Ali and I have moved from our apartment upstairs down into the main house for the winter. Our new wood supply has been seasoned for five years so the logs weigh an absolute ton, and many of them are too large for the woodburner, so we've come down to the comfort of underfloor heating and the big open fire in the kitchen. I'm really enjoying falling in love with the house all over again.
We have forgone a fat Christmas tree this year and have opted for a tall elegant branch taken from one of the thousands of umbrella pines in the vineyard. I much prefer its stripped down look, although this phone photo doesn't capture its gorgeousness.
My mum, along with our pals Yvonne, Henny, Hans and Christa are coming to Christmas lunch tomorrow afternoon and Ali and I have finished the shopping. The goose is here (complete with head) and has been supplemented by a loin of pork. We ordered a 5.5 kg goose, but the largest Intermarche butchers could come up with was 4 kg - at an eye-watering 69 euros. Eeek. The French just don't do those enormous geese, turkeys and chickens that you see at this time of year in England. And there are no hams. The English wet-cure Christmas staple is absent in these parts. So I'm going to practice curing our own during 2011 so we can have a proper one next year. I might try my hand at bacon too.
If you're wondering, no, we haven't had any snow, but it's been rather wet and windy of late. We're hoping for a bright sunny day tomorrow. Having spent some time in London and Northumbria during the UKs current freeze-over, I'm grateful that it's not like that here. It's mild. I even have peas shooting in the new greenhouse.
We're delighted to see that many of our former guests have already booked for next year, so if you have are thinking of doing the same, don't leave it forever eh?! You can book online here .
So, Ali and I wish you the very merriest of Christmases. We send you our love wrapped up in a large glittery parcel with a huge ribbon.