New Year

My lovely quilty friends are firing up blog posts about good resolutions and retrospective kaleidoscopes showing all the amazing things they have made last year. So inspiring! I certainly haven’t got round to that yet (if ever…), but have been storing up energy for the next term instead for a few days.

We took our usual back-to-the-past holiday up a mountain in the place Miss R, in her impeccable seven-year-old vocabulary, describes as “simply so lovely because it’s so rustic”. This translates into high maintenance winter rural life — i.e. remembering to put a log on the fire every 20 minutes unless you are planning to freeze. But it is such a wonderful antidote to urban life. We are so terribly lucky. No running water, only filtered rain. No bathroom, only a large yellow bucket. No mod cons, no internet, no blogs, nothing but pure mountain bliss. A tiny space to make us all happily cramped together.

As an added bonus, New Year saw fresh snow. It was stupendous while it lasted.

New year 20141The view is unbeatable, even if living on a terribly steep rock cliff might not be everyone’s choice of place for raising small children… Two meters of gravelly terrace, then a cliff.

New year 20142That highest peak in the distance is Mont Blanc, and the sea of fog hides the Lac Léman. A better view is hard to find. But then the clouds moved in, and the rain rain rain started.

New year 20143It simply poured and poured and poured. Sledging became one big slushy mess. We retreated back to the warmth, as long as we remembered to put the logs on this old lady…

New year 2014b1Splendid, isn’t she? The space for logs (top lefthand door) is pretty tiny, and only holds small logs, so we need to keep her regularly stoked up. But the chalet is so tiny, this heats us all we need.

Our water, in a large tank holding rain off the roof, is pumped up to the single room with this old pump. She squeaks and leaks a little, but does the job. The white cylinder on the right is our water filter. We’ve never had the resulting water tested (should we?), but we all drink it without apparent harm.

New year 2014b2When we bought this chalet a few years ago, it came with its contents almost intact. An old woman had died; the children couldn’t agree on what to do with it. We gratefully took on much of it. The little sewing box, with much inside, was a particular treasure.

New year 2014b3I have used much of it in my own daily sewing. I think of her old fingers, obviously hoarding yet no longer using her threads, needles, scissors. I’m using them for her.

New year 2014b4When the rain really poured, we spent a happy morning inside, sitting round the table, assembling these two happy chaps from lovely packs given to the children for Christmas. It was the perfect rainy winter activity! I even (almost) followed the instructions, including the daft requirement to paint terracotta pots… in terracotta red paint. (Ms E, are you proud of me?)

New year 20144Little Master A decided that his Father Christmas didn’t have at all enough pom-poms on his hat — and I was totally enclined to agree with him — so he ended up with rather more. My sort of boy!

Happy New Year to you all, and may we all get all the creative time we wish for! Oh, any maybe just a little more snow? JJ

About pragmaticpatchwork

Academic and quilter
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2 Responses to New Year

  1. Actually, Francine, it’s not as bad as my sentence may have suggested: there IS a loo which ends up in a pit, so is flushed with jugs of rainwater, and doesn’t smell. The bucket is the bathtub! Only one member of the family still fits IN it! xx JJ

  2. Francine says:

    Wow, the scenery around your chalet is breathtaking though I almost had to stop reading when I got to the “yellow bucket.” lol Hope you got lots of rest & recharging!

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