Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Interlude

Dec 13

Winter has arrived - though Angela did a runner, firstly to daughter in Abu Dhabi and then on to Jordan. It snowed in Jordan (she is a weather jinx) but that didn't stop her swimming in the Dead Sea. Peter has owed her a trip to Petra since living in Cyprus so can't complain too much (though the reports of high life in hotels didn't add to the savour of his veg stew).  He managed to get at least half the winter maint list done - the rest eg painting the bilges is being put off till the New Year.

Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Treasury Petra
Wadi Rum - but no sign of Lawrence
Roanne slowly stirred to Christmas life with all the town (and boat) decorations up and a Saint Nicholas fete on 6 Dec - Saint Nicholas was delivered by boat to the Capitainerie to the delight of the massed crowds (incl bargee carol singers).

Saint Nicholas en bateau

It has been down to -5 degC so far but the current flow from the Loire has kept the bassin fairly ice free. The Canal has been refilled after a general degunge (old bikes, shopping trolleys etc) so we are no longer trapped if the 'hoi polloi' revolt at the next lot of tax rises.

Angela arrived back in time for the Christmas market held on the streets adjacent to the bassin. Not that good  -same old things mainly clothing so Peter's wallet remained safe. Our Anniversary dinner was in a local French restaurant - we considered Troisgros (3* Michelin) but decided that €300+ each was OTT even after 36 years!

We squandered some of the saving on a hire car for a couple of days - one day a visit to Autun and the other bulk winter shopping from Intermarche and Lidl etc.

Autun Cathedral

 It was 15 degC at the winter solstice which is remarkable, especially as we got an e-mail the same day from Carcassonne showing the bassin surrounded in snow - Christmas eve though ushered in storm force winds which pushed everything around.  But the good days seem like October.

Christmas Eve dinner was all the usual bits, but with a NZ leg of lamb in lieu of turkey.  Peter was given a Fitbit Flex (activity tracker) as a present - he isn't sure whether to be pleased or feel got at! The Boxing Day party at the Capitainerie went well -  Peter managed to act out Frankenstein at Charades in record time (?) and the presents at the Xmas 'dip' were actually useful once he managed to trade the squeaky rubber chicken.

The new eating regime (as Terry on Renaissance would put it) starts now. Judging by the initial reports from the Fitbit activity tracker, Angie isn't sure if it is broken or if Peter is in hibernation which suggests another New Year's resolution (to be broken).  Lots of good dog walking along the Loire and its tributaries so no real excuse.

Mini hydro electric system - a good ides

1 comment:

  1. Kes seems to be the directional wind meter. Nice photo with his fur coat flowing in the wind.