Bob and Sophie, despite a late night, are awake at seven. Somehow they sense a day of great adventures ahead.
A neon sign of sun just rising as we follow the ox track down the hill to the stream. Two carefree sheepdogs chase trout, ineptly, in the frigid water while a herd of deer and an inquisitive hare look on. Absolute silence bar the sound of water tumbling over the small waterfall, a busy woodpecker and Sophie's squeals of joy. High up in the shelter of the walnut trees a large, amiable, eagle owl; a gravity defying mass of feathers. The French,so much better at bird names than the English, call these feathered aristocrats Grand-Ducs. Local farmers say they live for 60 years.
As we turn to retrace our steps home a Christmas morning rainbow, brilliant against the clouds. Dogs and owner stop, heads trained skywards. Natures reminder to keep hold of what is important. When we get back the house is still quiet . It remains quiet until Bob and Sophie notice two scruffy dogs in the mirror on the stairway. They greet the interlopers enthusiastically.
A very happy Christmas to you all from everyone here in deepest , deepest France profonde.