Saturday, 26 December 2009

2009 - an unforgettable Christmas...

I still have no energy to write a witty account of our slightly dodgy Christmas, so here are the photos. Not shown is the hour long walk up to the Visitation at the end of the day in accordance with the new Giorgi tradition of hunting out snow on Christmas day ("if there is no snow in town, we'll walk up a bit higher and find some", proudly declared the inventor of this tradition). This first attempt ended in tantrums, arguments, cold feet and not a scrap of snow. Also not shown was the four of us snuggling up in bed at the end of the day to watch Daddy Long Legs, a new generation of Leslie Caron fans is born! And last, but, oh my, certainly not least, very definitely not shown, is Jasper's impressive vomit in his bed at about 10pm on Christmas night...

Opening the Christmas stockings

What a surprise - instead of leaving papillottes (special chocolates that Father Christmas *always* leaves in the french kids' slippers under the trees) he left special chocolate North Pole money (note: no matter how sick you are, it is your responsibility as a mother to ensure there is a packet of papillottes in the house. Finding out that you only imagined a bag hidden in the bedroom at 1030pm on Christmas Eve is simply not good enough....)

Very happy (if slightly under the weather) kids. A long-awaited Thunderbird Island for Jasper and a Toadstool Fairy house for Lily (not shown) which sadly will have to go back to Santa's workshop to fix its lights and sounds (despite two hours of determined fiddling by David)

"My tummy hurts..."

Now, watch out for my brand new wine glasses as you pull those crackers (not that I had the stomach to actually drink any wine)

Lily perked up enough to admire the table setting

We had the bûche de Noël for a late goûter after our hike up the hill, and yes, I was so wrecked, we served them straight out of their cardboard boxes...

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Joyeux Noël

Well, the turkey is in the fridge, most of the presents are wrapped and we've lit our Angel Chimes. No doubt, Father Christmas will be making his way down our chimney very soon. It hasn't been quite the Christmas Eve, I'd planned, due to a last minute nasty bout of gastro that struck down everyone except Nurse David, who literally was on call most of Tuesday night. I'm just hoping I can rustle up some Christmas spirit and a bit of energy for the big day...but enough about me...Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Its snowing again here (yay!). But for about an hour this morning, the clouds disappeared, the sun came out and I went running. I was well-dressed so once I got underway I was nice and warm. And it was so beautiful. There was snow all long the lake and covering the mountains. The bike path had only been cleared a little way so most of the time I ran on about two inches of fresh crunchy snow which glistened in the sunlight.

When I reached my turnaround point and headed back, the sun warmed the backs of my legs. I got to the electronic "Welcome to Annecy" sign and ran around in circles while I waited for it to go through its loop of public service announcements before coming back to the first page and the temperature, -8degC. I was a little disappointed. I thought for sure I would hit negative double digits! About ten minutes from home, the clouds came back and my face started to get very cold. By the time I was turning into our street, all I could think of was a bath. The kids were arguing about something when I walked in the front door saying, "cold...don't care...sort it out yourselves". But as I sank into a hot bath, I felt really really good!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Saturday night brought to you by Côtes du Rhône and youtube

Annecy sous la neige

We've had a bit of snow the last few days, not much, but enough to get excited about. We spent about an hour today in the Jardins de l'Europe which, normally so lush and green in summer, had a couple of inches of snow covering it today. It was a good try-out of the kids' new snow gear...

Monday, 14 December 2009

Getting in the spirit!

Its getting nice and cold here but no more snow yet (despite my obsessing reading of the weather page). Still we have been making the most of things. We had a wonderful visit from Piero and Silvana and also caught up for an apèro with some aussie friends who came back into town. Last week we spent a fun afternoon ice skating outdoors. We also got the Christmas tree decorated and finished the letters to Father Christmas...

Jasper reading a book with Mamie Silvana

Jasper with eyes tight shut (his current photo pose)

Jasper venturing out on his own on real skates

Lily getting her groove back (its been a while)

Decorating the tree

Putting on the angel

How Christmassy is that front door?

Letters to Father Christmas

Monday, 30 November 2009

Snowy morning

There was heaps of snow falling when I dragged myself out of bed at 7am today. Just the thing to brighten a dreary Monday morning. Of course, its stopped now and will melt soon but I took some nice photos from the balcony anyway. I've been waiting for my first snowy morning in this apartment and it didn't disappoint!

The castle

Looking down the canal

Looking towards the lake

And yesterday...our last full english brekkie for a while (eating the last of the sausages David brought back from Brighton)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

A Christmas tradition

After watching the light show at the Mairie last night, we wandered home through the beautifully lit streets of the Old Town, to admire the fairy lights we've put on our balcony for the Christmas season (of which I forget to take a photo!)

The Carillon at the Mairie

Polar bears

Lights in rue Filaterie

The lights from our bedroom window (thankfully, we have shutters)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

La fête du Caïon

We had easy access to the pig festival this year as its in an adjoining street. I probably don't need to say again how much I love living in this area of town! We got downstairs early before the crowds were too bad - saw the pigs (including the enormous boar who is the subject of a weight-guessing competition), watched the apple pressing and bought some fresh juice, listened to a very cool band and had some vin chaud. Not a bad start to the weekend...

A birdseye view of the blood sausage makers from our bedroom window

Apple pressing

The big fella!


I cant believe its taken me almost 2 1/2 years to cook my first fondue. Quite disgraceful considering we live in the land of cheese. Anyway, after enjoying a very good fondue chez Stéphanie recently, I decided to try my own. Really not very difficult considering all I had to do was go to our normal cheese seller at the markets and tell him how many of us there were. He then gave me the correct amounts of the three cheeses (comté, beaufort and gruyère suisse) and the rest was easy. We even pulled out a family heirloom - the Giorgi family fondue set, complete with bright orange flowery pattern - and we were away! All up, a very yummy easy meal....