Friday 16 December 2022

All hail the Christmas tortoise

When the festivities begin do you ever think about the Christmas tortoise?

This time last year we were in France. In total we spent 87 days there, which is just inside the 90 day maximum restriction that the fucking idiot Brexit voters imposed upon us. We were there from early December 2021 until the end of February 2022 and we had a great time. We spent the first 6 weeks in a place called Lézignan-Corbières, a commune in the Aude department in the Occitanie region in southern France. We really liked Lézignan-Corbières, it’s small but has most things you need. It’s bigger than a village but smaller than a town. Even though it’s not that big it definitely punches above its weight. They also like to celebrate Christmas, and thankfully these things don’t start as ridiculously early as they do in the UK. The high street had a Christmas market which came alive in the evening. A tannoy system in the centre played Christmas flavoured songs. Sitting out on a cold winter's evening, wrapped up warm, drinking Alsatian beer and eating a pretzel was a very enjoyable experience. The town was lit up with lights and there were extra illuminated Christmassy things in front of the Marie. Behind the high street was a park which had been decorated with lights in the trees and bushes along with various festive models and structures to form a Village de Noel. In amongst the Father Christmases, reindeer, penguins, igloos, slays and snowmen was an illuminated giant tortoise. The Christmas tortoise? How have I got to my late sixties without knowing about the Christmas tortoise? What is the meaning of the Christmas tortoise? Does anyone care?

We don’t really celebrate Christmas, but for me, knowing about the Christmas tortoise has enriched my life, and it will always have a special place in my heart. Seasons greetings all, however you spend your time.

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