Thursday, 29 November 2007
Christmas in a French Chateau
Christmas preparations are well under way here at Le Chateau. His Lordship and I are cooking roast turkey with all the trimmings and a proper English plum pudding to follow this weekend. The tree sparkles thanks to the Small Cross One's efforts, albeit a false tree which is all down to my cousin whose middle name is organised and happened to have a spare one handy (as you would). I must admit to being slightly sniffy at first but as the real ones don't hit the garden centres until Friday lunchtime I had no alternative. Heated towel rails have finally graced the bathrooms, a never ending role of insulation has been wound round and round the house and His Lordship is bent over his workbench in the garage doing things that remain a mystery to me.
Yesterday did not feel even slightly like the approach to Christmas though, all the windows were flung wide open and the sun poured through. There's nothing I like better than to be basking in the sun whilst working, everything looks so delicious. The Dining Room is positively resplendent, a large table with a linen cloth ironed by moi (and I'm not renowned for ironing) with sparkling glasses and gleaming cutlery lies ready for the guests. All that needs to be done now is the final flourish of holly and ivy wound in an artistic fashion by yours truly. Candles in red and cream stand upright in their holders waiting for the flickering light to be reflected from the large mirror.
You might imagine that there would be a slight air of panic surrounding us but oh no, His Lordship is going around looking like the cat who got the bowl of cream. Yesterday he went and landed himself a journalistic opportunity to write a column for a local paper, an Englishman abroad type of article, no holds barred apparently ! And the reason he was chosen ? all down to The Grand Duchess by all accounts who has been spotted in the area and even photographed recently. Yesterday I had to smile benignly as I was handed a feature describing my husband as a gentleman distingué.
The picture taken between the never ending stair balusters is one of my 'spots' in the house that give me great pleasure. I get time to appreciate the finer things in life when I'm on my knees, with no less than 40 wide marble stairs and 95 hand painted balusters. I suppose I can be forgiven then for pausing occasionally ?