Christmas might be over in the UK, but not here in France.
Driving to Travis's birthday party last night - the dress code was 'summer' and he'd decorated the sitting room with a lilo and a big parasol suspended from the ceiling - several villages (and houses) still had their twinkly lights and Christmas trees up.
I like that about France - the fact that they are in no hurry for the party to end.
But it was a little surreal to see fellow guests dressed in shorts, sundresses, floppy hats and leopard-print chiffon. The people in Travis's village are a game and likeable bunch and it was a very enjoyable evening (a sort of rural French version of Bridget Jones's Tarts & Vicars party.)
Meanwhile, I have given myself a late (and life-changing) Christmas present. On Saturday I bought .....A DISHWASHER.
There isn't really space in my dolls-house size kitchen, which is why one hasn't been already installed. But after calculating the horrifying number of hours that I spend at the kitchen sink - and following a conversation with my trusty plumber Monsieur Artus on Friday - I decided that space had to be created somehow, even if it meant losing the only kitchen cupboard.
The dishwasher will be plumbed in next Monday and I just cannot wait. Never again will I go downstairs to be be greeted by a mound of washing up in the morning. And never again will it take a week to clear up after a dinner party.