Wednesday, 15 December 2010

102. The Big Chill

15th December 2010. A bright and cold day today - blue skies, dazzling sunshine, c-o-l-d but luckily no wind... The temperature out there this morning was a bracing -3°C. I took the dog for a long walk along the river and came back via the Christmas market - the stallholders looked frozen. I had a squint at what they were selling and I must be honest - there was nothing there that made me even want to slow down, let alone insert a hand in a back pocket.

At midday it had warmed up to a balmy +1. I think we could be in for a dose of snow tomorrow.

18th December 2010. The last few days have seen us in a bit of a frenzy of activity getting ready for Christmas. Presents have been retrieved from hiding places to be wrapped; we've put up one of those Christmas trees that's guaranteed (?) not to drop its needles and last night Madame worked her customary magic on the house with a profusion of decorations that appeared miraculously from dusty storage containers. Not much left to do now. I think one last raid into Spain for some last minute shopping is planned for next Tuesday. Beautiful weather this morning in the Pays Basque - cold, yes but with blue skies, bright sunshine and no wind.

Spare a thought for those who will be having Christmas on their own. I can't think of much that's worse than that.

Last night we enjoyed our first taste of Christmas Pudding.. Madame made several earlier in the year and they've been lurking down in the cellar ever since. As far as I'm concerned, Christmas Pudding - known here as Plum Pudding (a bit odd as there are no plums in it) - is the taste of Christmas. (Half fat version here) I'm convinced Rabbie Burns' most famous verse was originally written about a Christmas Pudding.. but he was later persuaded to change the target to a Haggis!
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Best wishes for a Happy Christmas to all..
20th December 2010. Still no snow here.. touch wood! Some old friends of Madame's (from uni days) are arriving later in the week by TGV. TGV services have been affected by the wintry weather - they're running at reduced speed (~200kph) in the north. 

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