Christmas is done and dusted!

I know there’s a few days to go but I have nothing more to do. I’ve sent the Xmas cards (I don’t buy any presents) and the flat looks suitably festive without going the whole nine yards bearing in mind we won’t be here for Xmas.

Over the years, we’ve spent few Christmases at home and most of those were occasioned by my work commitments. Last year I actually drew up a chronological listing of our various Christmas celebrations. We’ve spent one with the outlaw –  our first and last – eight with my late parents and sisters, three with friends, one in Australia, one in Arizona, one in Dubai, three in Switzerland, two in Germany, one in Spain, seven in Austria, one in Italy and 13 Home Alone.

Since we moved to France, our solitary Christmases have generally been topped and tailed with festivities with friends. Often we’ve eaten at home over the period: oysters and champagne for Christmas Eve and fois gras – sadly now forbidden – for Christmas Day lunch, after our morning ride along the coast. However, if the weather’s been inclement, we’ve happily eaten out at one of the major hotels, just as we often used to do when we lived in London.

As you may have gathered, I’m not a fan of family festivities though, given half the chance, my beloved would have spent every Christmas with my late parents. I however find it all too much:  too much food, drink, television and family. Nice to do occasionally, but not every year. Of course, if we’d had children, it would probably have been different.

This year we’re heading to the sunshine and our maiden holiday together in southern Portugal where we may well stray across the border into Spain. I’ll tell you all about it in the New Year.



Happy New Year

I hope you’ve all had a very enjoyable Festive Season and are looking forward to 2019. Of course, for those of you who continue to celebrate until Epiphany, just carry on!

We had a surprisingly lovely time before Christmas in Paris (see future posts on our trip) and spent our first festive season in Italy. We’ve previously spent the holidays in USA, Germany, Austria, Australia, UK, France, Czech Republic, Spain and Switzerland. Last year while we were in Austria, we’d decided to spend Christmas 2018 at home in France. And that remained our intention until late November when a hotel we frequently stay at sent us news of their Christmas offer – sold!

We had a relaxing few days in the Italian sunshine enjoying some farniente and la dolce vita. (I’m far better at the latter rather than the former.) Of course, we’re accustomed to spending Christmas with just the two of us, doing exactly what we want. This year was no exception.

The hotel provided us with a slap up fish based Christmas lunch which was nice and light, providing like me you skipped dessert. That aside, we spent hours wallowing in the briny waters of their thalasso facilities and generally being pampered head to toe. Oh, and we might have had a few glasses of Aperol Spritz!

The warm sunshine encouraged us to take part in the daily walk along the sea front being amused by the antics of the children, and quite a few dogs. The town had embraced the Festive Season in a big way with plenty of attractions for young and old. Many of the hotels and restaurants were open for business, and doing a roaring trade.

We returned home after a leisurely three-day stay and continued to uphold our holiday mood, largely encouraged by the continued sunny weather. Even better, my beloved’s leg/hip has sufficiently improved to enable us to go out on our bikes together – happy days!