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The 23rd was a long day of painting for the painter on which he completed a canvas of a blue tin we found in Isle sur La Sorgue, an old hand whittled wooden spoon inherited from our old landlady in Crillon le Brave, Madame Bellon, and one of Madame Bellon’s daughter’s chicken’s brown eggs.

bellon spoon.jpg

Then, on the 24th, after our traditional visit to Les Halles in Avignon, here’s how the feasting began:

Six Utah Beach oysters (shells conserved in case inspiration hits) with shallots and red wine vinegar, rye bread with very sea-salty butter.


Grilled bumper prawns will garlic (shells conserved for the fish stock)


John Dory with wild mushrooms, saffron sauce based on fish stock, pommes fondants served with a my cello student’s Condrieu


chocolate covered figs.


Christmas day started with some celtic carols, champagne and the egg (from Madame Bellon’s chickens) in the painting plus another three in scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and bucks fizz. Then came a mammoth afternoon of book design, grappling with baseline grids that refused to shift and fonts that mysteriously ran away from our computer screens, followed by:

Scallops Proven�al accompanied by a glass of Apostoles pale cortado viejo sherry brought back from my teaching trip to Andalucia


Roast partridge with (more I’m afraid, at the tail end of the season we can’t get enough of them) trompettes de mort, chanterelles and pieds du mouton mushrooms, a delectable sauce made from all sorts of bones and Mireille’s apricot jam, potato gratin and buttered cabbage. Accompanied by a St Cosme 1999 Gigondas


panettone bread pudding with prunes and armagnac

Is there time for a quick diet before New Year when we have eight to lunch? Oh dear, no, there is still foie gras in the fridge and that cheese platter we were too full to eat……***

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Happy New Year Ruth and Julian
May your year be filled with joy and laughter
and many paintings, much music and good friendship

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