Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A different kind of Christmas ...

Christmas will be a bit different this year, as for the first time in nearly 26 years we will not see either Rhiannon or Tom on Christmas Day.

One of the few recent photographs we have of Rhiannon and Tom together, taken at the Chateau Impney on my 50th birthday. They both look very different now!

It’s not like we have a set routine at Christmas. In the early days Christmas was spent Wales with my parents, or they travelled up to Staffordshire. Tim’s parents would always come on Boxing Day. As the children got older we spent Christmas in Chatel, Haute Savoie skiing with our great friends Anne, Steve and their children.

One memorable Christmas there was a hurricane on Christmas day. All of the ski lifts closed and we marvelled at the roof being blown off a nearby chalet, until we looked down and saw the ski box blow off the roof of our car, never to be seen again!! Christmas lunch was often a baguette or bolognaise on the mountain, and we had our special meal in the evening. Those were wonderful times …

As the children got even older they didn’t want to go away at Christmas as the pull of their friends became stronger. My parents and Tim’s parents died (three of them within a year) and we spent some quieter times at home. I come from a small family, and only my brother and an uncle are left.  

In all of the years when we had our own apartment in Thollon, we didn’t ever visit at Christmas.

The view over Thollon and Lac Leman from the top of the telecabine.

Rhiannon will be spending Christmas with her partner Ben, and his parents visiting his grandparents and family in Southport. They will, I know, have a wonderful time celebrating together as a family. Sally, Ben’s mum, is particularly looking forward to having her three children and their partners all together. I know there are plans to take their dogs Maisie and Lucy for a long walk on the beach.

Tom will be spending Christmas travelling with his girlfriend Meg and international students from the University of Colorado. They will ski at Brekenridge and Copper Mountain, party in Florida, visit a friend in North Carolina, and do what young people do in Washington, New York, Boston and Chicago.

My brother will be spending Christmas with his wife Caireen with her brother and parents in Montreal, and my uncle (who’s wife died earlier this year) is visiting Australia and New Zealand.

So what are we doing this Christmas? We are renting an apartment just down the road from the one we sold almost exactly two years ago!! I’m looking forward to visiting Thollon again as I really miss the mountain environment. I’m told that the snow is a bit late this year, but there is nothing better than fresh powder snow! I haven't quite mastered the technique of skiing through powder but Tim loves it.


  1. Have fun!
    All the best for Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.

    WV is "ripsyge".... sounds like a way of descending a mountain to me!!

  2. Sure you will have fun, hope there is no storm this year! We are just two this year so it will be a quiet one in our French home. We wish you both all you wish yourselves. Diane

  3. Tim and Pauline,


    Happy Christmas ...

  4. Diane,

    Thank you! All the best to you and Nigel.

  5. You should come to Southport yourself -- we could have tea! Those mountains look so beautiful and inviting in the snow -- I do miss it, especially at Christmas -- in the 30 years I've lived in Southport last year was the first Christmas that was white!

  6. Broad,

    Maybe one day we will ...

    Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2012

  7. Beautiful mountains you look like you are enjoying yourselves. wow your kids get around especially your son. Is he visitng all those place over Christmas break? Have a great Christmas, and a Happy New Year too. See you in blogland next year!

  8. Hi Jane,

    Happy Christmas to you and your family.

    Tom has about five weeks in total for travel partly because he has to be out of his University dorms for this period.

    Best wishes

  9. Have a wonderful Christmas going up and down the mountains. I'll keep the home fires burning in Staffordshire and hope that any snow destined for here comes straight over to you!

  10. Hi Mandy,
    Just make sure that you do!
    Have a good Christmas. Are you doing anything special?