Buon Natale – Merry Christmas

Sorry.  You’ll just have to read this post out of order!   The 10 days travelling in France has put me seriously behind on the blogging front.  So jump forward to Christmas Day with this entry….and then we’ll go back to 19 Dec….!   And hopefully over the next few days I’ll finally get up to date.

Merry Christmas.

A sleep-in after getting home from Bar Peter just before mid-night last night. We’ve spent the morning catching up with friends and family by various electronic means…but in contrast to 8 years ago when we were in France no telephone calls. We’ve texted, viber’d, sent emails, FB message’d and Facetime’d.  Ooops…I tell a fib, Graeme’s oldest friend, Andrew from South Africa had secretly obtained our Italian phone number and rang us this morning…the old fashioned way.  What a lovely surprise.

Much excitement as we opened our “precious parcels” from our lovely friend Georgie. Beautifully wrapped in 2 lovely gift bags that have had pride of place on our Christmas tree window ledge since we returned from France, Georgie has spoiled us with Medjool dates, Ferrero Roche chocolates, home made blackberry jam, home made spicy chutney and then a special presentation box of French regional treats. Wine, terrine & foie gras and fig paste…..yum, yum.

Georgie's delicious christmas hamper
Georgie’s delicious christmas hamper

Just after talking to the Whānau in NZ & Oz, we got a knock on our door. Our landlady, Gabi had dropped by with a plate of home-made christmas treats. It’s hard to know if Gabi & Carlo like us. Language is a huge barrier and we’d had quite a few questions to start with, which could have been construed by them as “pretty annoying”. Also I think the muddy footprints we left on the stairs and in the ski-room after our farming trip to France was not appreciated, even though we did sweep and mop up. But we thought we’d try to break the ice and left a little box of chocolates on their doorstep last night. Maybe we’ve cracked it…there’s 2 months to go.

Our Christmas present to each other today, was an hour’s massage at the next door Spa Hotel Elvado and lunch at Rifugio Fodom, which was again recommended to us by the English family we met last night. But to justify lunch we decided to skin there rather than catch the lifts.

It is noticeably warmer today and there is a strong NW wind with clouds whipping past the top of the mountains. There were warnings posted on the digital noticeboards at the bottom of the lifts that some of the higher slopes and lifts may close due to high winds. Looks like we chose a good day to be a bit slack. Unfortunately, this little weather blip isn’t bringing any snow. The best guess about when the snow will fall is not until 4 January. But in the meantime the cold sunny weather is prediced to return. We certainly have some very cold temperatures expected this week.

Lunch was delicious as expected, especially the Pasta del giorno – the capellini al tartufo (thin spaghetti like pasta with a truffle crumble sauce)….OMG.   Refugio Fodom was really busy.  I imagine all the tables will be booked out during the Christmas/NY period so we’ve taken their phone-number.

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Capellini al tartufo, pasta of the day at Rifugio Fodom

Well, the massage was a little underwhelming. Unfortunately we’ve been spoiled with massages from our friend Ursula for all our years in Wanaka. Comparing notes over dinner tonight, we learned that while “Matthieu”our masseuse, enthusiastically swamped us both in massage oil and “rubbed” all the usual bits of our bodies, he didn’t really put his “back into it”. After 7 days straight of fast & hard piste bashing we really needed an Ursula work-over. This tiny girl would grind her elbow and knuckles into our bodies to release our stiff ski muscles.  We have both decided that Matthieu, with his super-soft hands & delicate technique, would have a more promising career in embroidery rather than sports massage.

Nice quite night at home tonight. We’ve cracked open Georgie’s duck terrine, some proscuito from Francesco Delmonego the local butcher, gorgonzola, tomatoes and finally Gabi’s delicious biscotti and christmas treats. Not quite a “prawn on the barbie” type of Christmas, but not bad all the same.

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Gabi’s delicious christmas treats
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