Saturday, 7 December 2013

Stepping Out of my 'Empty Nest' into the Lights of Paris..... Revisited!

I was thinking how I might celebrate Christmas with you all and decided, what better way to do it than to share with you once again, the blog that you have made my most successful post ever! It's the true story of a magical Christmas experience and I have had fun revisiting it, hopefully you will too.....

Bear with me, readers, as I jump from nest to nest, but you will probably have gathered by now, in the last decade I have moved my 'empty nest' between Ireland and France, and so, as I feather the empty corners and tidy the twigs, metaphorically speaking, reminiscences of recent adventures are never far from my mind!

With the summer coming to an end and the idea of winter leading me to ponder where I might be nesting this Christmas, my thoughts took me back to early December in my French nest, in our little village in the Charente region, of South West France. 

As usual, things were quiet, everyone having closed their shutters against the freezing temperatures outside, while life beyond ambled along, driven by the church bells' call to rise at seven and stop for lunch at noon. Bright lights and glamour were confined to distant memories of the big city, while here in the countryside the only visible illuminations to be found were in the amazing night skies, where shooting stars darted between galaxies of twinkling lights and the full moon alone illuminated the fields and hillsides below.

Just when my husband and I had become accustomed to wearing clothes as a matter of warmth rather than style and gained our evenings' entertainment from throwing another massive log on the wood-burner and sitting mesmerised, while watching the flames lick hungrily at the glass door.  Suddenly we found ourselves on the TGV to Paris, flashing through the French countryside, at well over a hundred miles an hour.  Where were we heading?  Yes, it seemed rather unlikely, but we were heading for a glamorous fashion show on the 'Champs Élysées', hosted by one of Spain's best known actresses, Victoria Abril!  

It's worth mentioning at this point, as one will find out eventually in my book, that many of the outstanding moments of my life can be traced back to the intervention of my amazing daughter, and this one was a perfect example, as it was Katie who had orchestrated this huge event to raise money for charity.

Having booked into a hotel; in the comfort of our luxury room, my husband and I sipped a glass of champagne, as we peeled off the layers of woolly garments designed for survival in subzero temperatures and for the first time in months slipped into our glamorous evening wear.  Stepping out into the street below, we hailed a taxi and set off into the Parisian night. Minutes later driving up the 'Champs Élysées', on either side of the car, trees covered in fairytale Christmas lights lined the streets and sitting spellbound in the back, I whispered to Ron, "It doesn't get much better than this!"

Finally, stepping out at our destination, in front of the illuminated white marble entrance to our venue, the Christmas lights bounced off the white walls, like the flashbulbs of the paparazzi, completing our final transformation, from French peasant to Parisian socialite!

To enjoy more of my French adventures and read the true story of my life in France, click on the link top right to buy the book or, if you are feeling lucky, enter the Goodreads competition to win one of ten free copies! Bonne Chance!