Often Christmas but never winter

The first thing to say about this Christmas is that in one sense it hasn’t been very Christmassy. As you probably have heard, the dry and extraordinarily warm weather has continued in our part of Europe. Streams are dry, mimosa and irises are peeping out, and even in Taradeau we have had barely a trace of frost. To those of you in Britain who have been badly inundated of late, we hope this isn’t adding to your misery.

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Part of the beach at Nice on Boxing Day

However Christmas isn’t about whether it snows or not so here is a brief and varied collection of events for us this Christmas.

Santas in Draguignan: part of the town's Christmas festivities, which included a market and an ice rink

Santas in Draguignan: part of the town’s Christmas festivities, which included a market and an ice rink (as do many other towns near here)

The A Rocha France meal at Les Courmettes was sufficiently good – thank you Dominic  – that there was some semi-serious discussion about whether we should give up this environmental business altogether and just open a restaurant.

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We missed the children’s nativity play and  Christmas lunch at Holy Trinity Cannes as we were in Paris for COP21, but we enjoyed the Christmas services, including the very well attended evening carol service with a French choir, which looked and sounded very festive.

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The Comité des Fêtes (events committee) in Taradeau offers mulled wine and nibbles in the centre of the village on Christmas Eve. Taradeau’s own wine of course!

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Roast chestnuts and mulled wine in Taradeau on Christmas Eve

We enjoyed a peaceful Christmas and New Year, walking some of the tracks up the valley and watching various films and operas on DVD.  We did see the new Star Wars in the original language, in a nice Nice cinema.

The best way to get into Nice centre is use the park and ride with the tram system

The best way to get into Nice centre is the park and ride with the tram system. It really is this car free.

However it wouldn’t be Christmas without a few surprises and one of them was the sudden appearance of what must have been nearly a thousand sheep being driven past the house on Christmas Eve. Regular readers of this blog may remember that we saw them being taken to upland pastures in May and this was clearly the reverse manoeuvre. That it was delayed to such a late date in December must surely reflect the warm weather. Presumably in a normal winter they are moved down before the snow and ice strikes.

Not quite shepherds watching their flocks by night

Not quite shepherds watching their flocks by night

So finally, happy new year! We are starting to plan for 2016, which looks like being a busy year. If you want to come us see us, let us know soon!

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