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24th December

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There isn’t quite the same pandemonium in French supermarkets as there is in the UK on Christmas Eve. A big difference is the boxes of oysters which are bought up by everyone, we are not fans of oysters, for some reason they remind me of getting stuck under a sail and swallowing sea water. There are always special imports of exotic fruits on the shelves, mangoes, lychees, passion fruits etc.  It was another beautiful day, the forecast is for sun all weekend, it might be warm enough to have Christmas lunch on the terrace. It is a pity we don't have the conservatory yet, I swept up the leaves around all the construction material lying on the foundation. The cardboard boxes have disintegrated in the rain, I hope they'll be able to identify the pieces when they finally arricve to put it together!

When the children rang from Heathrow to let me knowthey were on the plane, I set off to the airport with the van, arriving just as they came out. I loved the drive back with the three of us sitting in the front of the van. On clear days there is a view of the Pyrenees in the distance, getting nearer as you drives south, it was particularly impressive today, with the sun going down over the peaks. They had optimistically arrived with skis so we’ll have to go skiing regardless of the conditions. Butternut squash risotto for supper, then some more wrapping of presents which they'd brought back with them. There is a huge pile waiting to go under the tree outside.

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Sounds wonderful.

Feliz Navidad from España.


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& Merry Christmas to you in Spain, I hope you are having this wonderful weather too!
Design Museum

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Having spent 20 of the last 30 Christmases in France we could never resist dressing up when we went out, even a Santa hat or tinsel around the neck and the 'natives' thought us daft. To the French like a typical Sunday with extended family and hours at the table?

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Christmas is always a extended family affair for the French, they have a big Christmas Eve meal and many go to Midnight mass. Father Christmas comes down chimneys here too, and in our local town many inhabitants have fixed plastic verions of him to their exterior walls