02 January 2010

The second day of 2010

Yesterday the weather changed again. We had snow flurries for several hours in the morning, and it had just started sticking to the grass, hedges, trees, and rooftops when it suddenly ended. Then the temperature started falling, and the afternoon was cold and gray.

Deer grazing in a field near the river, down at the bottom
of our road on Christmas Eve 2009

New friends of ours from northern England, Jean and Nick, came over with their poodle Lulu to spend the afternoon and eat our New Year's dinner of cassoulet with us. They have a holiday home in the little town called Le Grand-Pressigny, about an hour southwest of Saint-Aignan. And they have a blog: A Very Grand Pressigny. Lulu the poodle, by the way, is a big dog — she's a lot taller than Callie.

A quince still hanging on the tree at the edge of the
vineyard after our mid-December snow and cold

Today we are planning to have lunch in a restaurant with a group of young Americans who live in Paris and are spending the New Year's holiday near Blois. Several of them have blogs too, but we aren't even sure who all is in the group. We'll drive up toward Blois at noontime to meet up with them.

Apples, always apples, composting in our back garden

Such is the life here in Saint-Aignan. With blogs nowadays, we know many people we would never have met or even heard of back in those pre-Internet and pre-blog days. And we keep meeting more and more bloggers. Not just Americans, either, but people from England, Canada, Belgium, and Australia.

A Callie's-eye view of the vines through the back fence

There is certainly no sense of isolation out here in the French countryside. By the way, I did an e-mail interview for a blog called A Taste of Garlic. The author, Keith Eckstein, has interviewed a lot of bloggers in France. If you are looking for more blogs about the expat life in France, Keith's blog is the place to find them.

The glassy pond out back and its wintery reflections
that's mistletoe growing in an old apple tree

The pictures here are ones I took around the yard and vineyard over the past 10 days or so.


  1. Ken, you star you.....loved the interview.

    Victoria, Bellingham WA

  2. That meal with "young Americans" sounds fun. Do you mean young like students, or just younger than you/us?

    Today started with snow flurries here too...I guess the cold and ice is on its way back.

  3. We have just begun to read "living in France" Blogs, for the obvious reason.

    Yours among them.
    Thank you for writing it.

  4. Betty, I mean thirty-somethings. It's not dinner, just an apéro.

    H.Peter, thanks for your comment.

    Victoria, hehehe.

  5. Now, that's fun :)) I enjoyed reading your interview! I second Betty C.'s question.

    P.S. I haven't seen Linda Hanselman (from Edwardsville, Illinois) posting in many months. Are you out there, Linda?

  6. Yes, I guess we must put thirty-somethings in the young category now, even Walt and I...(we are the same age.)

  7. Betty, did I say Happy New Year to you? Happy New Year -- et surtout bonne santé en 2010.

    We ended up not going to Blois, but three of the group came by to visit for a couple of hours yesterday evening. The two who are bloggers are Justin and Jasmine (L'Etrangère Américaine) if you know them.

    Judy, let's see if Linda H. is still reading...

  8. We had a lovely time at yours, Ken. Lunch was delicious. The cassoulet was amazing.
    Add that to the excellent company and what better way to spend one of the greyist of grey winter afternoons. Thank you so much.
    And now we're back home in England and under a couple of inches of snow again. Can't wait for spring now.....

  9. I absolutely love that photo with the apples! It's brilliant. A happy new year to you guys.


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