Tuesday 30th December (not quite a January 2009 mumble but nearly!!!)

Another Christmas has come and gone. All the preparations that were made have
now all faded away and only the memories and a few photos that some of us
may want to forget!
We all know the real reason for Christmas and most of us have a good
understanding of the meaning of Christmas and then you get some smart chap
on the TV that says that Christ was born in October. So what are we to do?
We have a party anyway and follow the hype that has now come as a package.
It is a time when families get together and we eat talk and feel good for
the day.
I love Christmas and all it stands for and I can’t stand the bah humbug
brigade. And I’m really sorry if that is you.
Emma and Jack managed to get here from Guernsey but Bec and Jordan couldn’t
make it. We spent the day on the phone chatting to her and would have used
Skype but she dropped her computer the day before Christmas Eve and cracked
the screen. I think she said something along the lines of ” Bah Humbug”
The end of last week brought huge piles of snow, which has taken many hours
of clearing by our village team. The road to Perpignan was closed due a
number of reasons. Cars had tried to get up the hill without chains and had
got stuck and therefore abandoned.The snowploughs couldn’t get past the cars
to clear the road and so everything came to a halt. There was also an
avalanche risk so the authorities made the decision to close the whole
thing.
It is all open now but this morning has brought more snow.
The slopes in all the resorts are very busy and today has also brought high
winds, so skiers will stay lower down. The best time to come up should be
next week when most of the holidaymakers will have gone home Don’t forget the Snow shoeing trip which is being organised by Mike on the
11th of January. It should be great fun and hey you’ll also get the chance
to meet “The Mumbler” in person. She is making a guest appearance. at the
Grillade.
May I wish you and all your family and Very Happy and Peaceful New Year
TTFN .

Thursday 1st January

Happy New Year to everyone. May it be Peaceful and healthy to you all.
I read with delight on the forum “Memories” and realised just how much
people of a certain age have delightful memories of days gone by and how we
all seem to cherish things that are no more.
One of my little foibles is to try and remember sweeties that no longer are
for sale. What happened to Spangles? They just vanished along with that
lovely chocolate bar with the layers….was it Five Boys Chocolate? Why has
the chocolate changed round a Kit Kat? It really was the best part of a Kit
Kat, not the biscuit thing inside. The pleasure of nibbling of the chocolate
was a delight with a good cup of tea.
I suppose we must move on and look to the New Year. It started here well
last night with a magical torch light descent and firework display. As our
garden runs down the hill opposite the nursery slope we usually stay there
and have the best view ever. We invited a Guernsey family round and lit our
fire pit and had “The Grand View”
Every Thursday throughout the season the village puts on a display for the
tourists and “locals ” [not that I would ever call myself a local] It is
always exciting to see the torches sweep down the mountain like flowing
water . The Instructors start it off with large red torches and come down
the red run, which I don’t even do in daylight and then they meet up with
the children at the link of the green run and every one then sweeps to the
bottom of the nursery slope with a wonderful display of torches and a huge
cheer from the parents of the little ones who have been part of this
traditional mountain spectacle.
The day has dawned bright and clear and seems to be a good day for all.
Again Happy New Year
Jen

Thursday 8th January
Frozen Mumbles
The biggest question on most peoples lips up here is “Should I wear one vest
or two?” Well I personally think it should be three. It is cold enough up here
to freeze the hair off a marble slab.
I read with some amusement the chats
on the forum about snow flakes in Ceret etc and I think how lovely snow must
look from a distance. The delight in watching the flakes flutters gently to
the ground. The dash to get the camera and get some pics before it all
vanishes and no one believes a word you say about the “huge” fall of snow
you have just had.
Yesterday was one of the days when I envied you all down in the flat country
as I heaved my shoulder against a car to get it up the road. It was
around -12 and snowing like mad,no romance there then
Actually come to think of it there is not much romance in being cold at
all. Your nose is bright red and running,your eyes smart with the icy wind
and you look a complete fool with the hat you bought to keep your ears warm.
It’s weird how the hat you tried on in the shop and looked great somehow
becomes something reminiscent of a teacosy.
I wonder if anyone else still has boxes of unpacked things , brought from the
UK with the words of ” I can’t live without these”. I had a bit of a
clearance of a couple of five year old boxes this morning and after a
coughing fit and an attack of the sneezes with all the dust, I found that
there was nothing really important in either of them. In a small holdall
there were some quite nice handbags that I had forgotten about and a plastic
bag.
I opened the plastic bag thinking that again it must just be something else
I could live without and found to my great pleasure that it was a patchwork
quilt I had started to make with my Mum when I was thirteen. No, we never did
finish it and so now I have a project. It had started when I had the Chicken
Pox as something to do and was going to be an egg cosy but it just grew. It
grew into a cushion cover, then a small quilt then it lost it shape
somewhere and now it looks like a map of the UK. Oddly shaped and I’m blowed
at the minute if I know how to get it the shape of a bed.
Now I have to look out for some of cuts of cotton fabric to finish our work
of art. And I may even have to buy a bigger bed just to fit the quilt.
The sun is shinning today and the slopes look great. Not that I am going out
on them. Mike is the keen fresh snow skier – for me, er maybe next week.

Monday 12th January
Good grief, did anyone else see all those dreadful typos in the last
Mumble.? I do apologise. I must have been half asleep.
Yesterday was the Snowshoe walk and BBQ. The day dawned clear bright and
cold but an absolutely magic day for doing something in the middle of
winter, in the mountains.
Everything was planned in good time but unfortunately my young helper was
unwell and unable to help me. Fortunately the troops rallied and a phone
call was received from Ian [a friend from across the valley] who valiantly
offered to help me carry the BBQ things up the mountain. His daughter Shona
was the bread lady and did a sterling job of carrying the bread up in the
telecabin. Also displaying her wonderful skill at doing “Snow Angels”
We were lucky to get there early as we managed to nab the place on the
corner of the terrace with a fantastic views. There was no breeze and was
idyllic.
The group arrived after their snowshoe up the mountain and enjoyed their BBQ
lunch before descending to the Pla Del Mir via a different route. It was lovely to meet PO folks and readers of PO Life. And it was good see
everyone together.
Only last week we had a lovely chap [PO Life] staying with us. I won’t
mention your name but you know who you are Chris. What a delight to meet him
and we do look forward to meeting him again.
The one thing about doing what we do up her is that we do meet some lovely
people.
Yesterday I was asked about the chutneys and pickles that I make throughout
the year. I can either do a couple of things. I can send the recipes
(although some are made up as I go along and others I follow the ground
rules but with twists) or I am very happy to take orders as fruit and veg
becomes available.
Today I’m going to take it easy and wash the remnants of the BBQ off my
jumper. What a devil when the cook looks as though she is wearing your
lunch!
I’ll be ready to rumble,sorry mumble later in the week.
Jen

Monday 28th January
What on earth happened?
Saturday was a day that will not be forgotten.
Up here it started slowly and
I was pleased later that my friend Netta and here family had to get to
Toulouse airport in the morning and had left about 8am.We knew that the wind
was about to pick up and we thought we were prepared for high winds as
normal.
It was terrifying.
Slates, wood,small chalet offices,bins were all just
hurtling round the village. The air was full of pieces of debris making it
too dangerous to go out.Trees fell like matchsticks and just wiped out years
of wonderful growth. The small copse of trees at the bottom of our garden was
just blown away smashing the fir trees in half and uprooting others. It was
heart breaking.
The small roundabout for the children was torn to shreds and looks a sad
state today.
The villages have coped well trying to clear up and make repairs. Les
Angles and Formiguères have opened the stations on a small scale. Font Romeu
has half the station open. And I last heard that St Pierre del Forcat was
open fully.
All the equipment has to be checked and double checked for safety reasons
and I’m sure that most people are being understanding about the closures. It’s a weird feeling to write this today as I normally feel quite upbeat
and usually I find there is something crazy to chat about.
It seems inappropriate to think that there is anything remotely amusing
about losing your chimney or roof. Or in one case part of your business.
Things will settle down and by the weekend everything should be looking,on
the surface, as though nothing has happened.
Tonight it is snowing hard and the skiing should be good. I even skied myself
last week and found to my great amazement that I could still do it. And the
conditions were some of the best I have skied on.
I hope that all readers of my little Mumbles have not suffered too much
damage and distress over the last few days and I wish you well
Will Mumble soon
Jen

Thursday 29th January
Good morning people.
Just a quick mumble to say all seems to be going well up here in Les Angles
and surrounding area.
Just about all the lifts are now working and the weather is beautiful. My one hint to folks just coming up for a day of skiing is don’t come on a
Wednesday. Every child within Europe seemed to be here yesterday. I think I
am just jealous of the fact that they ski so effortlessly and I still potter
along looking at the scenery only to be blasted with fright as the little
herberts shoot past without a care in the world.
I heard through the grapevine that Perpignan airport was closed on Saturday.
A friend had gone to collect some friends, only to find the whole place
deserted. All locked up, the doors locked and not a soul or security man in
sight. How very weird.They had not even left a note. Not even the one that
says” Will the last man alive please turn the light out”.
The Marie Celeste all over again.
I do hope that you all got through the storms on Saturday safely and that
you didn’t have too much damage to your property. We lost part of the ridge
on the barn. And Mike being Mike climbed up and shuffled along to the far
end of the roof to fix it on Sunday. I didn’t watch as it looked far to
precarious and I never watch him climb anyway.So no change there then. Life here proceeds as normal
TTFN Jen


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