Christmas Newsletter for 2017

Hi folks, another year gone, happily we are still here! And, fit enough to wite a newsletter.

Last winter proved to be an unusually mild one. We had no snow and only a few frosty nights and clement temperatures and sunshine during the days, to the point where the mimosas started flowering in January and the wisteria was precocious in March. All good for the spirit! The early start helped Beryl to replan her garden and start a new flower bed next to the terrace, and populate it with blue and mauve flowers. This proved to be a good plan, as the bees were strongly attracted to the flowers (sage, society garlic, ), and were a lot of fun to watch, and it is only in the last week or so that the flowers have faded and cooler times have driven the bees back to their hives.

Our eldest grand-daughter, Anna delighted us by giving birth to a great-grand-daughter (Mia Francesca) on 7 April and backing it up with a variety of photos (see the Gallery on the website). Anna and her partner, Bailey, brought the baby over from Canada to France later in the year to show us.

Later in April we paid a flying visit to Bordighera across the border in Italy so that we could have a little break, visit the market and restock on Prosecco. We chose the wrong week as it suddenly went windy and cold which reduced the pleasure of being by the sea. Then, in June, we took another little trip to Alba again, to visit vineyards and taste wine, taking again the wonderful scenic alpine road via the Col de Tende. We stayed in a better hotel in Alba, which was fine, but the location was not so good and further away from the action, so we had to walk further!

Our next milestone was a visit by grand-daughter Julia from Kanata in July. She enjoys the pool very much and being July and therefore hot weather (up to 39C) did not disappoint. We visited a few places of interest and dined out a few times, and it was a most enjoyable visit. Julia had just finished at high school and will be going to college in Toronto in the fall. Overlapping with Julia was a visit by Beryl's sister Pam, and her friend Colin and daughter Sally. This proved to be fortuitous, as Sally and Julia got on well together and visited several places, including the Ste Maxime ferry to St Tropez and the town itself.

August brought us more visitors in the persons of Shawn, Paul and Camille, and as usual we had great time with some important business getting done, interspersed with eating and drinking and the odd visit and meal out. At the end of the month we were delighted to receive Anna and Bailey and baby Mia Francesca, now 4 months old. She was quite a delight, a happy and warm personality, slept well, rarely fussed, and enjoyed going in the pool with mama and papa, showing no fear of water at all.

In the fall, we took our final trip of the year to Italy to Camogli for a few days and stopping off at Bordighera on the way back for the market and booze top up stop at Ventimiglia. While at Camogli, we took the train to Vernazza, and enjoyed walking around the village (it is quite tiny) and a nice lunch overlooking the harbour.

Take a look at the Gallery photos to see some of the ityems mentioned above.

Warmest regards for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Alan and Beryl