Sunday 3 January 2021

Project 366 : Photo diary week 52

 We finally made it to the end of 2020 and thank goodness for that ! It wasn't that bad for us as a family to be honest - none of us fell ill and I was working (and therefore getting paid) all the way through, which was better than many people out there. But it was all just a bit depressing, living with constant worry, for example on the buses when people get on with their mask around their chin or in the street when they walk really close to you, and living with lockdown and home-schooling (and home-teaching !). I took some time offline over Christmas, just chilling out, spending time with the kids and slobbing out - much needed and I now feel ready to go back to work. Here was our final week of the year 2020. I'm taking a break from #Project365 for a while - there seems to be nothing going on, apart from non-stop work at the moment. Maybe I'll come back to it when coronavirus is a distant memory and we have time to actually get out and live a little again ! Here are our final photos of the year.

Our town (St Pol sur Mer) decided to put on some Christmas activities for the kids - not on the same scale as usual but there were some people dressed up as cartoon characters alongside a big Christmas tree and a postbox to Santa. In Dunkerque (the main town), there was no big wheel, free skating rink or Christmas market this year, but they did decorate the town hall with a special Santa world that you could visit, as long as you signed up in advance (80 people at a time).

After a couple more visits to the town centre shops and some last minute deliveries from the postman, our stash of presents under the Christmas tree was complete - phew !

Despite living in a country that opens its presents on the 24th in the evening, I was a rotten mum who made the kids wait until the 25th in the morning ! They didn't mind though and, to make things last a bit longer, I did let them open their stockings before bed. After giving out all the presents, we had one happy face ...

Two happy faces ...

Three happy faces ! Phew !

Turkey isn't a traditional Christmas meal in France. It is one option but not a very common one, with most people opting for a seafood starter (maybe smoked salmon or scallops) or a foie gras rich duck liver pâté, then a gamey type of meat for main course (maybe wild boar or deer, with ostrich and kangaroo more recent options), followed by cheese, then an ice cream or cake (or both!) yule log. I did find some turkeys in our big local supermarket but they had a use-by date of the 23rd. Finally, a few days before Christmas, I found a turkey in Lidl - yippee ! They only had about four so it was sheer luck that I managed to nab one ! I couldn't find anything for making pigs in blankets though - no mini sausages and no bacon ! - but never mind. Christmas dinner was a success.

This was our Christmas dessert ... but we didn't eat it until the evening as we were all stuffed ! Vanilla and raspberry ice cream yule log. A lighter option than the usual Christmas pudding !

Our Christmas leftovers didn't seem to last long at all. I put most of the leftover roast potatoes, veg and turkey in a pie with some gravy for Boxing Day.

I managed to throw together a turkey stir-fry too, but the rest disappeared in turkey sandwiches, which the kids couldn't get enough of ! Two days later, it was all gone !

For New Year's Eve, we opted for an apéritif - this is usually eaten along with drinks, before sitting down for another huge meal. We decided to have an apéritif as our meal though, which was perfect after all the heavy eating. Plus there was ice cream yule log left over for dessert.

We'd stocked up on Malibu, cherry beer and alcohol-free kids' champagne, so there was plenty to drink too !

Apart from that, we've been chilling out and going to the beach for some fresh air.

We've been taking the bus down to the far end of the beach which, as you can see, has plenty of space for everyone. There are lots of other people about but they're those dots in the distance so there's no worrying about being too close to others.

There were even some people riding their horses along the beach.

We went for a look at the mirror-covered bunker. It was made into a graffiti-style piece of artwork - the anonymous artist (who eventually made himself known) never asked for permission before covering one of the bunkers in shards of broken mirror. It was a big hit with the locals so, when he announced that he was giving up on reinstalling the pieces of glass (and the costs of glue), the council said they'd take over. At this point, he said he wanted payment for his "work". I'm not sure what they decided in the end, or maybe it's still going through the courts.

I even managed to find the time to write a review this week and this is the review that best sums up 2020 in my opinion. Kawaii style face masks ! 

Well, that was 2020. We made it ! Fingers crossed that 2021 will turn out to be happier and safer for us all.

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  1. 2020 was a rubbish year and to be honest this one isn't looking much better at the moment. More uncertinty about the schools and cases are rising massively. Ugh.
    It's been lovely reading you posts and I do hope you come back to Project 365 one day.
    It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. We opened some of the presents on Christmas eve, simply because I couldn't wait any longer and the rest on Christmas day.
    It is interesting reading about how hard it was for you to find a turkey. It does sound like the dinner was a success though.
    Wishing you all the best for 2021 x

  2. Looks like Christmas was good, and nice to be able to get hold of turkey. You can't beat that for leftovers either. Ours lasted 2 days too although we put some in the freezer for pie another time. Happy 2021

  3. Glad you managed to get a turkey and it sounds like Christmas dinner went really well. I had no idea that you normally open presents on the 24th. We make the boys wait throughout the day on Christmas Day (so mean lol). The bunker looks good, bit cheeky to ask for payment afterwards!

  4. I love the people dressed up as cartoon characters. Glad you managed to find a turkey – I didn’t know that it wasn’t part of a traditional Christmas dinner in France. Love the look of the vanilla and raspberry ice cream yule log – much nicer than Christmas pudding! Always nice when the leftovers get eaten up quickly. Lovely to get out for some walks on the beach too. Happy new year to you all and hope that 2021 will be a better one. #project365

  5. Wishing you and your family a very happy new year

  6. Glad you were altogether for Christmas and it looks like you've had a lovely time with some great food and very relaxing indeed

  7. Happy new year, how different things are in France! Hope to see you again in #project365 some time next year

  8. Will miss your updates but totally understandable, I am finding it harder now with homeschooling and being confined to the house. We don't have much to write about anymore. Lovely to see the kids happy faces with their presents. I am a big fan of turkey sandwiches too, bet your pie tasted fab too!

  9. Happy new year, Cheryl! I appreciate your reasons for not keeping the Project 365 going on your blog, but hope you might re-consider after a break. I have enjoyed reading your life updates. Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas with your guys. Turkey is not a Christmas meal in Russia, I imagine it would be tricky to find one too. The frozen dessert looks so tasty. Are the turkey sandwiches made with peanut butter? The horses on the beach made me think of our trip to Cornwall many years ago, when Sasha was riding a horse on the beach. It was such a special moment.


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