It was on the 8th February 2012 that we left Wordsley and set out to move to France. We stayed overnight in London then crossed to France on 9th February arriving to frozen pipes and low low temperatures in Saone et Loire! It seems that the last 12 months have flown by at terrific speed but when I read back on the blog we have certainly packed in a lot!
We came to this first annivesary of moving here with great thankfulness and joy- we have faced many new challenges and our faith, our friends and family and our determination has brought us through!
So now we are beginning to find things coming around again.
On Wednesday two weeks ago, we went up to Taize for the evening prayer and impostion of Ashes. It was as always a special prayer, and even though Lent is beginning still there is that sense of joy that we are looking forward to Easter and rejoicing in the Resurrection.
We were thinking too of our fellow Christians in the Roman Catholic tradition as they received the suprising news of the Pope's resignation and the uncertainty of who will become their new leader and what shape the chruch might take in the coming years... Only at the beginning of the year were the Taize brothers in Rome for the European meeting and 45,000 young people were with them in St Peter's Square when the Pope shared in the evening prayer. There is a lot about this on Taize's web site (www.taize.fr)
So we have begun Lent, given thanks for our arrival here a year ago and on Friday last week we welcomed our first guests of the season. We have decided to open in February as there are half term vacations for British, French and Dutch and often people pass through Burgundy en route to a ski-ing vacation in the Alps.
The birds in our garden are greedily comsuming the fat balls we are hanging out for them, and we are enjoying their cheery chattering and the hope of Spring not far away.
Sometimes there are queues for the food and the more greedy chase off the more timid!
I've watched the daffodils I planted in the Autumn edging through the ground in the garden and also in my 2 large plant pots and that has been wonderful, but recently we saw a real sign that the warmer weather will soon be here.
We took a drive out to the north of us and slightly west discovering a village called Messeugne which is not far from St Gengoux le National and Cormatin. This was where we found the blossom coming into bloom - how wonderful on a cold wintry day to find this sign of Spring!
Tne village is on the river Grosne - in fact it's where the Guye and the Grosne meet. At the moment the river is in flood.
Near the river is a camp-site with it's own footbridge crossing the bridge.
We had a stroll through part of the village and enjoyed the fresh air although I have to be honest and tell you I was absolutley frozen when we got back to the car! It was a prelude of more cold weather - and more snow. More birdfeed has gone up and been eagerly and greedily devoured by tits, robin and sparrows!
Even the moon rising the other evening seems to be a sign of more cold weather!