Friday, 11 January 2008

Christmas Ragbag

Over Christmas, with no internet connection, I left the computer off for days on end, stopped writing and now I find I'm left with a ragbag of half-remembered images:

- on the way to Riberac to see an English speaking accountant, the green pompoms of mistletoe in the hedgerow trees, in places growing so thickly that the trees looked like evergreens

- early morning, frozen pansies in the planters on the veranda, looking like wet tissue paper. Then two hours later in the morning sun, all dried out and bright and perky

- high on the escarpment at Nicole, above the great alluvial plain where the Lot and Garonne meet, two hang-gliders float and drift in the rising air currents only yards in front of us

- wine bottles wrapped in aluminium foil hanging drunkenly on trees as decorations outside the smartest of villas

- the roar of the water over the great weir at Aiguillon and the sunlight reflected so brightly on the pond behind the derelict mill we had to squint to see

- everywhere, great wooden boxes of oysters, huge platters of seafood, mountains of whelks, mussels, shrimps, prawns, lobsters, crabs, for French Christmas Eve celebrations

- even the smallest commune has its street decorations, perhaps no more than a couple of small wonky stars

- English carol service in our small white-walled, barrel-vaulted church. More and more people arriving until it seemed impossible they would all fit. And still they came. At least with the number of bodies we were warm

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