Another year gone with ever increasing rapidity! Where did it go, I'm sure we all ask ourselves.
Ours has been busy and eventful, weddings, births, deaths, even more health issues, but mainly enjoyable yet again with our constant stream of wonderful guests into our B&B.
People come from all over the world to stay in Normandy and luckily for us our accommodation suits a lot of them. We have met more lovely people, had laughs, fun, drinks (of course) and shared our cultures and experiences.
Not only have we had lovely paying guests but lots of friends from the UK and further a field who come and spend a few days at a time. It's the best part of having a big house! Teresa and Andy were the surprise visitors after not having seen each other for 10 years!
in 2020 are looking forward to seeing another group of friends form Australia and the UK, a couple of whom we have not seen for more than 16 years!
We still have Workawayers come to help from spring until winter mainly in the garden as, as we are aging, it's all becoming a bit too much for us.
We decided to cut down the work in the garden this year and let all the sloping banks grow wild nd only cut the flat areas. It was wonderful, don't know why we hadn't done it before. the long grasses and wild flowers encouraged bees and butterflies and all kinds of insects. We also planted a whole strip of wildflowers where we would normally have had dahlias. That was a spectacular display of beautiful colours and species and equally attracted all the little beasties. Geoff reduced the size of the vegetable patch by half and created raised beds, which not only looks lovely, but is so much easier to manage. And actually we had about the same crop of veg. (Brussel sprouts have been frosted and in time for Christmas).
During the year we worked slowly on the area of the house which had not been touched in the 11 years we have been here. We have created another ensuite bedroom giving us six! It was a labour of love and undoubtedly the best room we, actually Geoff almost single handed, have built, certainly the best bathroom. It just has to be furnished and will probably become the master bedroom.
We also started renovating a very derelict Gypsy caravan we acquired 3 years ago. The weather turned cold and it wasn't possible to finish it, but come spring we'll be out there again. I just love doing all the lovely decorative work, have bought the essential sign writing tools and will start the detail in warmer weather.
And the most important thing we did was to welcome our new puppy Loupie into our home. She's a medium German Spitz and adorable, now we have two adorable dogs. Loupie got her name because a French neighbour, seeing her for the first time at 4 months, said she looked like "un petit Loup", Loup is the word for wolf in French, so it seemed a silly appropriate name for this beautiful little fluff ball. To date she is eight and half months old and has just about stopped growing. Freddie was nonplussed by her at first and regarded her as an irritant, but now they are great friends and play beautifully together, except when she steals his frisbee and runs away with it.
Well, that's just a simple precis of our year and we are looking forward to 2020 to entertaining all those who wish to visit our lovely home, new guests, old guests, current friends and hopefully new friends!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New year, despite the crazy politics going on all over the world.
Just remember to love each other, be kind and thoughtful and take care of our fragile planet.