December roundup

by Jeanne on January 6, 2009

in France, Photography, Table scraps, Travel - USA

I know I promised to announce the winner of the "guess where CookSister is shivering on a beach" competition on Sunday, but Real Life got in the way.  You probably won't believe me when I tell you, but on Friday afternoon… our central heating stopped working. 

Yes, the same heating that stopped working for a week in November and was extensively repaired. Only this time round, the temperature was around freezing point the entire weekend. Inside our lounge it was 46F (7C) at noon on Saturday.  It was just a barrel of laughs. 

It's fixed now (apparently the previous round of repairmen didn't bleed the radiators and air got into the brand new pump, which promptly seized and died), so let's put it behind us and get back to business!

December was a busy month, and I promise to post some recipes and restaurant reviews, but for now I just wanted to give you an overview, mostly in pictures.


Nick got back snowy from Chicago – yaaaaay! He took this as a farewell pic of my beloved Bean.


We spent a weekend in Gascony, exploring the Auvillar Christmas market and discovering a hidden gem of a restaurant (more on that later).


I went to see the endlessly fabulous Coldplay at the O2 arena – no I wasn't in the front row, they came to play 2 songs in the middle of the audience, 5 rows from where I was sitting!  And no, they haven't morphed into a 5-piece, the guy next to Chris Martin is the actor Simon Pegg who joined them for these 2 songs on harmonica.  You can see my clips of Fix You (two clips), Yellow, Green Eyes featuring Simon Pegg and Jingle Bells featuring Simon Pegg on YouTube. Enjoy!


We hosted a pre-Christmas lunch with all the trimmings at home.


We had a fab Christmas lunch with Our South African friends Greg & Gail who are visiting from Sydney.


We spent Boxing Day at Johanna's surrounded by laughter, kids, presents and food.


And we celebrated New Year with our friends John and Suzie in… Jersey!

Although the first correct answer was from my friend Michelle, I had forgotten that I'd previously told her we were going to Jersey – so the first unaided correct guess was from the lovely Val of More than Burnt Toast!

And what is she getting?  Why, an authentic gift from Jersey, of course!  Black butter is a Jersey speciality - apple cider is heated together with apples, sugar, liquidised lemons, liquorice and other spices to make a deeply coloured, jammy preserve redolent with apples and spice.  Now imagine adding a bit of this to fudge made from the extra-creamy milk of the local Jersey cows…  Let's just say Val is in for a treat :)  Congratulations! 


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Manggy January 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Whoa! I hadn’t seen that Coldplay pic before. Nice capture! I’m glad to hear the heating didn’t draw itself out into a saga ;)


Alex January 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Best of luck with the heating in 2009!
What a busy Christmas and New Year too!
I’ve tagged you for the 7 random things meme: – just in case you’re short of things to blog about! :)


courtney January 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Great pictures. Look at you all you close to Coldplay.Thankfully Chris Martin didnt throw a fit when you took the pic( just kidding) That fudge sounds very interesting. That why I love travelling and discovering new things.


Bellini Valli January 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Wow!!!!It sounds like you had a fantastic time over the holidays with lots of good food and laughter. To top it all off I guessed the correct answer to which beach you were on. 2009 is going to be a very good year!!!!!I guessed Jersey because I have relatives that run a B & B there. It tooks like I am in for a real treat!!!!!!!!


elra January 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Good grace no kidding, I hope this year you won’t have any problem with your central heating anymore.
That is so cool, you get a very nice shot for the group, I like Chris Martin very much. My son said ” all moms like him”! really? I didn’t know that!
Seems like you had a wonderful christmas with your family and friends.


Nicisme January 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Looks like you had a wonderful December and a great Christmas!
Happy New Year Jeanne.


Charlotte January 7, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Sounds like a fabulous season, Jeanne, apart from the heating issue of course. May I just say I am in love with your black and white (or is it cream?) skirt, and also that I am envious of Val. I LOVE fudge – this Christmas I made Nigella’s chocolate and pistachio fudge and handed it out to some very lucky people.


Jan January 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm

OMG!! I LOVE Coldplay – you are sooo lucky!!
I’m glad you had such a good time. A very happy 2009 to you!


grace January 7, 2009 at 11:55 pm

hooray for coldplay! great pics, milady–december appears to have been a great month for you. :)


Ivy January 8, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Yaaay Val won!! That’s a good sign of luck for the new year. I hope you had your heating fixed.


Susan from Food Blogga January 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Looks like a sensational evening with sensational people!


Michelle January 19, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Nice spread you had there over at Johanna’s.
Hope you enjoy the fudge, Val!


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