What with travelling to the UK and rather grey weather here, we haven’t strayed far afield lately. We have however continued to be busy.
One thing has been our continuing involvement in the work of clearing the Taradeau oppidum where the team is making good progress on clearing the lower end of the site.
We were particularly heartened on the first work party of the new year, by the arrival of no less than the mayor along with cakes and (a particularly French touch) a bottle of champagne. It made for a classy mid-morning break. Taradeau is the sort of village where your labours are appreciated.
Anyway, the task of clearing the site is advancing rapidly as you can see from the accompanying photos. Mind you, we will probably stop shortly after Easter, when rising temperatures make manual labour a little too demanding and we can’t burn the cut branches because of the fire risk.
In other news, although Courmettes is to some extent shut down at the moment – it is after all at over 800m altitude – there is still a lot going on. However, as ever, with Courmettes it’s a case of three steps forward and one or two back, because recent bad storms (which killed someone in a nearby village) did quite a lot of damage, especially to the big marquee which is used for wedding receptions. Nevertheless, things are gradually getting into gear for what promises to be the busiest year yet. The programme includes conferences and seminars, camps for children and youth, and in the autumn, the eighth Lausanne Movement conference on ‘Creation Care and the Gospel’.
We otherwise have been keeping busy with various things. The two new reversible heat exchanger air conditioning units we have had installed in the house have proved excellent at keeping us warm in the cold weather (we have been down to -7 C) and will also help summer visitors staying when it’s really hot. Chris was preaching at Holy Trinity Cannes last week, and Giles, our chaplain, has boldly asked Alison to preach in March. Although she spends a lot of her time doing theological editing, this will be a first for her.
Lots to keep us busy!