Monday, 23 December 2013

Joyeux Noel from the Charente

Non, non, non je ne suis pas parler avec Noel, I simply don't have a French keyboard to add the two little dots!!

And this little post is just a simple Christmas card from us two cuddled up in front of the fire (avec warm spiced plonk, naturellement) to all nos bons amis en Australie!

First, a few more of my really excellent good pics of  Le Champs Elysees at Christmas:

Any commentary would be superfluous.

But I can't resist adding our old friend telling the world "REGARDEZ MOI"

When Val and I first went shopping for those vital supplies in late November we were quite surprised to note the lack of Christmas decorations in the shops and streets. We knew that France was definitely secular, having given the official thumbs up to organized religion about 1789, but this apparent lack of Christmas zeal really was too much. After all, in any normal commercial society, you know, like the Sunshine Plaza, the chrissy decs go up early October!

Glory be, hallelujah, and all that stuff....our consternation was quite misplaced. Come the first of December, shop owners and assistants are setting out the holly, the Christmas decorations, the Christmas trees etc etc etc and carols burst forth from every supermarche PA system (quite often Bing Crosby would you believe).

Now, talking of Christmas trees, check this lot out:

Galleries Lafeyette super colossal offering to Mammon complete with clockwork scenes....actually most impressive, note the scale against the backdrop of shopping tiers and people!

Next step down, this medium size one was in main plaza at Poitiers

While this one was in the small town of Bourdielles, the seat of a barony with two medium sized chateaus side by side, one a small medieval castle which changed hands regularly during the 100 Years War, but all the while the peasants still had to pay the toll to the latest baron just to cross the olde bridge.

EVERY village exhibits a display of Christmas spirit, with Christmas trees like the one above attached to just about every shop front or household. There are also bows on fences and posts. Some villages, like the local St Severin (incidentally, a regular Pommie stronghold....but I don't think they are all a hangover from the 100 Y's war....I do get sidetracked, don't I) have beautiful trees and quite exquisite boxed decorations. Seems to depend on the town budget, because there is a marked difference between villages, some obviously are better off. And there is always a theme throughout each village, and they are all delightful to our Australian eyes. And, incidently, there is no vandalism!

Just an aside: we went shopping for tinsel, just a strand of tinsel. 5 dollars for just two meters!!!! No way, Val made her own, as we see others have done in many places including some large co-op shops.

Seeing as how Val and I are into this French thing, we had to do our bit:

Both outside and inside. If you have a keen eye,
there's a message for you beside the basil plant.

A white Christmas in Juignac, well perhaps this is what we will have. Outside our door some days back, frost (photo courtesy of Mary-Lou)

And now, it's good bye from me and its goodbye from her, but not before she, ma belle femme, insisted that these two little gems be added:
Here's to the Dork, just getting some little Vin Chaud, to help keep the ears warm

Have a great Christmas, we will, love and cheers to all
Bryan and Val
And no, I am definitely NOT chatting up another French waitress!!!
 PS: this really did start as a simple, short Christmas Card.....but the Hemingway in me just can't be held back!


  1. all looks great I think I will go out and have some prawns for Christmas we are going to gregs in Coffs, we have had a couple of hot days but cooler to day.

  2. Looks absolutely gorgeous. I bet your'e feeling the cold over there, oh well! you two will just have to keep snuggling:-)

  3. I think not decorating until December 1 is a fine tradition, and should occur everywhere, none of this October rubbish. Sounds like you are going to have a good Christmas. Eat all the chicken and Rocky road. And keep your ears warm.


  5. Oh monsieur, vous êtes à la recherche très suave!!!!!!
    Hope you embraced your very different festive season, looks wonderful, you know I am envious....give me cold over heat any day!!!! We had a great family time, the pool had a lot of use!!! New Year to come more celebrations!!!! and then the big diet lol!!!! Look forward to your next blog. PS: December 1st I definitely agree!!