First of all, we know we have already said this, but for the first post of 2018 can we wish everybody a happy New Year where ever you are.
We had family down for Christmas – Mark, Alice, Thomas and Phoebe – and with one or two reservations (a teething infant and a wide range of coughs and splutters) it went well. Winter is a slightly tricky time for hosting a visiting family. In summer we have space and we can eat outside on the patio and, of course, a swimming pool can absorb a very large amount of children’s time and energy. But a winter visit worked and although we had some sub-zero nights we had a some very pleasant days out at the coast. Thomas and Mark were even seen paddling.
We had a visit to Cannes on Christmas Eve for the church service. There was the most dramatic stylised Christmas tree which was even more extraordinary when you went inside it and looked up. As is routine across much of France and elsewhere security remains at a high level.
The tree from outside and inside.
One particular feature of this time of year is the foodstuff on sale. In the secular West no one is sure what Christmas is all about and the French are even more unsure than most but of one thing they are certain: it is a period that is about food, not in fact just for Christmas Eve, but for that all important Réveillon du Nouvel An (New Year’s Eve).
Our own food contribution was a fun Christmas lunch. Mark cooked Beef Wellington with all the trappings.
Finally, Chris has completed his final essay on the Anglican Readership course. So, although there are a few bits of paperwork that need doing, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be licensed as a Reader at some point in the next few months. It’s been a lot of hard work!