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Sunday, 21 February 2010

SPRUNG SPRING

Today this is a cold grey blanket of cloud high overhead but in the distance the Pyrenees are lit by a neon-pale lemony brilliance. They are sorbet snow.

Two days ago it was a warm spring day and we sat outside for coffee with our neighbour. Today there is an icy breeze – we don’t have much wind here so I am not complaining. Anyway the fire is burning inside with a huge pile of ironing next to it. I won’t do the weeding and tilling I planned.

The daffodils are up but not yet in bloom. Some yellow and lilac crocuses and tiny snowdrops have appeared. Not many considering how many I planted but it is early days. The birds have unwisely started courting – as yet there are no buds on the fruit trees or shrubs.

John and I are doing house-keeping tidying-up chores and getting costumes ready for the village ‘Carnaval’. We each have a mask – ‘un loup’ for our ‘deguisement’.

'the spring is sprung
the grass is ris
I wonder where dem birdies is?
Dem birds is on the wing.
But how absurd!
Dem wings is on the birds!'

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

STORMY WEATHER

JUST TO TELL YOU THAT THE WEATHER HAS BEEN BAD THIS WINTER THOUGH YOU HAVE HAD WORSE WEATHER THAN US.

We went to Disneyland before Christmas on the overnight sleeper so John could see his family. It is nothing like the Trans-Karroo or the Blue Train or anywhere near as comfortable as the train to university that took 3 days! It had snowed and was bitterly cold. Snow delayed the trains back from Paris and turned the platforms into freezinf trays for 100s of families. but that was the night of the Eurostar fiasco so by comparison we were very lucky.

We went to Spain for Christmas – ALL THE WAY – to the far south to Malaga – not to get warm but to see friends and take a break from the house and its demands.
It rained. It rained very hard. It rained too hard for us to venture outdoors. It did not stop. It thundered, it lightened, it poured. We enjoyed ourselves nevertheless.

In January we set off again to Spain to see the Tamborada in San Sebastian. Once again it poured and we were unable to see the opening ceremony for umbrellas. However the next day we saw and enjoyed the Children’s Parade and had a wonderful fish lunch at a harbor restaurant while the sun appeared.

We had a good Village party on New Year’s Eve. Ate good home-cooked food, indulged in too much wine and stayed out till after 3am. We sang seasonal songs and John was one of the 3 cabaret acts of the evening – a whole new career lies ahead of him and you can read about it on the village website.

We have had days when we have sat outside and the temperature has reached 20 degrees C.

However when J and small T came to do some skiing the weather let us down badly. On our first attempt to go up the mountain the weather blew a blizzard. It was minus 11 on the slopes and impossible to see anything. We had to put chains on the car and as it was a new skill and experience it took almost an hour and involved rolling in the snow on the road side. Coming back down the mountain was scary. The road was invisible – we followed another car down but car and tracks were whited out as we crawled down. We gave up any plans for skiing the next day as it wasn’t going to be possible. In fact we were told that on another ski site someone died that day in an avalanche – there was a code orange on the mountains apparently that we did not know about.

However John, J and small T have been back on the slopes for two days skiing and tobogganing and have enjoyed themselves – John will no doubt do a blog about it.

I have decided to call my soul my own for a day and just be relatively warm and peaceful.

Friday, 5 February 2010

STARTING OVER AGAIN

Okay I am starting again.
Very ashamed of the long break – sorry folks! We do have difficulties with our internet and I can’t upload photos and sometimes can’t even get into blog edit.
Also – lets face it – I have been finding life a tad demanding recently. It is too much trouble to get into town to the cybercafé. I have only been driving with more confidence since my first cataract operation in November. The world was a great deal darker before the op! Driving at night impossible and I felt unable to see anything on my left side easily – that’s where the traffic is!
I felt beleaguered on every front – cut off from easy conversations and friends and precious family – doubtful still, of my French and questioning myself and the move here.
The thing is I miss you even though I am not sure that you – the virtual audience for our blog exists – and I am sure that the photos are more interesting than the words. I have loads of pictures for you but some difficulty transferring them to a stick and getting to that Cyber cafe