A Stormy Christmas

We kicked off the Christmas season with a visit to Southwest England to see my boyfriend’s family. He is the biggest Christmas geek I know, so he was really excited to show me England in the Christmas spirit.

DSC_0030

The Plymouth Coast, beautiful in any seasonDSC_0029

And England was in the Christmas spirit. The city center had fake snow and twinkling lights galore. Smiling families posed inside a life-size snow globe to have their portrait taken. Most of our too-short visit was spent running around Christmas shopping and doing other errands, but we did take some time to go up to Exeter to see the Cathedral and the Christmas lights.

DSC_0016

Exeter’s picturesque city center

DSC_0012 DSC_0009 (1) DSC_0002 DSC_0005 (1)Just in front of the Cathedral we happened upon a beautiful Christmas market. DSC_0017DSC_0014DSC_0011

Our visit flew by and all too soon we were saying goodbye to Toby’s family, exchanging gifts to stash under the tree until Christmas day. By the time we got home to France, we were itching to decorate the house for Christmas. The first thing we did once we got off the ferry was to put up our Christmas tree and decorations, just in time for the arrival of my Mom and Dad from California.

DSC_0031 DSC_0035IMG_5353 IMG_5354 IMG_5358

Mom and Dad wearing the souvenirs we brought them from England

Mom and Dad wearing the souvenirs we brought them from England

My parents have bad luck with weather in Brittany. I know Brittany and rain are practically synonymous, but whenever my parents come the weather is exceptionally bad, even by Brittany standards. This Christmas period was no exception: during their visit we had maybe 2 sunny days, but the rest were gusty, rainy, stormy. We lost electricity several times throughout their stay, and running water as well. We didn’t have a white Christmas, but we certainly had a wet one. Small streams turned into small lakes, the canals overflowed, streets were shut down, friends’ houses flooded. Still some hamlets are without running water and electricity.

In France, in lieu of saying ‘It’s raining cats and dogs’, an expression the French find amusing albeit bizarre, they say il pleut des cordes (It’s raining ropes). At this point, Brittany has had more than enough cordes for one winter…

The calm before the storm

Waterfalls cropping up where they don't belong

Waterfalls cropping up where they don’t belong

An impromptu moat at the Chateau du Rohan in Pontivy where there hasn't been a moat in hundreds of years.

An impromptu moat at the Chateau du Rohan in Pontivy where there hasn’t been a moat in hundreds of years.

This weather is fit only for ducks (Thanks Mama for this photo)

Un temps pour les canards. This weather is fit only for ducks (Thanks Mama for this photo)

But without the rain, there would be no rainbows

But without the rain, there would be no rainbows

Despite being stuck in doors, we had a ball playing board games, playing music, drinking bottle after bottle of red wine and eating enough to hibernate, all by candlelight.

Christmas Dinner: Roast Turkey, Nut Loaf, Stuffing, Mashed Carrots and Turnip, Roast Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Brussels Sprouts, Apple Sauce, Cranberry Sauce, and Two Types of Gravy

Christmas Dinner: Roast Turkey, Nut Loaf, Stuffing, Mashed Carrots and Turnip, Roast Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Brussels Sprouts, Apple Sauce, Cranberry Sauce, and Two Types of Gravy

Dessert: Christmas Pudding  a la Toby's Mum with Clotted Cream

Dessert: Christmas Pudding a la Toby’s Mum with Clotted Cream

And when there was a brief respite from the rain, we would walk, walk, walk…photo 5IMG_5374   photo 3   photo 2   IMG_7543 IMG_7464All those storms made for some pretty righteous skies. IMG_5361IMG_5375IMG_5385One rainy day blended into the next, until suddenly, it was time for my parents to pack up and head back to California. I’ll never forget the Christmas it rained.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Happy events, Holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Stormy Christmas

  1. mike osmand says:

    Thanks caely i enjoyed reading that sorry to have missed you mum and dad.
    see you soon ozzy

  2. mac mccarter says:

    But we had the most relaxing vacation ever and what a treat to meld into the fabric of life in Silfiac. Fez Noz, Risk, Concerts, guitar lessons, stormy walks, windmills, a very hot stove, Shilah, Nanook, Kenny and Vicky, Galvan?sp, Warren, Dale, Etiene, great food, wine, laughs, and most of all Caely and Tobias, what great hosts!!!!!!!

  3. caelycate says:

    miss you guys, come back and meld into the fabric again! xxx

  4. Doreen says:

    I really enjoyed your Christmas story Caely. It was a very wet Christmas but despite it all we all manged to enjoy it. Ben really enjoyed meeting your parents and said he would have loved to have been able to talk to them some more, maybe the next time they visit? They are back in sunny California, unlike Rogers in Arkansas where we lived, they are experiencing extremely cold weather and the latest weather forcast it could soon find it’s way across the Atlantic, joy of joys. See you Sunday hopefully?

  5. Carol Singleton says:

    What a great story, I loved it and the photo’s are great time. I’m glad your mum and dad had a good time despite the weather.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s