Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good News and Some Really Bad News from Leran

Dear Doug and Nancy

The Walking Group completed another expedition today, Wednesday 10 December. Over 20 of us, plus two of Fergus' four-legged friends, Gemma and Obie, set off from St Colombe sur l'Hers into the mist covered hills behind the village. A damp and chilly start soon turned into light snow that persisted until we emerged into clear air at the top of the ridge. There we were bogged down in some dreadful clinging mud - the boots belong to our Canadian team Peter, Angela and their visiting daughter Kate. Eventually we caught a glimpse of a lovely valley view to the east before completing our circle down to Rivel and back to St Colombe along the old railway track. Only six miles or so but enough to build good appetities, important because ...

... back in Léran we all sat down to a great pre-Christmas feast in the Bar. I expect that others will publish pictures of this event, keep an eye on Angela's blog. We toasted our 'Absent Friends'.

You will remember the derelict building opposite the bar that was covered in scaffolding all summer. It has now emerged as a beautifully restored house. In due course the ground floor will be the Mairie. You can see that the plane trees, providers of welcome shade in hot summer weather, have had their biennial pollarding. They look like long rows of abstract sculptures.

One sad note. Your near neighbour at 20 rue du Four, Jean-Pierre, died suddenly. Many of your friends here will miss his friendly conversations, his camera, his smelly old pipe and his willing help with translating things. He spoke French slowly and with a perfect Paris accent so that we could relatively easily understand his interesting points of view about everything around us.

A final snippet of news is that the popular Léran choir will give its first concert at the weekend, in the Bar. In only three practice sessions Alan Simmons has done an amazing job of coaching us into a surprisingly competent team - last week there were 27 enthusiastic participants including a good sprinkling of our French neighbours.

Have a good Christmas and New Year.

Julian and Gwenda

The new Mairie with the newly pollarded trees.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to the friends of Nancy and Doug for keeping the rest of us American bloggers advised of the goings on in Leran...I love seeing pictures of France again!

The luncheon menu for the walkers looked mouth is watering!

Joyeaux Noel! (I hope I spelled that correctly!)


North of Andorra said...

Lucas: I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comments. We know at least one person is out there and reading the blog. Thanks for your input and Merry Christmas to you.