Monday, 19 December 2011

Heaven is no other people

... and a good bottle of wine.

Is it me, or do the habits and foibles that I hopefully considered endearing eccentricities when I was younger seem increasingly infuriating and obdurate? I have never liked crowds. I once hit someone trying to struggle my way through the heaving masses trying to leave Notting Hill carnival because I just couldn't handle being crushed by my fellow man. Call me infuriating and obdurate but I increasingly dislike being surrounded by other people. One of the things that appealed to me about going away to the foothills of the Pyrenees the weekend before Christmas was the probability that my fellow man would be crushing his way, or her way, through some last-minute Christmas shopping.

So it proved. And I revelled in it.

Everywhere we went, other than the jolly little local restaurant we found on Saturday night, was deserted. We climbed up to Fort Liberia at Villefranche le Conflent. We were the only ones there. We pootled around Eus, classified one of France's most beautiful villages. All we saw were some very silky and well-loved cats. We went to visit the Orgues at Ille sur Tet. Not a soul. This was actually because the site was closed. I persuaded Fanf, against his better judgement, to break the law and ignore the signs warning us that we would be trespassing if we entered the privately-owned site. I didn't feel the slightest tweak of guilt. Fanf felt incredibly uncomfortable. I loved having the Orgues all to ourselves, to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the site in its natural glory. Fanf made me come away as fast as possible. Then ensued a discussion about rules and the law. I am curiously resistant to obeying rules when I judge that what I do causes no harm. Although I do see that the world would probably be in chaos if everyone felt, and behaved, like that. What do you think?

Oh, and this is the view of the Canigou that we had from our bedroom window when we woke up on Sunday morning.

And this is the view of us, happy, remembering why it was we chose to make our lives together.

Friday, 16 December 2011

All that jazz

Last night I went to a (free, hooray!) concert with my lovely friend/sister outlaw, Steph. Getting out and about with a gal pal rarely felt so good. I love live music.

We went to see my neighbour, Jersey Julie. She and her band are really quite cool. You can check her out here. Did I mention she's my neighbour? I think you'll find that makes me cool by geographical proximity.

Yes it does.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


This weekend Fanf and I are going away. Just for one night. Not very far. But it'll be me'n'im, and nobody else. Courtesy of a giftbox birthday present from the French outlaws this year. How very thoughtful, as the lovely Jen said. Well, actually, as it was what I asked for, how very obedient.

I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time but what I enjoy as much as anything is the antici- (cue Frankenfurter) -pation. I love the feeling, the excitement, when you know something's coming, something good (bored with the musicals references yet? In my head, my life is a musical comedy). Since I confirmed our booking last week every time my brain idles suddenly, up it pops, the joyous presentiment that I'm soon to have a weekend with my Fanf. The sweet thrill of promise.

As I seem to be in a musicals mood, and because my anticipation is dazy with les sentiments amoureux I thought I'd share one of my favourite musical love songs with you: Cherry Pies Ought To Be You, by Cole Porter from Out Of This World.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Simple Pleasures

I'm not feeling very wordy. No matter. These pictures speak for themselves.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


This morning O and I got back from the market at about 10.15, I sat him on my knee to take his shoes off and he snuggled up and fell asleep. So I snuggled up and fell asleep too. Impromptu sleepy cuddles with my little man, when it comes to happiness, my happiness, things don't get much better than that.

Both the mini-beasts love cuddling up, to me, to Fanf, to each other, at any opportunity at the moment. I love it too. I love cuddles. Talking with Vic recently, she said her mother outlaw had told her she shouldn't cuddle her son, Theo, too much. Too much? Is there such a thing as too much cuddling? While my kids want me to cuddle them I shall. And I'll probably keep cuddling them when they don't want me to anymore.

We even have a little mantra in our house:

Kiss, Caress, or Cuddle.

To avoid other less nurturing forms of bodily contact, such as biting, kicking, hitting, sticking fingers up noses (both your own and others) and, most weirdly, licking.

Yesterday, on the phone, Matilda informed her Great Nana Iris that she had 'really cuddles' in her pocket that she was going to give her for Christmas. A pocketful of 'really cuddles', I think that's what I'd like for Christmas too.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Happy Advent

And a big thank you to Papi Mike for the beautifully hand-decorated Advent calendar, lovingly stuffed with chocolate. Because as everyone knows, the true meaning of Christmas is chocolate.