When is a christmas party like a bus?

When they all come at once! Well, two in three days anyway.

My first one was for my language class in St Yrieix. Or so I thought but as it turned out it was for the french and english classes at the centre I go to. So I arrived, cake in hand, to find no-one I knew, and in fact only two english at first. I was also surprised to find it wasn’t a casual eat and chat kind of do, but a quiz, questions in English for the French to answer (with help from the token English person on each table) and different questions in french for the English. Essentially the French had to answer questions about the queen and about what the English ate at Christmas. The French questions were a little more specific such as what colour did Santa Claus before he wore red? (green… with the allegation that it was because of coca cola – I didn’t spoil the fun by pointing out this was an urban myth). Not a myth is that Provence have a tradition of 13 different desserts (to do with 12 apostles and Jesus but also that their department number is 13 or at least Bouches du Rhone is).The desserts include various nuts and dried fruits, hard black and soft white nougat, a marzipan sweet and a kind of flat bread flavoured with orange oil and served to be torn and dipped in cooked wine dregs. Interesting but I think I’ll stick with christmas pudding. Eventually some of my classmates turned up, annoyed at having missed all the fun. But in time for two of those who sing in a choir to give us a spirited rendition of Joy to the World.

I had organised my photoclub christmas meal, as turned out two days later. This was at a restaurant we had been to in November and just like then the food was lovely. Most of us had pheasant with chestnut purée but the choices were wide. The three piece (not 13!) dessert icluded a little piece of christmas pud and a tiny trifle just for us Brits.

Yesterday we popped into Delia’s art teacher’s gallery to buy a picture. We realised that we had souvenirs of various places we have visited whilst living here but nothing actually of here. So we will be soon taking possession of a watercolour of a Tardoire valley scene.

Below is a version christmas card that I sent out to family and friends.