30 December 2015



So Christmas has been and gone in a blur of activity and celebration.  I feel guilty that I never found the time to wish you all a Happy Christmas and post the usual photos.  Well, I hope it was a good one for you, it was good for us.


We downed tools on the decoration and restoring of our house to normal in order to dash back to the UK for Christmas and New Year.  We got all of the preparation for the festivities done in seven days.  I wrote the Christmas cards and got them in the post on day one then started to think about food and presents.  It was a bit of a rush job but it was ok and nobody seemed to notice.  We had a nice time.

Our intention was to spend a couple of months in the UK to be near to my father in the worst months of winter, returning to France at the end of February.  Fortunately winter has turned out to be very mild so far and our part of the north has escaped the horrors of the flooding that has ruined many Christmases elsewhere.  We are so grateful for that and our hearts go out the the people who have had such an awful time of it.


An unexpected turn of events frees us to return to France much sooner than we thought.  My father is spending the next month with a friend who lives where the winters are much kinder and they rarely have any snow.  As he therefore doesn’t need us here, we are dashing back to France to carry on where we left off with the work. 

Nick will be the advance party and will be able to paint the new staircase while there is no risk of dog or cat leaving paw prints in the varnish.  I will follow on with the dog and cat later when their trampling up and down won’t matter.

In the next week we have a lot to do, fitting in all the appointments and catching up with friends.  But if we can get the work finished in the first dark and dismal months of the year, we’re hoping that come the spring we will be able, at last, to just get on with living our lives rather than spending much of it up a ladder or in a DIY shop, or simply dashing about.  With any luck I might even have time to blog about it in a more regular and orderly fashion.

So I wish you all a



  1. Sounds like an excellent plan. Doing the staircase when you are living in the house is bad enough, but with animals, impossible. Best of luck and a happy New Year to you two.

  2. The same to you, A VERY HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PEACEFUL NEW YEAR and safe travels to you all. We will catch up when we are back in France. Our adventure starts tonight....

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  4. Happy New Year to you, Nick your dad and your small 'menagerie' (Lulu and Daisy). Have a safe trip back to France and enjoy your first spring in your new home! Martine xxx

  5. Good news that you can return sooner than you planned. I do wonder if there will be a price to pay after the turn of the year for this mild weather with perhaps a heavy snow fall. El Nino lurks but we shall see. Safe trip back and best wishes for 2016 to you both.

  6. Happy New Year and greetings from a reader from Perth.

  7. Happy new year, Jean and Nick and pets.

  8. May 2016 be a marvelous year for both of you.

  9. Wishing you both a really Bonne Année!