Monday, December 19, 2011

December in the Auvergne - home stretch!

Thank goodness for the weekend! Just as the Latvian Christmas carol sings Man atnāca Ziemassvētki, Visi darbi nedarīti: Ne krekliņi man mazgāti, Ne nāteles balinātas (Christmas came for me with all the chores undone: the shirts unwashed and the nāteles unbleached), there are many thing yet to be done before Christmas!

We were able to accomplish several things this weekend, the biggest of which was finishing gift wrapping and packing for those gifts to be sent off to family across the Atlantic. Hopefully these presents will not arrive too late!

Putting the final touches on the tree

Sunday morning came the first snow of the season. Puy de Dôme received its first dusting almost a week ago, and although nothing stuck from this morning’s precipitation, it was a nice change from the weather of the last couple of days.

In the south of France they have the Mistral; a regional wind, which usually blows during the winter and spring, lasts one or two days (or sometimes more than a week) and can reach speeds of more than ninety kilometers an hour. What we had Thursday and Friday was something else! Supposedly reaching speeds of over 120 km/hour, I was naïve enough to venture outside and was rewarded with rain in the face and a scare that I would be hit by shingles or panes of glass that were raining down across the city. The Clermont-Ferrand airport was closed, train service discontinued due to downed trees and power lines, and perhaps the saddest result of all, the top of the grand Christmas tree on Place de Jaude was snapped off…

Another item checked off our to-do list was a visit to see Santa. Last year Lauris paid a visit to Ziemassvētku vecītis in Latvija, with many tears and quite a bit of crying being the result. This year was not much different. Lauris was calm as we approached a short and skinny version of Santa in the Place de Jaude mall, and we spent ten minutes watching other children sitting on his lap having their pictures taken. But once it was his turn the previously mentioned waterworks ensued, and the only picture we were able to get of this year’s visit was one with Santa, a teary but well-dressed Lauris, and a disheveled and tired 7 months pregnant mom.

Wishing everyone a productive yet enjoyable last week before Chistmas!


  1. Oh that wind sound fierce! I hope it doesn't come back... I'm making my way up to Auvergne on Friday and I could do without the car being blown off the road!
    Happy holidays to you! Hope it's a lovely one :-)

  2. We took Nathan to see Santa on Saturday at Jaude and had a similar result! ;)

  3. Bless your heart, you sound just like my 7 months pregnant daughter! That must have been some storm to snap off the top of that tree. I think we all have Christmas pictures with Santa and crying children.


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