We’re back

6 January 2010

We’re back in Lyon, ready to face 2010 with all the pleasures, pains and surprises it may hold for us. We had a really good time in Germany, only, as usual, it went all too quickly. After spending Christmas eve in Lyon where we actually made it to a beautiful family service in one of the churches in town, we had our traditional potato salad-smoked mackerel-then one song – and -rip open your presents- evening. It was good fun but I was knackered afterwards, it’s always a lot of work that goes into this one evening. Quite excitedly we set out the next day and braved the long journey to see Rolf’s family in Bochum. It was nice not to have to rush to the Eurotunnel, but instead being able to leave in our own time. Besides, with this year’s weather, we probably would not have made from Britain to Germany anyway… we actually arrived in Bochum a bit quicker than expected, within a good eight hours: the weather was kind and the roads were clear.

After spending Christmas with both our families and eating way too much as usual, we went to Aachen to celebrate New Year’s Eve with our friends there. It was a lovely night, they are such welcoming and friendly people and, as an added bonus, one of their daughters is roughly Lucy’s age and just as mad about ponies. So Lucy’s night was sorted, they had a fab pony-themed time. Me on the other hand, I started feeling rotten as the night went on and that was neither due to excessive food nor alcohol consumption as one might expect, but to a nasty throat infection. I ended up shivering like mad and with a rising temperature, so while everybody else was enjoying the fireworks in the snow at midnight, I stayed indoors in front of the fireplace, the only place were I felt warm and relatively comfortable. Luckily I am now feeling a lot better, albeit a bit tired still. Rolf has been absolutely marvellous, despite being still snowed under with work he has managed to look after me too.  And now that I am on the road to recovery, he is diving into his work again and Linus has caught the same disease. Great. He had one day at school and is now off again, with a temperature, fatigue and painful swelling of his lymphnodes. I am actually now taking him to the doctor’s today, as I am getting a bit worried about his health. He was ill for two weeks before Christmas and since then has had very little appetite and now he is ill yet again. If anybody in our family does not need to lose weight it’s Linus – he is so skinny already. It’s our first appointment with a solely French speaking doctor and I am pretty out of practice after the holidays, so it shall be interesting ;). When I rang this morning though, I was pleasantly surprised by his answerphone message. He spoke very clearly and at a speed that was easily understandable even for me. Let’s hope he is a naturally slow speaker and I will be able to communicate tonight when I take Linus.

Lucy is fit as a fiddle and couldn’t wait to go back to school to see her friends. So at least one of the Heckemann family here in Lyon is happy, healthy and exuberant :). She surely enjoys life, that girl.

I had a long email from Sabine this morning. Thank you for that! It was really nice to read about your Christmas and I went straight out to buy a Galette des Rois, which, as Sabine told me, is a cake typically eaten in France on the 6th of January. The Galette des Rois or Cake of the Kings, commemorates Twelfth Night when the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts for baby Jesus. A single porcelain fève (charm) is hidden in each galette and whoever finds it while eating the cake will get to wear the golden crown that comes with the cake. I will gladly adopt this custom, the cake looks yummy :). And we will eat it tonight when Rolf comes back from work. If I can keep Lucy off it for long enough, that is.

Apart from that, we are happy to be back in our flat, it’s nice to sleep in your own bed again after being away (and if this sounds middle-aged, that’s okay with me… Next Christmas I might even ask for an electric blanket and a pink bed cardigan like my grandma  used to wear… I need a bit of warmth at night 🙂   ). France itself is still pretty alien to me, mostly because of the language barrier, I just don’t understand the culture yet. But it was good to be in Germany, it just made me aware that with all that is going on there, we might just as well live in France. Lots of things seem to be similar and I would rather live here I think and go skiing or snow walking hopefully soon, once we all have recovered.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and good start to the year, with not too many New Year’s resolutions to be broken (I haven’t got a single one, so I feel quite carefree this January 🙂  ) , take care my dears, we’ll be posting again soon.

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