December roundup

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! 


If you enjoyed reading this, please consider sharing it using the social media buttons below the post. I'd also love to hear what you thought about this post so please do leave a comment below. Hope to see you again soon!

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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!!!!!!!!

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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.