Wow, so that was Christmas. Normally I get really grouchy around this period as it just seems to go on and on from the end of September, and by the time you get to that actual week, I’m bored with the whole affair. Maybe I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings, but this year it crept up on me and was over in a flash, super. There has been a whole raft of other things going on though, for a start, WE LIVE ON A BOAT. After six months me and Vee still say this to each other, sometimes with a questioning intonation in our voices, almost as if we’re saying, Wow, how did we get here? This boat is the best thing that has happened in many a year, actually before this year is out I’m going to say something here, so that I can put it behind me and (hopefully) never think about it again. In the previous four or five years before April (when we knew for sure that we were moving to France and live on a boat), I was really depressed. Oh Boo hoo Spike, pull yourself out of it, and that’s where a lot of the problem was, I couldn’t. I tried, when I walked the Camino de Santiago in ’12 I did for a while, but within a few months of coming home I was back in the same state. A lot of this came from a sense of inadequacy, from a loss of direction and from no one wanting to buy my house for seven years (that I finally sold recently). Whatever, the point of writing this down is to affirm that it is all over. This blog was re-tasked as a kind of therapy, it wasn’t prescribed, I just figured it would be a good idea. I’m more than surprised that so many people have subscribed to reading this (thank you thank you). I’m even more shocked that I’m still writing it after six months. I do want to thank Vanessa, for putting up with me for those years, I love you heart and soul. Also. big thanks to L & T, that bag of weed you gave me probably saved my life, I will write about that one day now that it’s kinda funny.
Anyway, that’s enough of that, what’s happening here in the coldest reaches of eastern France. Christmas is over, yay! We had a lovely day, the weather was quite clement so we went for a walk around the basin in the morning, and then it was beer time while I cooked the dinner, (roasted lamb, potatoes, parsnips and carrots, yep, I shoved it all in the oven except the chorizo and garlic pan-fried Brussels sprouts). We ate, drank (way too much) and were (very) merry. We had so much lamb left over I made a divine Rogan Josh for the next couple of days. We’ll be back to the lentil curries before we know it.
We went to a friends house – I say house but it’s actually a sprawling farm-house owned by the most generous couple – on the 26th to have dinner with sixteen other ‘boaty’ people, (huge table, huge room, huge spread). I posted way back in September that I was unsure of the etiquette for the French Aperitif thang, do I take a bottle or not, I never found out but I was brought up that if I am invited to someone’s home then it’s polite to take something, so I always take a bottle or two. We arrived at the farmhouse with two bottles of wine and two (litre) bottles of beer, and appeared to be the only people who brought anything. I don’t actually know if that says anything about us (can’t go anywhere without booze), or the other guests who were by the way, all older than us. I’m not complaining, but I do wonder as the other guests were all well to do, retired having had successful businesses and seemed very comfortable people. Do you become this sort of people by becoming tight as a ducks arse? So, we walked home quite sober that night, probably a good thing.
The New Year looks busy, considering there’s no work until mid-March I’m wondering how I’m going to keep up, what with French, guitar, writing and I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t picked up a Tarot deck in far too long, there’s going to be plenty to do before this winter is finished.
Brightest Blessings for the New Year.