Saturday, December 25, 1999

25/12/99 Warm & Happy Xmas

Those of you who don't watch the international news roundup on TV, or read major investigative papers like the Taihape District Herald, may still be unaware of the fact that we've had our central heating in and running for the past week. Still a few minor problems - a joint in the fuel circuit which wasn't properly tightened, meaning diesel was pissing everywhere in the cellar, air bubbles everywhere in the radiators which means that when the thing starts up at 5 am it sounds as though there's a small waterfall in the room with you, stuff like that - but the place is WARM! And we don't have sheet ice forming down the bathroom walls either.

And a Merry Christmas to all of you, even if it is a bit late (for you. It's still Christmas day here, although not for long). Malyon rang this morning to let us know (amongst other things) that the weather was traditionally grotty: well, it was the same here too. Cold and wet, maybe some snow tomorrow. Better that than the oil slick currently washing up on the Britanny coast.
Traditionally in France the big feast is in fact on Christmas Eve (followed by another garguantuan one on Christmas day, but that's another matter) and so when Anne-Laure turned up last night to check something up on the Net with her mother Maryse in tow, I thought I'd better check on what they were having. Just a snack, really - salade composée with smoked salmon, snails, venison, vegetables and the bûche de Noël. Our leg of lamb crawled off into the kitchen and hid itself in shame.

Never mind, we'll make up for it on New Year's Eve, when we go around for a small party at Renaud & Sophie's (they have their central heating in and working too!). Just four couples, everyone brings a plate, and just to give you an idea, we have four desserts to bring - pavlova, brandysnaps, cassata and I can't remember what else. I think we might sleep over the night.
Anyway, Merry Christmas again, and think of us laggards when you're washing down the year 2000 with whatever it is you drink on occasions like that, andwe're still sitting around the remains of lunch waiting for 1999 to go away.

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