A slightly grumpy Christmas?

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Now that I’ve got the Christmas spirit in, perhaps I can get more into the Christmas spirit.

Since I have five minutes to spare, thought I’d settle down for a pre-Christmas blog.

Most of us are having a bit of trouble getting in the festive mood, however. All over this area, people’s heating systems have been breaking down. One friend has no kitchen heat while another has no hot water either.

Back in Blighty, my sister’s new electric fire has finally arrived, after many delays, and the packaging has shifted and she can’t get it open to install it. No snuggling round the woodburner for her, then, but rather a chilly Christmas, as she has no radiator in the room where this stove is supposed to go. Nor does she now think she will be able to make her trip to Germany after Christmas, as planned.

The Christmas parcel she sent me (one of three) arrived damaged and with some of the contents missing. No sign of the other two parcels, and this is the second damaged package in two days (when the post resumed). Since my sister wraps things tighter than Fort Knox, I am a tad surprised, but must assume that French Customs or someone enjoyed my tasty Christmas present of traditional English sweets from the covered market in Doncaster. 

Having been snowed in, here in rural France, for the past week, we are also feeling a tad fed-up with it now. In normal circumstances, I wouldn’t mind, but being unable to walk very much, following multiple small surgeries, having infected stitches that needed removal urgently, all of my cats being ill with a virus and not being able to get any antibiotics, etc, the timing might have been better.

We have pulled one cat through the worst of her illness, we hope, but another now has an infected eye and there’s no way we can get him the 23km to the vet in this snow and fog. We have antibiotic drops for him, and will have to hope for the best until hopefully the snow thaws tomorrow or the next day. 

The Black and White party that we planned for the 18th, for about 40 people, had to be cancelled because of the snow. We rescheduled it for the 20th and had to cancel again because of the ice – 16 people, including us, couldn’t get out of their courtyards. We’ve now rescheduled for the 28th and just have to hope that the weather will break enough for people to get here. If not, we will officially call it quits and try to do something in the spring. 

And meanwhile, I am starting a nice cough, which I am hoping against hope won’t lead to my usual bout of winter bronchitis. 

Still, yesterday, in the brief hiatus between black ice and a new snowfall, and after four hours of laying down branches, sand, straw, bitumen felt and carpet (none of which worked), we did at least manage to get out of our courtyard and I was able to get to the doctor, so we also did our Christmas shop. Foie gras, brioche, smoked salmon, leg of lamb with trimmings, raspberry mousse log, chocolates and Bailey’s might go some way towards cheering us up.

And provided we stay put and wrapped up warm, let us hope that now, all will be well!



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