemon and sugar or both, hazelnut spread, chestnut spread, anything and everything you fancy. I am a sucker for maple syprup and cream. Not very traditional French but too delicious to care about that sometimes! Calorie overload! I like lemon and sugar for a lower cholesterol indulgence.

My favourite savoury version is Forestière but again the taste buds and choices are there to be tempted with whatever you choose. Ham, cheese and egg is very popular. I want to try spinach, parmesan and roasted cherry tomatoes. Maybe swop parmesan for mozzarella and the spinach for basil another time!
Traditionally, Breton cider in a cup would accompany this wheat fest!

For a Galette, you’ll need " ( makes about 24)
Recipes vary of course this is just one I have followed

500g buckwheat flour
4 dessertspoons of plain flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk
40cl cold water
2 dessertspoons of oil

Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and salt. Mix well. Whisk in milk and 5cl water. Add the oil and leave to rest for up to 24 hours but one hour is fine. Some people like to prepare crêpes/galettes, leaving one side less-well cooked than the other.

To cook
Turn the batter. Heat a non-stick pan, put a light knod of butter in
(swirl the pan to distribute the melting butter ; the pan must be hot
enough to hear the butter fry but not too hot for the butter must not
get brown !), pour a small laddle of batter on the pan while swirling it
to distribute the batter evenly (this is the important trick !).
Don't forget crepes must be very thin ! Cook until golden brown, turn
the crepe upside down and cook the other side the same way.
Do that again for each crepe.

You can prepare fillings in advance, cook the galette (less cooked-side down) and place on a preheated pan and garnish. Once garnished, reheat gently, fold and serve immediately.

However, some people cook the galettes completely, leave to cool, brush with melted butter, garnish, fold and reheat in a preheated oven (200°C) for about 6 minutes. The advantage here is that they can be prepared in advance and reheated. Also, everyone can enjoy eating them at the same time!

MY FAVOURITE FILLING……. Galettes Forestière

600g mushrooms, chopped
60g butter, melted
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 teaspoon cream

1. Melt a little butter in a pan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and continue cooking until mushrooms are cooked. Throw in the parsley. Spread the rest of the melted butter on the galettes. Add the mushroom mix and a teaspoon of cream.
2. Fold the outer parts of the galette into the centre, forming a square. Reheat in a preheated oven (200°C) for 6 minutes.


B.........dy vehicles!

Vannes to Paris Montparnasse, Paris Gare du Nord to Calais, taxi to port, one hour wait, ferry to Dover, train to Sussex, car ride to final destination. Total time, 12 hrs approx!! All in the attempt to view a much needed work horse vehicle in Surrey by my husband to replace the one that collapsed on 21 Dec. ( see offending vehicle in photo!) Vehicles 2nd hand are just so much more expensive here. He could have got to St Malo in 2 hrs and taken the ferry from there but he is prone to not having very good sea legs and the ferry in winter is a 7 hr one! He will be back Wednesday via a shorter route, a drive, a ferry then drive this end hopefully with a small supply of shopping if he has time. That is IF the vehicle is all it says it is on the net. Crossing everything possible that is that flexible!. We need that van! We need our furniture moved out of storage and up here and we need a trusty work horse to lug bags of cement, tools and no end of items for the renovation so then we have somewhere eventually to put our furniture!!Please let this be 3rd time lucky. Will be the 3rd van in 2 yrs. Not had much luck so far! Still I have the winning Euromillions ticket for this Friday ( power of positive thinking!) so perhaps I can buy him a whizzy all mod cons new one on Saturday!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

A must see movie

Saturday evening saw us venturing out to Vannes, one of my favourite towns here. Such a charming port with architecture that makes you feel you are living in another century especially at night with the illuminations on certain buildings. We went to see Slumdog Millionaire, there was a queue! A drink in a nearby quirky bar afterwards was the perfect place to discuss how great we thought this film was. Fabulous cinematography and the key 3 characters portrayed when children was just wonderfully acted.
No wonder it won 4 Golden Globes and is nominated for 11 Baftas. It is hard to describe why we thought it was just so good and I want to see it again AND, at the end my husband had a tear in his eye, but maybe the words from a tabloid British paper, The Daily Mail helps sum it up for me. 'Brilliant in a million different ways'
Go see it!

Saturday, 24 January 2009


This is the pretty port of Auray on the south coast of Morbihan.
In 1776 Benjamin Franklin landed here on his way to seek the help of Louis XVI in the American War of Independance. We walked its pretty streets and had a hot chocolate at a cafe under the heat of 4 outdoor burners keeping us warm. I just loved the fact that I could sit outside on a January day watching the people enjoying the Sunday sunshine whilst savouring some delicious handmade chocolates from a nearby store cashing in on the Sunday strollers. It must make a fortune with people like us being lured in by the temptations in the window and then thinking we only have a little in our pay by weight bag and when they weigh it it comes to 7 euros! My husband is a chocoholic so it would never be wasted or not appreciated. I said we should try and make them last all week, he said as I knew already that it would lucky if they lasted the afternoon. 9 p.m the last one was devoured!

A place to hide..

Voila! Here is Gingy girl cat in her hidey hole Friday night. Not one of her best poses, it was rather late.
I found it rather amusing as I could not find her before I went to bed and even looked into this box a little then on a 2nd look lifting the lid completely after we had checked her usual haunts and this place is not big to search, hubby found her here. She had cut her paw, small injury, lots of blood, bit like a paper cut and I wanted to check she was okay.
That was AFTER he turned off the dishwasher ( my first ever dishwasher in 42 yrs!) to see if she was in there. Hilarious really but after a friend switched on their washing machine only to find their kitten was going round on a cold cycle I am paranoid about them sneaking in places that are not the most conducive for sleeping!!
Gingy likes to sleep in odd places, bidets, empty ones, fruit bowels. As I type she is upstairs on the windowsill, cannot be that comfy, Tabitha is on a cosy leather pouffe from Morocco ( typical Tabs) and Tigsy is gazing out of the window thinking perhaps about his next furry gift he can bring us.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The Blavet River

This picture is of the Blavet River which can be seen from the window of what will be our kitchen at the Hammeau. Not long to go now. Eeek! can you see the river in the middle of the picture? It is a wonderful view, easier seen from the elevated position of the Hammeau in winter with the leaves off the trees.
The Blavet runs from central Brittany down to the coastal port and town of Lorient on the Atlantic coast. I think my husband has visions of partaking of the salmon fishing here. We are told that it is good. I cannot remember the other fish that is common to catch here. Time off from renovations for good behaviour may well see him getting his wish. I can see the appeal of fishing but would prefer to have a bash at the kayaking or riding my bike along the tow path then stopping at the restaurant at Pont Augan for a coffee, cider, etc..


'One friend, one person who is truly understanding,
who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider a problem,
can change our whole outlook on the world'

Dr. E H Mayo

Monday, 19 January 2009

Why Michie Mole ?

How did the nick name 'mole' bit come about? Many years ago, far too many than I wish to recall I was staying with a dear friend of mine for a while. I am Godmother to her eldest daughter. Said Godaughter came into my room one morning quite early whilst I was still in bed and I was bleary eyed. She went down to her mother and said 'Michie looks like a mole' and hence the name has stuck. Different variations of this nick name are used. Moley, Mole in the Hole etc. The name has even stuck with a couple of friends in the Minervois and my friend up North here has a daughter who is attempting to adopt it but started with Michie Mosh! I have a wonderful Mr Mole doorstop given to me as a leaving gift from a special friend down South and he will eventually grace our new home when I have a door to stop him with and a floor to put it on!
Mole fact eats 2 – 3 times its own body weight each day, or night as it is nocturnal.
Mole – Mexican yummy sauce
Mole – a character in Wind in the Willows
Mole – a river in Surrey, England
Mole – in French translates to taupe, unit of substance, ( de beaute- beauty spot) no surprises that one one means many things in French depending on which context!
Adrian Mole a well known character in books by Sue Townsend
Mole fanatic –!!!


Could this be the view from my kitchen window sometime this year I wonder????!!!


Goats, chickens, sheep or none of these??

Having taken on what potentially will be a dream property, with it comes alot of land that needs attending. I cannot wait to to set up my potager for my home grown veg and a fresh herb garden. However some of the space is rather in need of constant maintenance. A small meadow at the top of the property and a field at the lower part. There has been much talk amongst friends as to the most cost effective and eco friendly way to maintain these areas. Goats, so cute, eat everything in sight and need to be tethered to avoid your hydrangeas, turnips and washing going awry. Sheep, more effective and less invasive on everyday life. Someone I know has a pet goat, follows him everywhere but creates havoc. He is just the right height to butt his horns on my shins too. I would love to try and make my own goats cheese but having experienced milking goats the reality may not live up the the charm of the idea of being as self sufficient as possible. Goats need milking each day and distracting whilst doing so.
We may foster some goats. There are a few ads sometimes for 3 mths fostering required if people go away or they have no grass or flowers left for these creatures to munch through!I love the idea of ‘ The Good Life’ like Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal in that fun sitcom but am not quite sure I am ready for that just yet. I will stick to my brush cutter to whack back the brambles, lower the grass levels for smooth space hopper races and then sit back and consider where the veg garden, heavenly herb patch and the possible goats and / or sheep may go.Chickens, well sensible to have lovely fresh eggs but again don’t like to think of them being penned but dont’ want the foxes to get them either and, how will the furbabes take to them. I am well informed by hardy poulet owners it is not necessary to have a cockerel either. Just as well I am not good in the mornings and the even though it is a wonderful sound, even if I trained the bird to bring me in a cuppa I don't know if I am ready for this kind of alarm call just yet!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

I love surprises....

And so did one of my lovely sister in law who is featured here with yours truly.
I could not write about what I was going to be up to this weekend just gone otherwise our surprise visit to UK and the whole big birthday party surprise cover would have been blown!!!
Joanna Farrow is my hugely talented Home Economist, cookery writer and food stylist sister in law. Google her. She creates dishes with such minimal fuss with maximum delicious results and easy to follow fail safe recipes. 3 of the 5 brothers and sisters of hubbby are involved in the food industry in different ways.

Our gift to her in with a couple of the other siblings was The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal which we believe there are only limited editons published.
Anyway, we arrived Friday night in the UK and had to lay low until 2000 hrs Saturday night. Not that easy as the Birthday Girl lives close by and each time the phone rang at the mum in laws we let it go to ansa phone just incase it was her!
She had no idea of the surprise at all and was overwhelmed we think when she entered the wonderfully traditional country pub 'The Hatch' to here her friends and family singing Happy Birthday!
I managed to take a good few photos but then my batteries ran out and I had no spare. Other family members were minus cameras so it was just me to attempt to capture the moments of this big ?0 birthday. I love taking photos but was hoping to take more but was loving the chatting too!
We had a great time over the quick few days. I got my hair cut in UK for the first time in 5 yrs. Was very relaxing. We caught up with a dear friend who is a fabulouus photographer and kindly accommodated our wedding He was off to photograph the Prime Minister the next day! We were cooked a delicious breakfast at the birthday girls house the morning we were leaving with delicious mushrooms, bacon which I never eat these days but love as a treat and some wonderful homemade bread and fresh fruit smoothie!
Have a wonderful birthday year ahead Joanna x

Gingy stuck up a tree.

Trees are a new thing to my moggies. They were rooftop cats and have been enjoying the delights of the flora and fauna in their present surroundings but in this case a little too much!
In this picture at twilight, Gingy girl climbed to this look out point then meowed in panic as to how to get down mad thing. Being a slightly overprotective owner I borrowed a ladder which freaked her out rendering her adventurous enough to bound to the tree next to this one and climb high into the branches.
2 pairs of hands ( one set in said branches shaking them!) and ladder extension to full capacity later, Gingy was back chez nous munching biscuits.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Been away...

Well it is Tuesday night, I have been away since Friday night attending a surprise big birthday for my sister in law so could not write about going as she may have found out!
Will update in a day or too. Was great to go but glad to be back too.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Film endings

Having not seen many films for a long while I seem to have watched a fair few whilst nurturing my journey to renewed health over the season. However I seem to have watched 3/4 of many and missed the endings

Does anyone know how The Terminal with Tom Hanks finishes???? Funny this as once I was delayed at an airport as I was heading out to Guernsey for my mothers funeral and stumbled across the idea when I got talking to alot of people and thought about a book about people one can meet at an airport.It is amazing what complete strangers tell you!
I watched Bend it Like Beckham for the first time. Very good I thought and quite funny.
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans chest for the 2nd - i love Mr Depp in this role and the costumes too. Perhaps it reminds me of my youth and the image of Adam Ant in his flowing sleeves and pirate image.
Meet the Fokkers for the first time, missed the ending but it was repeated so caught it.
What Women Want for the first time. God I love Mel Gibson always have
Lethal Weapon 4 for the umpteenth time
Con Air for the 3rd time, so American and hate Mr Cages accent but do like this, I am also a sucker for stunts, explosions etc so love the ending.
Into the Wild - fantastic cinematography. Sad but love the idea behind the boys way of approaching life.
The Changeling at the cinema. Very impressed with Jolies acting.
Finding Neverland - Mr Depp again. I Lurved this, I cried.
Poesidin ( spelling maybe wrong) very predictable but had to stay and watch to the end. I have developed a small fear of flying and now in Brittany convinced I would only take the ferry for a while but this put me right off boats!
Bits of the 2nd Chronicles of Narnia. Never seen 1st one. I love the Lion though but I am biased being a Leo star sign!
I received the DVD Mama Mia for a gift.
Hm, am sure I have missed some out

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The weather myth

The sun does shine in Brittany despite what people say.This picture was taken on a trip to familiarise ourselves with the vast wonderful coastline. I cannot think for the life of me where I was! I do remember having a yummy chocolat chaud though looking at this scene.
I am doing an avid weather forecast comparisons each day.. Brittany has had NO rain to speak of and the sun has shone most days since we arrived. A couple of drips yesterday the 5th. My wonderful wellies are not getting full use as yet but I am told Jan and Feb it rains alot. Great..... we must address the roof problems at the Hammeau soon as poss.
It rains more in Nice, Toulouse and elsewhere however. Also we dont have the whipping winds from the Languedoc here.

Butter would not melt..

Hm,,, well this is Tigsy my male cat, brother to the two girls. Not one of his best shots but taken on the day he brought me his third gift since discovering wonderful hunting territory. Yes, a lovely little mouse. Luckily this one he did not bring into the house. The last gift was large and alive and escaped behind the washing machine only to emerge a couple of hours later in the downstairs loo whilst I was in it!!
Hubby saved Mr Mouse, let me off the hook. He cannot stand bird and bats flapping around and I was the one down south who also had to capture and save those that came in from Tigsys hunting expeditions. How he did not fall off the rooftops catching them I do not know. We did not have a garden but terraces so they were rooftop cats.
All of them have done a flying act down to the street. it was a long way down. Lives used up for sure!

We came across this house whilst investigating the tow path of the Blavet River which runs directly opposite our new place. New neighbours? I would love to look inside. Over the years I have developed much interest house interiors. Perhaps stemmed from living in our lovely 12 century village house which was originally part of the old Remparts of the village. Plus numerous friends and acquaintainces living in many of the village houses and watching the renovations develop. I always appreciate that many of the buildings have been standing for years and years and were built without modern day tools and aides.

A few days into 2009

I received a gift today from a friend I was at college with……… ????? years ago. Bless her, a lovely surprise a handknitted scarf in purple hues. I had a phase in my life where most of my wardrobe was purple!! I have a photo somewhere of yours truly at a restaurant in purple top, skirt, ( I loved that skirt, ra ra style and short ) shoes etc.. However one time when I helped a friend with a hair show that was choreographed for charity and put on by our hairdresser at the time, I partook of hair colour or multiple colours and when I went home it just clashed with the purple wardrobe.
Strange that now I have one pashmina scarf in lilac and that is it until the friends gift arrived today!! I somehow think he phase in my life when I was head to toe in hues of lilac purple etc should stay in the past until I embrace the famous poem, when I am old I shall wear purple. I still love the colour but these days my favourite is white. My fortieth birthday theme was ALL white. White kind of symbolizes new beginnings and is a very cleansing ‘colour’.
I will close this with a thought for the day on friendship courtesy of a very dear friend of mine as she sent me a desk calender with quotes regarding friendship. I value friends very much indeed and profoundly so this has been highlighted to me during the last 2 weeks.
We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend
Robert Louis Stevenson

New Years Day

New Years DayWe were determined to go out and about as we did not make it on New Years Eve. We went to discover a couple of places. A beach called Ervden and then down to the Quiberon peninsula. Both were busy. Sand / kite surfing, lots of cute dogs braving the wind at Ervden and masses of people at Quiberon. I imagine in tourist season this is just buzzing but New Years Day found every café packed with those out blowing the cobwebs away and boy did it work, it was a freezing wind. I don’t miss the winds down south I have to say. I do miss my friends and my comfort zone.In a week or so I will be going gung ho finding out more about the area and I WILL join a gym. I am doing it gradually and making progress. Our house signing should happen later in the month too. 1st stop, well immediate progress that can be made is that there are 2 partition walls to be knocked down and I am thinking I will ask if I can get the tool in one hand, a glass of champers in the other and whack! – here is to the next phase in our life. I think we are mad!

Apres Noel.......

Well I am just about getting somewhere near normal. ( what is that I wonder??) I feel like I have been on another planet since about the 19th Dec. As I have already said, I fell foul to this horrid strain of flu that many have experienced and I still don’t feel 100 percent. My ears are blocked and I feel like I have been underwater and not quite surfaced!. The central region of France I read somewhere had the biggest concentration of sufferers of the grippe and Brittany was the next heavily affected. Christmas comes with so much expectation and the flu really did put a dampener on proceedings for many I know! The hubby previously had a cold and was getting better until here came back here.
We didn’t manage to wander around the pretty town of Vannes or lovely Lorient pre Christmas soaking up Christmas spirit and wandering how I would ever decorate my shop window with such flair if I had one, a shop that is, luckily I don't live in a place without windows! Nor did I partake much of the alcoholic type of spirit. I have noticed here that folks don’t seem to drink half as much as us Minevois residents, but then being surrounded by the vineyards and wine being a big part of life down there then 'tis not surprising.
I know I must embrace more of the northern region wines ( a lovely Bordeaux, I am informed Bordeaux wines are some of the most favoured of French wines still) to try and I will but I was in a local supermarket and stumbled across a lovely red from La Liviniere down south, a very well known village for its wines and surrounding areas too and took comfort in a glass or two of this lovely stuff. Domaine Prat d’Olivier 2005.
So, our Christmas was more subdued than planned though the one day I seemed to have taste buds thankfully was the 25th itself. Thank goodness as our dinner was just yummy. Tender turkey,sausages in bacon, brussel sproats, roast potatoes – my favourite, I could have a whole roast with just potatoes!, We ate rather a lot after a starter of smoked salmon and did not even attempt Christmas Pud, cake or mince pies. I have since made up for that. The Christmas cake was homemade by my friends mother and was one of the nicest I have ever tasted. ( apologies to my mother God rest her) Mind you my eyes were bigger than my belly ( anyone else know that expression?) and I overdid it with my cup of tea post Christmas!
Ah ah, as I type, the news is on and they are saying it is not too late to get a flu jab. I will get one. This is the 2nd festive season on the trot I have been ill and I always normally pride myself on not getting sick and let’s face it there are better things to do at Christmas than to be popping paracetamol and keeping the makers of tissues in business.