I've just spent the most idyllic weekend at a place called Ensues la Redonne which is a little village on the Mediterranean coast not a stones throw from Marseilles. The place had a wall to ceiling glass wall overlooking the sea and was simply stunning. We spent out time on the balcony wrapped up against the Mistral wind drinking coffee, eating great food and walking on the beach gathering firewood. Add in a few bottles of wine, fish pie made with scallops and prawns, fairy lights and a roaring open fire that two girls managed to light (yes it appears that Alice and I are not as special as first thought) it was pretty much perfection. OR WAS IT? We also managed to jam the horn on the car so it was blaring for a good 30 mins in the centre of Aix at a pitch that hurt even the ears of a dog before three very very nice mechanics decided to screw the bottom off our brand new Ford car in order to disconnect the battery and the horn. (WOW that was a long sentence) Then the clutch decided to burn out on a very very very nasty hilly road by the sea and Alice's parents got snowed in and couldn't leave England to join us in the gite. Despite the horrible twist to the weekend I hope Alice managed to have fun in our heaven by the sea.
The major reason for the return for my Christmas spirit was because of family day. An afternoon organised by the military school for all employees and their families. Champagne, chocolate, presents, clowns, and a photoshoot with Santa organised by the photo club ... what better recipy for Christmas spirit, especially when you are drinking on Ministry of Defense alcohol at 2pm in the afternoon hehe.
The last four months in frog land have been kickass, mainly due to the following two groups of people, my strange and abstract international family of roommates, and the photo club. I'm missing off a wicked group of people (Fal, Rach, Adam, Rob etc you know who you are) but I don't have a dodgy photo of them being groped by Santa and you know how much I like continunity.
Just a quick backstage shot from family day school. I never ever normally get overcome with Christmas spirit, in fact usually by the 5th of December I want to grab the nearest shap object and do something unforgivable to Santa BUT this year has been different. Maybe it's the fact I invested in a seriously kickass reindeer jumper or because I've been obliged to participate in so many Christmas activites at school ... who knows ... but I can proudly say this year no sharp objects will be flying dangerously close to Santa :-D
I like crepes. I thought crepes were made for nutella or maybe at a push some kind of sugar and lemon combo. Ohhh how wrong I was. Crepes are clearly made so you can fill them with cream cheese and salmon. But I don't understand what happened ... one minute it was there ... and the next it was gone!
How to survive winter in Montreal was a useful class I attended when living in Canada; no word of a lie, the International Student office at my university organised a compulsory class for all non-Canadians (yee olde immigrants as I so often liked to call them ... us) so we wouldn't loose our toes when the -30 weather arrived. My main winter survival strategy is alcohol, a hip flask becomes your best friend, and don't worry it's only called alcoholism in summer, in winter its more a survival tactic! Ironically I have also had to embrace winter on the South coast; nothing like what it used to be in Montie but still, any excuse to go and buy fury winter friends to attach to your ears. Snug as a bug in a rug!
I don't really know what I want to write here tonight ... it's cold ... and I really need (or want) some chocolate. Instead I'm going to have a bread bun, drink some nettle tea, go to my salsa class. I know the coat is beyond tragic, but I'm very much attracted to clothes that Bet Lynch and Paul O'Grady might have once worn, that and I'm sick of being surrounded by French people dressed head to toe in black grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Natalie; a very very very special creature who should not be allowed to drink, especially not when there is a camera in a 100 meter vicinity. She is often confused for a cat, sometimes a dog, and this one time (at band camp) for a llama (but that's a very very long story and she would prefer for me not to divulge certain aspects of her personal life). However I assure you, despite her wandering tongue and the fact that (on film at least) it is never kept in her mouth, she is at least 51% human ... the other 49% ... well, if you dare to imagine the possibilities are endless ...