Panier of Plenty

December 2016

Welcome to the visual diary for December

3rd December. With the sudden chill and heavy frosts, Christmas has arrived (almost overnight) in the centre of town. Windows are filled with festive snow scenes and it is time to seek comfort indoors, after a brisk saturday morning market.

From the forest

From the forest

Holly wreath

Holly wreath

The salon

The salon

Branches, living in water

Branches, living in water

Old lamp fitting

Old lamp fitting

Chandelier star

Chandelier star

In progress...

In progress…

6th December. Our home is now decorated with holly and living branches from the forest. The ‘tree’ is an arrangement in a vase, with decorations given to us by dear friends, and chandelier crystals. As snow falls at altitude, we are gradually entering into the spirit of Noël and starting to create offerings…

Tuesday 6th December

Tuesday 6th December

Fresh snow overnight

Fresh snow

Trees almost bare

Trees almost bare

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Up in the hills...

Up in the hills…

Morning light, Canigou

Morning light, Canigou

Pierre Brune exhibition

Pierre Brune exhibition

Little Christmas sablés: vanilla, orange and cinnamon…

Dozens of stars

Dozens of stars

Céret at dusk

Céret at dusk

Sunday 18th December. There is a lively Christmas market, a ‘Foire Gras’, in the center of town and a ‘Foire Foraine’ with flashing lights, music and bright attractions in the square at the end of the road. As I stop to question ‘what I could buy to bring pleasure?’ I realise there is nothing I need.

When I searched for an answer to ‘what do I feel like doing?’, it came immediately. I walked up into the surrounding hills… straight from home on foot. Just across the historic heart of town and up the road that leads to Fontfrède, I found a small track to the Col de Boussells and inhaled the earthy smell of damp leaves. The air was crisp, with droplets of melted frost still on the grass. A horse called to me as I stopped to pat his companion and to greet chickens. I sat on a moss-covered rock, high up on the side of a ravine, absorbing the warm rays of the winter sun as water cascaded below. As the afternoon advanced, I watched the light deepen with my descent, looking towards the majestic Albères and the Mediterranean coast. Surely, the best things in life are free…

Passing stone walls

Passing stone walls

Making a new friend

Making a new friend

View from the Col

View from the Col

Sun sinking behind mountains

Sun sinking behind mountains

Passing oaks and fields

Passing oaks and fields

Christmas colours

Christmas colours

Towards le Ventous

Towards le Ventous

Les Albères

Les Albères

Céret, dusk

Céret, dusk

Crossing a stream

Crossing a stream

View to les Capucins

View to les Capucins

Monday 19th December. A cool humid day with rare condensation on all the single-glazed panes…

My bureau

My bureau

The terrace window

The terrace window

22nd December. Midwinter…

Kaki tree

Kaki tree

Fresh snow on Canigou

Fresh snow on Canigou

Collecting kindling

Collecting kindling

Walking, above Arles-sur-Tech

Walking, above Arles-sur-Tech

26th December. Off on a picnic, the Col de Boussells…

By the path

By the path

Autumn colours

Autumn colours still dominate

Canigou

Canigou

The ridge above

The ridge above

The Mediterranean coast

The Mediterranean coast

Les Albères

Les Albères

Winter light

Winter light

Passing chickens

Passing chickens

Talking to us

Talking to us

A river crossing

Crossing the stream

Down the road to Céret

Down the road to Céret

Admiring the changing view

Admiring the changing view

Nearing town...

Nearing town…

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