Thursday 31 January 2013

January 2013

We had a good drive back to La Maire on 6th January despite Dave coughing and spluttering all the way with a cold that he had picked up the day before! We arrived here in fog, which lingered for the next 3 - 4 days. Eventually cabin fever threatened to engulf us so we hopped in the car with the aim to get as high as possible! We didn't need to go far above Foix to emerge above the clouds in the most beautiful sunshine and clear views over the mountains.

Since then the weather has been a real mix of rain, blustery winds, snow and sunshine, up until today when we have enjoyed our first coffee break outside this month! We have made the most of the sunny days to get out for some local walks and also managed a day skiing at Ax Bonascre, which was lovely.

It is tempting to hibernate in the cold weather, but we have been keeping busy. Dave has been finishing off some jobs around the house.....and making leek and potato soup in vast quantities! I have been painting and giving some painting classes.
You can see some of my recent paintings of the local area here on my website

On the social front, we hosted an aperos evening for around 40 friends and neighbours in the village - it was good to see them all and get to know them better...quite a challenge for our French though, especially after 3 weeks in the UK!!
 We also went to a dance party last weekend, run by my dance club....not much chat there, just lots of dancing and the traditional 'Galette des Rois', the cake which is baked in France to celebrate Epiphany.

We have both continued to take photos this month, without the pressure of one a day! 
Here are our albums for this month
Lesley's album
Dave's album

Tuesday 1 January 2013

December photo a day albums 2012

So here we are already at the end of 2012. It has been an interesting year for us - continuing to enjoy and get settled into our life in the Ariege, establishing our chambres d'hotes business, keeping the grass cut (much more difficult than expected!!), expanding the vegetable plots, improving our grasp of the French language, meeting new people from all over the world, consolidating new friendships, and of course enjoying visits by friends and family as well as a few trips back to the UK ourselves. We have also continued to explore and get to know the local area, particularly the Pyrenees themselves (in all weathers!!), discovering the wild beauty and variety of this beautiful range of mountains.  

Taking a photo every day has been both entertaining and also a challenge at times. Its great to have a pictoral record of the year and hope they have been of some interest to all of you to whom we send them. 
We both agree however that a second year of a photo a day would become more of a chore than a challenge, so have decided just to update the blog at the end of each month with an album of photos taken as and when we have felt like taking them!  
We hope you enjoy the final 2 albums of 2012 and wish you all the very best for 2013. 

Lesley's album

Dave's album