I 'm back in the village, after being away since November 23. I returned January 1, so was in the air for New Year's Eve, wherever that occurred. I was on Air France, so got a glass of champagne earlier in the day (complimentary of course). The flight was fine, I slept through a lot of it, in spite of the fact that I had to hold the dog carrier with my new chihuahua (Churro) in it as he became agitated on the floor and tore holes in the carrier. He's the darker one in the photo, the other one is Nacho.
Prior to arriving in the US on Nov. 28, I spent five days in Paris with my friends Jean Pierre and Ellen, enjoying Paris. Did a little shopping, a lot of eating, and one day we went to the new Museum of World War I (http://www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu/ and https://francetoday.com/articles/2011/11/14/meaux_s_new_museum.html). It was fascinating, as it covered the reasons behind the war, what had been going on in Europe, etc.
After arriving in San Diego, I went to Portland to visit my aunt (age 95) and cousins for five days. It was a very good visit, I enjoyed it very much and it went by quickly.
Back in San Diego, at Rob and Mike's to begin with, and later at David and Vykki's "holiday home" on 20th Street, I got busy with work. Darling Nick Taylor loaned me one of his fleet of Mopar products -- the most modern one, his 2000 PT Cruiser, very like the one I used to own. It was a huge contribution to my visit. Dave Caldwell and I (mostly Dave I think) put down a new hardwood floor in my duplex downstairs living and dining rooms. I should have done it when I bought the property 19 years ago, but there were always tenants in it. We did it while the tenants were on vacation over Christmas and New Years. The old floor heater had finally given up as well, so Mike, Rob and Steve (the plumber) put in a new wall heater. Did some other small repairs to the place.
I also got a 4x4x8 crate packed with things to bring to France. I don't foresee leaving any time in the near future, so wanted to get some things over here that I've missed and can't easily replace. That required searching for things in the totally stuffed full duplex garage. Christopher helped me every day, without complaining! Between the searching and the packing I think it took a week to ten days. Chris was there for me all the time, including entertaining me as well as working.
In the evenings I tried to see everyone possible. Played dominoes as often as possible with Chris, Mike and Rob. Spent a lot of time at Mike and Rob's, dinners and just stopping by for short visits. Went to Pat's Christmas Party, with very good food and lots of mutual friends. I had my own party on Christmas Day at the 20th Street house, which David and Vykki kindly consented to -- we were all careful not to trash their place! Had about 20 people there throughout the day.
I also had business to transact, banking etc. and managed to get most of it done. The time went by very quickly, and I took my last day in SD off by going to the back country with Rob and Mike.
There has been a new development regarding my planned parking on a small parcel above my house along the road. I went to the home of the owner of that parcel for an apero at their home last evening. As some of you know, we had discussed the possibility of sharing the cost of building parking on the parcel and sharing the parking. This fall they were able to purchase another parcel along the road and can dig out to create 3 parking spaces. The papers are in the process of signing and once it is a completed deal I can buy "my" parcel from them. The cost of developing parking on this parcel without using part of my existing property would be prohibitively costly, so hopefully this is good news. I can buy the parcel, and develop it for up to 4 cars.
Another interesting developiment is that I've discovered that Roman coins have been found near the tower, and that there is a Roman villa and cemetery on the property of the Claparede domaine (this is the family from whom I buy my wine), a couple of kilometers outside the village. I need to keep digging around here!
I think that's most of the news around here. Still waiting for completion of my "attic suite" which I hope will have happened by the first of May or sooner. Its sunny and about 50 here at the moment (noon). Guess I'll build a fire ....