Season’s Greetings

Whether you’re a celebrator of Christmas or not (for what it’s worth I’m a reluctant one) we’d like to wish you the best for the holiday period and the year ahead.  I hope that, on balance, 2013 had more positives than negatives for you and that 2014 will be a year in which you and those you love remain happy and healthy.

It has been a long time since we “did” Christmas.  As empty-nesters there seems to be little point.  However, this year our wonderful friend who “did” Christmas each year and invited dozens to her small home to share the day died of cancer this year, leaving her wide circle of friends bereft.  So we’ve stepped up to the plate and have invited a few of Aileen’s “orphans” (aged 30-something to 81) for Christmas dinner.  We don’t have a dining room in the BVI, just a terrace open to the skies, which leaves me fretting about whether it will rain on Christmas night and leave all 10 of us huddled around the table with water dripping down our necks and backs (we have a little “pop-up” tent)!  Cross your fingers for us, please.

Aileen & Charlie - two of the friends we've lost this year - making the best of a shortage of seats at Aileen's Christmas lunch.  Not enough chairs but plenty of good cheer!
Aileen & Charlie – two of the friends we’ve lost this year – making the best of a shortage of seats at Aileen’s Christmas lunch. Not enough chairs but plenty of good cheer!

I’ve read somewhere that there’s a wonderful Christmas market in Sainte-Foy-La-Grande each year.  As regular readers of this blog will know I love the weekly market, buying Graham the wonderful milk sold by the smiley lady from Chateau le Pis, a rotisserie chicken or jambonneau from the endlessly energetic lady who has the rotisserie van (best stall ever in the winter!!), or flirting with the veggie man in Place du Marche (loads of innuendoes!!) … you get the picture, I’m sure.  So you can imagine how keen I am to be able to attend our first Christmas market in Sainte-Foy – and then retire to the pub for a few glasses of vin chaud having frozen my fingers and toes off. Speaking of the weekly market in Sainte-Foy, I found a lovely photo blog on the market while hunting for information on the Xmas market.  I hope that you enjoy the images as much as I did.

This morning I also found that the Tourism Office in Sainte-Foy-La-Grande has a Facebook page and that there was a temporary skating rink set up right outside the Mairie earlier in the month….. sounds like it was fun.

And now I must go …. cranberry sauce and gravadlax to make.  Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy (and prosperous) New Year to you.

Graham & Alex

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