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Merry Christmas from the middle of nowhere France

Hope you had a great week.

Here Christmas is in full swing – quite literally as its been very windy and the inflated Father Christmases that everyone seems to love so much here are blowing in the gales. They hang from gutters, chimneys and windows, some are life-sized, some less so. They’re very odd, I think they look like peeping toms leering or burglars lurking; with these gales they sway wildly, bumping against the windows and doors in a freaky dance.

Down at the local bar it’s rather more festive than usual. Arnaud the owner has, it is rumoured, a new girlfriend. He is not a man who is prone to wanton spending and is said to enjoy counting his centimes fondly.

His mother moved from this far northern region and now lives in the Haute Savoie region and is visiting for New Year and, as it is her 70th in January, Arnaud is throwing her a party. He has decorated the bar in advance of the big night.

Normally it’s a rather minimalist place, dark wooden tables and chairs, dark wooden bar, black and white photos of unknown vintage boxers on the walls. When I say it now looks like the love child of Liberace and Andy Warhol has run amok with glitter, fake snow and shiny paper, whilst under the influence of mind altering drugs, that is an understatement.

C’est psychédélique” say the regulars, they are convinced that this show of motherly love is to prove to the new girlfriend that he isn’t a total meanie with the money. It must be love, we’re all agreed.

Everyone who goes into the bar emerges sparkling, as glitter and sprinkles swirl about every time the door is opened. Instead of putting drinks on top of coasters, it’s the other way around now, as everyone tries to keep the glitter out of their wine.

Wishing you a sparkling, glittering, twinkling Christmas wherever you are.

Bisous from France,

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