Wednesday, 23 December 2015

We're nearly ready for Christmas

Huge non-Christmas news with which to start my post:
Image from the RSPB 

We saw a Hoopoe!

It was on the grass at the front of our pitch and strolled around searching the ground for insects for several minutes before being scared off by an approaching car. Of course neither of us had a camera handy with which to capture this fabulous moment so I have borrowed the above drawing from the RSPB website. We have been 'promised' hoopoes in various Iberian sites over the past couple of winters - much as we were promised red squirrels all across the north of England - but never saw a single one, hence our excitement now! We will add it to our other memorable sightings of wild boar, otter, Spanish ibex and flamingos.

Our Christmas preparations are almost complete. We had a wonderfully tranquil supermarket trip this afternoon where we were delighted at the down-to-earth shopping habits of the local French people. Such a contrast to British supermarkets at this time of year. There was seasonal music playing and I was tempted to buy a natural fir-cone-and-candle table centrepiece, but no manic consumerism, no trolleys laden higher than their pushers, no over-excited sugar-filled children and No Queue At The Checkout. Now some of you back home might think I am gloating. You would be right!
Last Christmas I gave you - a Mojito! 

We are currently on our second bottle of home-mulled wine. (That's the second of the week, not the day, but I am feeling nicely mellow!) The Christmas mixed tape is playing. My freshly baked Boterkoek is cooling on the counter and I am planning to also make marzipans tomorrow. We have some of the delicious local smoked haddock for our Christmas lunch with a Christmas pud that's been stashed since October for afters. And we have our new boardgame, Barricades, to while away the long afternoon. We're not sure yet what we will do on the day itself yet - there won't be Mojitos on the beach this year or a traditional Dutch meal, but I am sure we will find something memorable.

I hope all your Christmas preparations are going well and aren't too stressful? Seasoons Greetings to y'all!

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