Christmas morning was rather civilized. Ruby was the first to awake around 8.00am, just before sunrise. The day broke clear but cool and the temperature throughout the day did not quite make it into positive territory. We followed as Ruby bounded down the staircase, through the kitchen and into the living room. Three lumpy pillowcases lined up in front of the our Sapine de Noel were evidence that Santa had managed to find us in rural France. Ruby systematically set about disclosing the contents of the white sack she had put in position the previous evening. Surprise, surprise...Sylvanians plus an assortment of clothing and various stocking filler sweets. By the time she was finished, a pair of sleepy, pyjama-clad, boys were shuffling into the room. They dropped next to their bundles and proceeded to rummage through the contents, punctuated with the occasional grunt of surprise.
Before moving to open the presents under the tree, we took breakfast of tea and vegemite toast, having recently replenished our supply courtesy of the Barr family. After opening more presents and pottering around, it was time to drive to the Barr's for Christmas afternoon and evening. As we arrived, the smell of roasting turkey met us before we got to the door. The six hour roast was obviously close to completion. The warm kitchen was filled with warmth, aromas and the excitement of the day. Maybe it was the fact that we were bringing the champagne - but the noise level certainly cranked up a few notches as we moved inside.
The day moved quickly with everyone getting a Kris Kringle present from the Santa sack before removing the turkey from the oven. Boiled ham, roast vegetables, bread sauce, brandy butter, boiled ham and finally the gravy. The bonbons cracked, paper crowns on head, glasses of pink bubbles clinking across the table and the feast began in earnest. Decanters filled with '83 Chateau Clinet disappear over the course evening interspersed with pudding, cake, coffee and colourful conversation. Tres bon.
Our last day in the Gers has arrived. Full day of packing and cleaning, a few photos and a last look at Lagahe in daylight hours. We would be off before sunrise to our next adventure. Tomorrow would prove to have many surprises in store for us.