Bonjour from the sunny South West of France. The dog and I have just come back from a glorious walk and for a while I was surprised not to see a soul. Then I remembered that it’s New Year’s Day and everyone would be sharing a meal with family. Our neighbour told us they were 27 at table on Christmas Eve and that will be being repeated all around us today. I love the strong sense of family that still exists here.
Although I love writing about our life here in France I have been sadly remiss with my blog writing in the second half of 2010 – so I won’t need to scratch my head too long for my first resolution for 2011. Along with many others I start the year with a review of the last one – or will it be just like those letters you sometimes get in your Christmas cards (if so I apologise and I’ll try to be more interesting next time).
2010 was our best year ever and we were delighted to welcome guests from across Europe. We are also proud to report our three star classification by the tourist board. This is the top category for our kind of property and it was very rewarding to have all our efforts rewarded by the préfecture. We have enjoyed meeting new people and welcoming back old friends but,as usual, we have specially enjoyed all the children.
Visits in the Spring and Autumn from France to the UK…….
and visits in the summer from the UK to France helped us keep up with our children and grandchildren
– and thank goodness for Skype.
Sadly our beloved fox terrier,Sally, was diagnosed with cancer and finally had to be put to sleep at the end of the summer. Much loved not just by us but by the visitors to Peyrenègre she brought a lot of happiness. Her greatest fan was Leah from Cologne who misses Sally as much as we do. Sam was very lonely for a while but seems to have settled down and is back to being his usual mischievous self.
The hens are having their winter break from laying but are showing signs of starting up again. They kept us well supplied all year and plenty of eggs to share with our gite guests – and everyone loves feeding them.
This French Life
Life,as usual,has followed the seasons. We have expanded the vegetable garden and added more raised beds and love growing and eating our own food.
We have joined in all the village activities and remain amazed that such as small village is so active and we have continued to have a much busier social life than we had in England.
My birthday surprise in September was a flight in a small aeroplane over the house and I managed to take a great shot of our domain. After working all summer to make sure all our guests had a great holiday it was our turn and we took a cruise around the Mediterranean – a great trip.
So we find ourselves in 2011 – a new decade with lots of exciting events ahead. Bookings are already coming in for the gites so we look forward to another busy year, we are expecting another grandchild in the Spring which we are very excited about and in the next few days we will be completing the purchase of a second property in the village. That is another story for another day but at last Kevin is going to be able to keep pigs!!!!
I hope you will drop by to read more of our life in the French countryside in 2011. We wish all our friends and clients a very happy and prosperous new year.
Tous nos voeux de santé, bonheur et amour et des bonnes vacances!