"Joyeux Noel"..... a very Merry Christmas to everyone!
The flood water is has now reached the gate leading onto the marsh and we now have swans swimming ["seven swans a-swimming"] just over the garden wall. Even Charles, le Baron du Breuil, has decided that they are too big to tackle, and is spending most of his time snoozing on one of the chairs.
But no need to panic! This old house has stood here on the marsh since 1838, so if it was ever going to float away in the floods we think that it would have done so by now! Yesterday four deer in line shot past us and ran along one side of a field in search of cover, their grazing ground slowly being reduced as the water rises. How I wished I'd had the camera for that shot!
Earlier Mark had called out for me to come and look at something. And....would you believe it? A man getting into a wet suit at the gate before paddling off across the marsh in his canoe. Now that's a sight I've not seen from my bathroom window before!
Back to the village - and the village creche is still without a baby in the crib. When we return home late this evening from dinner with friends I will let you know if the baby has miraculously appeared - I suspect placed there by the Countess!!! Failing that I shall paint a face on a sprout and place it in the crib! Or might this be night I catch the Countess in her nightie with her curlers in by torchlight finishing off the display?!! I wonder if she will be carried down the lane in a sedan chair?
Last night we hosted a candlelight mulled wine and mince pie " soiree" ( not trying to sound a bit like Hyacinth Bucket (Bouquet) from TV's "Keeping Up Appearances"!!!) for some of our French friends and neighbours. The mulled wine went down a storm but I am not so sure the mince pies were a hit. I did explain they are an English tradition - but when someone asked me if they were a "cheese" pie I had to try and explain the ingredients, which isn`t easy when Mr Kipling is not to hand! Mark had also added quite alot of cointreau to the mulled wine so, at the end of the evening, who really cared what is in an English mince pie!!
We lit the chateau outside with tiny white and blue twinkling lights and, with the rain we've had, Mark had to place planks down over the flooded lane so our guests could reach us, with a flood light to show the way!
Marie Antoinette, the daughter of Madame Guerin who had lived at the chateau before us, was too ill to attend - but her son and his family came along with a note - which turned out to be the best present I could have imagined.
When we first looked at the chateau and agreed to buy it there was a small stone dog kennel in the garden. Made of stone but in the wonderful "faux wood" effect it was totally charming. I was told it was the "niche a Kiki", the pet dog of Madame Guerin. I fell in love with it straightaway
Imagine my dismay when we finally got the keys and found that the kennel had been removed from the garden.
The niche had been removed beyond the chateau wall to a small farmyard up the road. I have been looking at it for the last three years and, on one occasion, even forced the visiting Tartelette Amy onto my shoulders to peer over the wall to check it was still there.
I have mentioned the 'disappearance' of the niche several times but nothing has ever happened. Last night, however, Marie Antoinette`s grandson was very eager for me to open a note she had sent me.
Marie Antoinette is giving me the niche for Christmas as her present - so it will be returned to its rightful home and I am over the moon!!!!
And a late addition to the blog.....we have just returned home late from dinner with friends and howled with laughter to find that someone has actually gone to the trouble of trecking out in the pouring rain to complete the creche and the baby Jesus has arrived!!!
Have a wonderfully happy and peaceful Christmas mes belles.