This is just about December 2007
It's now three weeks into December and this time of the year is rather lovely in many different ways.
We have had some spectacular frosts this month leaving everywhere with a glorious white covering. Very pretty to look at though we've all needed warm gloves and scarves!
We live quite high up and as I drive towards our closest town 6 kms away, now that many of the trees are quite naked I can see right down into the beautiful valley of the River Creuse and the pretty little village of Moutier D'Ahun.
The rolling countryside: small fields with cows munching at the grass, some magnificent huge horses standing still with heads draped by manes and apparently deep in thought about something or other, hedges, copses and borders of trees and the river bubbling underneath the Roman bridge through Moutier D'Ahun on its way to Busseau-sur-Creuse - looking down from up on high, the scene has about it a feel of one of Lowry's paintings, especially with the odd "stick" men standing around looking at the area being dug out for a new lake..
This pretty village grew its Christmas decorations very gradually. Day by day as I drove through, I spotted something else added. First of all it was the trees that had been anchored at regular intervals across the bridge and decorated with gold and silver filaments that sparkled as the wind blew them about and again as soon as was dusk from the amber lighting embedded in the ground. The farmer's cart near the bridge that in the summer is decorated with geraniums was hung with green and gold garlands. Next, Christmas trees appeared outside every other house all along the road and these were later hung with gold and green wrapped "presents". The trees in the grounds of 12th century abbey were similarly decorated and large decorations appeared right along the entire wall surrounding the abbey. The roadside trees had their trunks wrapped up, garlands wrapped around them and "presents" hung from their branches - still in the colour theme of this year, green and gold. It's such a cared-for little village.
Across the other side of the valley, the winding road climbs upwards towards the church spire in the town of Ahun. This year the colour scheme for their decorations is red and gold - every year there is a definite colour theme. Christmas trees are placed all along the roads outside almost every other house and decorated with "presents" and a huge, decorated tree is standing in the square by the church. The tabac in town has a gold "Merry Christmas" sign hung across the inside of the shop and although I only ever speak French in there, the manager took me by the arm and proudly pointed up to show it to me.
Everywhere is so pretty and as it never seems to get vandalised, I can only assume that the townsfolk really care about their town. Every shop-keeper smiles and wishes everyone Bonne Fête and a feeling of bonhomie embraces you.
On this note, I should like to say thank you for taking the time out to read my articles (I'll continue with ordinary bits and bobs later in the New Year) and I hope that all who read this have a good and enjoyable Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.