Since we have lived in France, every Christmas I have designed our Christmas card. It was a case of necessity to begin with, because the French did not send Christmas cards, therefore there were none to be found in the shops. Now it is easier to find them, but even so it still hasn’t completely entered the French psyche to send cards, they tend to send new Year Greeting cards if they send anything at all. Equally, they are surprised that you would send a card to someone you only saw yesterday or see occasionally; they are right, it is a bit mad sending greetings to someone you had lunch with yesterday, or passing someone an enveloped card with whom you are actively having lunch, the commercial side of Christmas has completely seduced us; So, I agree, we Brits are utterly bonkers, but I, for one, cannot kick the habit!
Anyway, now I have 24 Christmas cards tucked under my belt. I had intended to cleverly lead up to Christmas by posting one card a day, a bit like an advent calendar; oh well, best intentions and all that …it didn’t happen, for all sorts of reasons, time always being the main one, what with the annual end-of-year-paperwork looming like a demonic spectre and casting a dark shadow on the forthcoming festivities.
So I am going to post a few per week. The theme has always been centred around our animals and what they get up to. Over the years we have had many hens, cockerels, ducks , loads of cats, ( 13 at one time! ) dogs. Sadly our household is rather depleted now, we have just one dog and one cat.
Gem, our little Welsh dog’s character was unique, she did not consider herself to be a dog , she was a Princess who was meant to sleep on a pink silk cushion on her own throne, be fed with peeled grapes, generally waited on, and exercised regularly; she remained aloof and disdainful whilst chaos whirled around her, she truly was born into the wrong household. The state of her health is evident in the drawings as the years pass. She was 17 1/2 when she died in 2005, sorely missed, and remembered with great affection.
Tessie, our French dog, whom Gem outlived, on the other hand, was so laid back and cool, particularly long-suffering as regards Gem. She loved to chase the cats just for fun, and when she thought we weren’t watching, of course she too is remembered with great affection.
Firstly, a typical photo of Gem oozing bored disdain:
Now the cards:
1991: The year we acquired Tessie from the dog shelter:
1995: when we acquired the 1954 citroen traction
1996: remembering our theatrical roots:
That’s a few to be getting on with.