jeudi 4 janvier 2018

Bonne Annee 2018

Bonne Annee  Happy New Year 2018 from Le Petit Chateau Normandie.

One of my New Years Resolutions is to stop neglecting my blog!! I post every day on my simply-chateau facebook page but I know that not everyone participates in Facebook.

We are still suffering from the backlash of Storm Eleanor and the gale is still lashing across the marsh and it`s raining sideways! 

I was worried that I hadn`t seen my two resident doves who live in the hazelnut tree for a couple of days but as I pulled up the blind this morning one was waiting clinging to the windowsill for some seeds. The huge stork`s nest that is in the village of Beuzeville has finally been taken by the wind and I saw Monsieur Stork standing in it just a couple of days ago and I hope he is safe. The swans on the marsh are huddled near the gate with their heads tucked below their wings and its grey and very savage out there! 

The only highlight is that the hunters boats seem to have gone adrift across the marsh in the night and are bobbing away into the distance......oh how sad ....not...and I should imagine the local wildlife is quite pleased too. The hunters proudly tie their little boats to the gatepost and come back with various poor creatures they have shot. At a brocante last year one dealer had for sale a huge bright pink fibre glass swan boat that must have come from a fairground ride. I was SO tempted to buy it and tie it up next to their boats this year.

The small village that houses one of our local Patisseries had a Christmas house decorating competition this year. Every year Monsieur Patrice has dressed his house with his home made rustic decor including a nativity scene in a glass case and a little Winter scene with a small train running on a track through snow covered mountains. Although a little rough it has always been quite charming. But, this year the whole village joined in and there were some stunning twinkling displays including a huge igloo with a seated light up polar bear inside! I did see Monsieur Patrice standing in front of their display one evening. To be honest he had made all of his own decorations and the others had all been purchased. I have no idea who took the winners trophy but on New Years Eve I noticed the enormous polar bear was missing. Perhaps they had taken it inside to deter New Years high spirited revelers or what I hope is that Monsieur Patrice has kidnapped it and is holding to to ransome!! Who knows what he will produce next year to keep up with the new illuminations.

Of course as usual I have the Winter blues and I am dreaming of Provence in the sun and simply meandering around the brocantes in a Summer dress! This was made worse by a phone call from Tartelette from Oregon this morning trying to lure me away for a truffling trip down South in March. I am looking forward to the brocante season starting again and I can display this.....

My longing for the sun is not helped by my friend Andrew who has bought a home in Spain and reports he is in the garden in shirt sleeves checking the progress of his orange crop!

Ted our Spanish rescue dog has been with us for 7 months now and he is such a different boy. When he first arrived he would not look you in the eye and he had suffered a very bad start to his young life. Now, he is totally in control here at Le Petit Chateau and is a total joy to us. 

He was still quite shy in company so when we had our Christmas curry and quiz evening he disappeared to hide on our bed as thirty or so friends arrived for a very raucous ( as usual) evening. The theme was Indian costume so we had various wonderful outfits arrive. 

Mark is very good at emptying our lounge to make it look like a bistro!!

Half way through the night I went up to put Ted`s lead on to take him outside for a break. As we came back into the kitchen I thought he would head straight back upstairs but he turned right into the melee and spent the rest of the evening visiting each table in turn and endearing himself to all. He has certainly moved on. As we speak he is curled on the sofa having a snooze and ignoring the storm.

At the end of the curry night Mark went outside to switch off the Christmas lights and slipped down the slope into the cellar...this was the result! You can only imagine the comments!

As with most people after Christmas we feel totally stupified by what we have eaten and as we speak there is a large pot of home made parsnip, ginger and garlic soup on the stove and Mark has ordered an exercise bike ( Oh my this space!!). I am sure I saw Madame at the Patisserie burst into tears as we drove past without stopping this morning.

So I am starting to list my latest finds again and digging out the treasures I had stashed away from my December travels. 

If you do use Facebook I have a new Brocante page attached to my simply-chateau page where I am listing some of the attic finds from the boxes I have hoarded in my studio!

I have finally updated my website but I find it such a technical job that I spend most of the evenings trying to fathom it out and get quite excited when something goes right!

Many thanks for all your messages when my grand daughter Sophie was taken so ill. It was a scary time for us all whilst she was in hospital but she is back to normal and will soon be walking. What  a relief!

A la prochaine mes belles and I intend to blog much away and hide now!!

May your year be filled with delicieux truffling escapades!!

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