So..., another Christmas fades away. First one with Georgie since being exiled in Frogland. She normally stays in the UK to make sure her mum's okay and not left on her own. But this year Donnie assumed mum-minding duties, thus allowing Georgie to fly out loaded with prezzies. Felt a bit guilty 'cos I don't really do the prezzy bit. Much prefer spending on grub'n'booze rather than 'stuff'. Picked her up on the Friday(?) before Christmas at Brive airport, not the usual Limoges. First time either of us have used the London City airport to Brive flight. Much more convenient (for Londoners) than bussing up to Stansted and being treated like cattle by RyanAir. Bit pricier too, but worth it. Plane arrived a bit late due to the usual morning mists of the Dordogne valleys region. Apparently the flight captain circled over Brive for half an hour waiting for the mist to clear and announced that they might have to divert (presumably to Limoges). But eventually it cleared a bit and the plane landed. Lovely little airport. Only recently opened. Not exactly as husting and bustling as Limoges (no newsagent, tobacconist or grub restaurant) but, nevertheless, does the job.
Christmas day kicked off with tea and chocolates in bed as I unwrapped loads of presents from Georgie, Donnie and my sister, Jean. As I said, I felt a bit guilty about not buying presents in return. However, I did buy Georgie a small box of chocolates (hang the expense) - unsportingly, I ate most of 'em later that evening in front of the telly. Jean's present was a complete surprise - an iPod thingy loaded with millions of music stuff, complete with an impressive speaker unit. Apparently she'd driven down to Putney from Lincolnshire to drop it off at Georgie and Don's, and then driven back. Brilliant! She's only recently got into Apple computers and stuff. And when she gets into stuff, she really gets into it. Asked me a couple of weeks ago for a list of my fave music albums and tracks. Little did I know that this was a leading question. Thought she just wanted to broaden her musical horizons. Surprisingly, she'd never heard of Little Feat. Plays 'em all the time now. Can't get her into country though. And..., Don's present was a pair of fab Bose headphones. Work splendidly. I really am a spoilt brat.
Anyways, presents done, it was suddenly time to leg it down to Isabelle and Christian's for Christmas lunch. Turned up with a bagful of alcoholic beverages, chocolates and a surprise present for Christian, all hurriedly (and amateurishly) wrapped. As Isabelle is a huge fan of Robbie Williams (sad, but true), I gave Christian a Robbie Williams mask (hang the expense again). Thought it might add a bit of spice to the boudoir. I think he was amused, but not really sure. Anyway, he did appreciate the bottle of Ricard.
Lunch was a splendid affair (it always is when Isabelle 'does' Christmas) which lasted well into the evening. Table was set for eleven people - Isabelle, Christian, son Hadrien, mother Janette, friends Elizabeth and Jean-marc plus kids Anthony and Sèverine, neighbour Frederic, plus Georgie and me. Eleven in all. A mammoth undertaking but Isabelle loves having people round. Very French y'know. Can't remember exactly what we noshed but it included king prawns, salmon, chicken, various veggies, spuds, cheeses, sorbet (with a lethal alcoholic pear juice), plus lashings of pricey vinos (including a tasty pudding wine from the Alsace region), then Christmas cake and meringues. Luvly jubbly. Luckily, Georgie and I escaped at about 6ish, just after Isabelle's brother and tribe arrived for the evening session with family members. We were ordered to visit again later that evening for supper. Didn't quite manage it. Got stuck in front of the telly with a cosy fire. Dunno how they managed to nosh a supper after that massive lunch. Scary.
The following week sped by in a flash. Can't remember exactly what Georgie and I did but I do recall a bit of garden pruning, a bonfire and much lazing around while Georgie gardened and delved through old packing boxes in the loft. But before I'm accused of being a lazy good-fer-nothing waster, I hasten to add that I prepared most of the soirée meals. And I made the morning teas.
Then it was suddenly New Year's Eve and almost time for Georgie to return back to Blighty. Had an invite to dinner at Elizabeth and Jean-Marc's with Isabelle and Christian to celebrate New Year but politely declined. Had a lazy evening in. Just Georgie et moi in front of the telly with a bit of champagne, a snug fire and two snoozing terriers. Parfait. Next day, Georgie prepared for the return flight and on 2 Jan we set off for Brive airport again. Saw her off then drove home, passing through one helluva thunderstorm around Tulle. Roads like rivers. Windscreen wipers could hardly cope. Bit concerned about Georgie's plane taking off and flying into that black hell. Phoned her later and apprently all was well. They'd taken off before the storm arrived and simply flew above it in sunny, blue skies.
Yup, so that was Christmas. Seems a long time ago already.
4 weeks ago