A Final Word Before Christmas

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One or two more sleeps? Well that depends, if you are French, then it is one as the festivities commence the evening of the 24th when the big meal with family is traditionally enjoyed and gifts are shared and opened into the early hours of the morning. However, we still follow our British tradition of celebrating on the 25th and  with much mounting excitement our children are counting down the hours. Read more

Getting Festive in France

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The countdown to Christmas has seriously begun, every year it seems to come round quicker and quicker and now here we are with just over a week until the big day. Time to get decorating. I know for many of you this is late, but I guess it is a family tradition, when I was growing up the tree never went up until the 23rd, I’ve brought it forward somewhat. It’s a date that is looked forward to with great anticipation, it’s very much a family affair that takes all weekend and more! Read more

♪ ♫ It’s the Most Wonderful Pie of the Year ♪ ♫

P7830732Seriously, isn’t it really the most wonderful time of the year? We are starting to play plenty of festive songs, music is really the very best way to get one into the spirit of things, I mean when you listen to the words of Andy Williams’ song, can you not just hear yourself telling stories of Christmases past? Even in this hideously mixed up world, spending time with family and friends is where we can all find little peace I hope. France is seriously troubled at the moment as many of you will have seen or read, the riots continue in Paris, Brexit rages in the UK, but whilst we cannot ignore what is happening let’s not get into politics right now, let’s focus instead on good food and good cheer. Read more

Etsy Christmas Sale is Now Live!

IMG_3104My sincere apologies I messed up big time, having told you there were numerous items on sale in our Etsy shop, I saw this afternoon that a massive error had occurred and there were none, a big fat zero at reduced prices, oooops!!

So now please rest assured, virtually everything is on Sale, Christmas has come early to Our French Lifestyle and will remain so until the 24th December and we are still including free gift wrapping if requested and a small French gift with each order. So go forth and be merry and treat yourself!

www.etsy.com/shop/ourfrenchlifestyle

 

The Festive Season has Started

IMG_4928Even in semi rural France, the Christmas season is underway and now we’re into December I can feel myself getting into the festive spirit. Recently the weather’s been mild and really rather lovely; every spare minute I have I’ve hurried into the garden and I’m feeling slightly smug and proud of myself –  you see I’m ahead of the game for once, a true rarity! The potager is dug over, waiting for our occasional and infrequent winter frosts to break down the soil over the coming months, the vines have been cut and I’ve bored every family member who will listen to me with news of how prepared our garden is for winter! Read more

November Days

23584519_10155664432011224_1178478269_nIf spring is the time of hope and regeneration, then for me autumn and in particular the month of November is a time of reflection. The days are shorter, winter is fast approaching, the blue skies, whilst lovely are not quite so frequent and the fire is permanently lit. The festive season is fast approaching, marking yet another landmark in the annual calender, but just for a couple of weeks, this is a month when I like to take stock of things.

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The Day that Changed the World

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Today is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice. I am sure all of you know that already, and you have probably marked the occasion either privately or at a public service, no matter which country, ethnicity, religion or creed you may belong to.  Both Roddy and I feel it is a day that celebrates peace more than victory, a day on which the whole world should remember the cessation of the immense and dreadful hostilities that ended or scarred the lives of so many, over one hundred years ago.

Roddy and I had grandparents who served in that terrible war, and we both had parents who served in that all-encompassing second war, the one that still resonates more, perhaps, with most of us. And of course, amongst all of you there will be some who have children or perhaps even grandchildren who serve today, who protect and hold dear the fragile peace that has meant that so many of our generation have never had to serve our countries in battle. All of them need to be thought of and thanked on this day, for there should be no barriers in remembrance.

For this reason, Armistice Day has always held a dear place on my calendar, for it is a day that also serves as a reinforcement of beliefs and ideals – that peace should be the only truth, and a truth that every country should strive to attain. For the millions of dead and wounded from both world wars, Armistice day is a shrine to both them, and their affected families, for whom no amount of gratitude is ever enough, and where a candle of hope should forever burn so that those dark times can be averted in the future. 

Today, the bells across France seemed to ring for longer than ever, as towns and villages stood still in respect, a scene repeated across Europe and beyond. It is the most powerful of days, but also the most poignant, for no one now survives who fought in those terrible times. It needs no saying that we must continue to respect this date for as long as the world exists – for I am certain it is not just my fervent wish that there will never be another Armistice day again. Above all, today is a day to hold our children close, and make them understand, so a new generation never repeats the mistakes of the old.P7830131 copy

“When you go Home, tell them of us and say,  

For your Tomorrow, we gave our Today”

John Maxwell Edmunds

1916