Sunday, 9 December 2012

Poitiers prepares for Christmas

Later than the UK or the US, but still well in advance of Christmas, the towns and villages in our area are ramping up for Christmas. The first sign is often the enormous displays of chocolate in the supermarkets. On entering you are often confronted with rank upon rank of snazzy boxes.

In our village the decorations were going up on Friday. These consist of frameworks of lights which are clamped to alternate lamposts. During the day they look hideous, but in the dark they are actually quite nice. In previous years lights have been strung along the doorway and facade of the church. So far these haven't gone up yet. We hope they do, because they make the church look very pretty after dark, framing the Renaissance features.
Poitiers' Hotel de Ville
In Poitiers, we saw they were setting up the Christmas Market on the Place du Maréchal Philippe Le Clerc. The facade of the Hotel de Ville, a very imposing typically French ediface, is now somewhat obscured by the most amazing Belle Epoque [1903] double tiered merry-go-round. We've always had a soft spot for these things. As children we both loved riding on them and the time spent - in Antoinette's case - selecting just the right horse took ages and was probably more than 1/2 the fun. Sadly we didn't see it in action!
Belle Epoque Carousel
In our house the Advent calendar, which we wrote about last year, is back on the dower chest. We've begun to assemble the odd Christmas decoration or two and made sure that Christmas cards for the US, which still go by snail mail, were sent out in time. This week we'll buy a tree.
Prepping a Christmas market stall--is it the wares or the man that caught her interest?
They say some distinctly cold weather is in the offing. Up 'til now it has, barring the odd frosty morning, been mild. In fact, the fuschia in the window box of Niall's study is still flowering! Admittedly it is south facing, but even so it feels a little 'odd' when it has been officially winter for a while.

14 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Yes, I have noticed here over the past week that decorations are going up all over the place. I cannot understand the places overseas who now seem to start Christmas at the beginning of October! We are off to Casablanca over Christmas so hopefully we may see some sun :-)
Keep well. Diane and Nigel

Perpetua said...

Christmas lights and decorations are all over the towns near us too, but thankfully didn't go up anywhere near as early as the shops' decorations.

I love the pictures of the Christmas market and the carousel and your header photo is gorgeous. Our weather is forecast to get much colder from tomorrow with perhaps even our first snow on Thursdayo

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - enjoy your sun :-) We're staying put here.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - thanks! photo is from February this year. I'd love a proper snowfall Christmas!

Poitiers is bit far for a visit in the evening. Which is a shame as we'd love to see the carousel all lit up and running.

GaynorB said...

May your Christmas wish - for the snowfall, come true.

Ours too ... :o) x

ladybird said...

I think I'll put up my tree next weekend. I have my cousins coming over to go Christmas shopping at Stonemanor (of all places :))!) and the mini tree may just add that extra touch. Enjoy your Christmas preparations! Martine

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - well the forecast is for cold weather so who knows? The east of France had snow last week, there were even orange warnings for some depts.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Martine - love Christmas so preparing won't be a hardship :-) And now the semester's finished life is a little less hectic.

Jean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jean said...

Ops, getting trigger happy again...

I bet it all looks beautiful and jolly - wish we could be there but sadly we are at home this year.

I love the header photo !!

Jean said...

I meant OOPS of course !
I think I need another coffee !!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean - LOL! what would we do without coffee!? :-)
It is a thing I dislike about Blogger there is no opportunity to go and edit if you spot typos once you've posted.

the cuby poet said...

We have lights of all kind, a robin on the antique shop, Christmas trees at 45 degrees on alternate houses along the main street.strings of lights all through the village. It is so good there is even a Chris lights committee. This is a real village with community spirit. A lantern procession, carols round the tree in the square, two craft fairs already and more to look forward to. Á great village to live in but no carousel. Your photos and descriptions are a joy to look at and read.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Cuby - gosh! Our village is definitely low key. Understandable with only 502 people in the whole of the parish:- a large rural one.