Friday, 14 December 2007

Christmas in a French Chateau


Hang on a minute I'll just fluff up my hair more and flick the mince pie crumbs off the soft yellow cashmere pullover I'm wearing. Where was I ? oh yes, Christmas is fast approaching and here at Le Chateau an all pervading air of calm and tranquility settles gently on its industrious occupants like soft snowflakes. Logs crackle contentedly on the open fire as the flames dance and twirl in the reflection of the shiny Christmas baubles, artistically hung from the mantelpiece. Above twined amongst the candles is an abundance of ivy freshly cut from the garden. Huge swaths of holly, rich in red berries burst forth from painted white jugs. Simmering gently on the Aga the mulled wine sits ready to offer a glass of seasonal good will to any visitor filling the house with the aroma of heady spices.

In the deep freeze dozens of home made mince pies, labelled obviously in baking date, jostle for space next to the prepared brandy butter and bread sauce. All the presents are wrapped in hand painted paper stowed carefully away in a secret corner of Le Chateau away from curious excited eyes.

'Is there anything we can do to help Mother dearest' ? rings through the air. 'Come along Darling, don't tease me anymore, you simply must tell me what your heart most desires this Christmas' His Lordship croons.

The sound of a horn being blown heralds the arrival of the builder. 11 days to go to Christmas and His Lordship is gripped in a fervour of home improvement. Scaffolding is strategically placed at a dizzying height at the very pinnacle of the grand staircase. A slight swirling of plaster dust hovers on the shafts of sunlight beaming down through the skylight before settling on everything in sight. Today apparently, a paint sprayer is being used to paint the impossibly large area of wall. It has occurred to me that had I had the wit to use one of these machines in the first place I might have saved myself at least two years work. Everything needs to be covered as the paint might, and I'm quoting the builder here, cover other things too. At the end I am assured the ceiling of my Chateau will be transformed. 'Everything will be just dandy for the guests arriving for Christmas' and here I quote the husband.

I've been giving it some more serious thought as to what Father Christmas could give me this Christmas. I've been terribly good all year and worked very hard. The business has taken off, looking back on 2007 there have been some interesting learning curves.

'Hindsight' I say, 'I think I would like hindsight for my Christmas present'

15 comments:

Casdok said...

From reading your blog over the past few months i agree you have been good and have worked very hard!
So i hope Santa brings you what you want!

Un Peu Loufoque said...

Persoanlly I htink you should ask Santa for a holiday!

Zoƫ said...

Nah Sally, hindsight is wonderful granted, but NOTHING will have prepared you for running a successful business and creating your stunning home, than by actually making the mistakes, and having the experience of actually doing it. It's the great educator, and I think your Christmas gift to yourself should be the hugest hug of admiration, that you have come this far and done so very well. As for Santa, a deposit account with Coutts should cover it, hehe!

Elizabethd said...

Think UPL's idea is a very good one...go where you can be pampered.

toady said...

I bet the chateau looks gorgeous. Lucky visitors. Agree with Zoe, hindsight is just another word for experience.
Toady

Milla said...

Another beautiful picture Sally - have a great Christmas, you've earned it! Although I actually think hindsight would be a great impeder - if you knew the hassle that lay ahead beforehand, you'd never get out of bed.

Pipany said...

Ok that photo is a start but we want more Sally! And lucky you to get that fab tile from the talented UPL. Hopefully many days of rest will be your Christmas pressie (I know, I know...HAH!) xx

Sally's Chateau said...

I've picked up the camera (well thats a good start) !!

Frances said...

Sally, once again, I just want to run away from home and climb right into that photo of the chateau!

Since you have been so very good, I am sure that Santa will bring you anything that would request.

xo

mountainear said...

Well done for all you have achieved in the past 12 months - hindsight or no hindsight. Enjoy your lovely Chateau this Christmas.

LittleBrownDog said...

Funny how men blithly book builders at the most inconvenient times. Can't wait to see the pics of the crackling fire and holly - perhaps the swathes of plaster dust will provide an ethereal, other-worldly mistiness...

Preseli Mags said...

I'm hot on the heels of Frances, climbing into the photograph! It all looks so calm, sophisticated and clutter-free. Have a lovely Christmas.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Having had builders in the house one year right up to Christmas eve I just wonder how you are staying so wonderfully serene....me? ...I was like a demented ferret with attitude!!

lampworkbeader said...

Sally, what you need is a relaxing stay in a lovely country house, just near enough to a fashionable town to do a spot of girle shopping, Oh, and someone else to 'do it all', for a change.

Anonymous said...

Hindsight indeed!!!
What a gift that would make for everyone! No mistakes, no regrets, no accidents......hhmmmm, hindsight indeed!!!
Merry Christmas.