Today, the 5th of December, we finally felt winter in Europe. The morning started bright enough with frequent dashes of sunlight through the swirling mists which crept over us from below and above. But by eleven o’clock the clouds had marched in from the mountains to the west and slowly but surely the rain turned to sleet turned to snow. The white stuff fell for about 20 minutes, leaving a thin layer over the Magic Caravan, the access roads and the tops of the trees. While its beauty could be appreciated in the same way it always is with the first snowfall of the season, we became a little anxious and hoped that it would stop and disappear quickly, just so we could be confident of getting out of the forest and down the hill to safer paths when we leave on Friday.

At least our prayers were answered by a meteorological God who turned the snow off, then turned the rain off and then blew all the clouds away. From early afternoon nothing was falling from the sky and by evening the sky was full of twinkling stars. Of course the temperature dropped again with no cloud cover so we cosied up in front of the fire and only went out for a quick chat with Mr. Bladder. It did get a bit boring, but fortunately we had TV from strange places and a great Internet connection as well as 2 Kindles and a pile of travel books. There was no need to speak to each other.

At some point just after dark a motor home rolled in and out popped an elderly Italian couple whom I enthusiastically helped to settle in as I was desperate to speak to another human (not counting Mary of course!). That proved to be the high point of my day. Although I enjoyed making our sweet and sour chicken tea and watching Bayern Munich beat Bate 4-1 in the Champions’ League I would have to say I’ve had more exciting days and the look on Mary’s face suggested she had as well.

How would you cope in a wee caravan in a forest high up a hill in a foreign land in winter? Mary would go crazy without something to read or listen to while I would not cope well with having no-one to speak to. The saving grace for us has undoubtedly been the Internet which has kept us informed on a myriad of topics plus up-to-date on what’s happening in the world. We could both do without TV and have had to recently, but no internet would probably push us to the limit if that lasted more than a couple of days.

I was looking at the statistics for the Blog today and it seems you’re all getting back on track, as we’ve had loads of hits over the past 2 days as well as some excellent comments and positive feedback on the daily reports. We were particularly excited by your reactions to that strange set of circumstances and coincidences we experienced yesterday but we haven’t yet sat down to reflect on what happened other than to admit it was very unusual.

We’re now following the blog of Paul, Emma and Chloe whom we met on the site in Rome and it is highly entertaining and interesting to read what they’ve been getting up to. We’ve signed up a few more people who wanted to follow our blog and we hope they enjoy what they read and are persuaded to comment from time to time.

Which brings us neatly round to the November “Comment-maker of the Month” award. The 2 previous winners, Uncle Gerard and Mary’s sister Dot, have kept up a high standard of regular, witty comments, making them a hard couple of acts to follow, but they have been eclipsed this month by a contributor who has regularly congratulated us on our adventurous spirit and often wished she could be with us. Yes, November’s golden pen goes to……… my cousin Renée! Well done, and you’ll get your prize, like the others, at Xmas.

Now where can I find a stall of cheap, knock-off golden pens?

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