Changing times: some things never change.

Some things never change. Considering everything that happened this last week, this is an extremely reassuring realisation.

Round here things never change. Everything is still happening at the same time and at lightning speed. I still have lots of things to do, and all of those things I should have done yesterday. I mistakenly, as it turned out, thought that with autumn finally showing its true colours and winter approaching, I would have a bit of spare time. After all, we are starting to ride the horses less often and they will soon be put out to a well-deserved rest until March next year.  So I thought to myself, why not give this NaNoWriMo thing a try? Of the five books I have to write, I have written exactly one, so it seemed a good idea to use NaNoWriMo’s momentum to get going on the second and maybe even the third, right?


This year we have had an exceptionally mild autumn. It is still mild, even as we come up to mid-November. We have not lit a fire once,…yet. Next week, the meteo is predicting temperatures of up to 18°C. What this means, is that not only do we continue to ride out every morning for two or three hours, but I continue to receive bookings for equine-assisted experiential learning sessions in the afternoons. We are now also doing a New Year, New You workshop from the 26th of November to the 2nd of January. It is one of our most popular workshops. It is also the workshop that involves the most work, as everything that in the summer happens outside, now has to happen inside. The best thing about it is that we take our guests to the late-late-latest grape harvest on the evening of the 31st of December in Viella, a neighbouring village. This is one of my favourite wine-related activities (and there are many during the year in this wine-producing region). Up to a thousand people from all over the world walk or in ride horse-drawn carriages to the vineyards. The grape harvest happens by the light of huge bonfires and burning torches. It is an altogether magical experience. Afterwards, people sit down to the traditional Reveillon dinner. This meal often lasts until the early morning hours. It usually ends with brown “oignon” soup at 5 o’clock.

I digress. I wasn’t going to moan about how hard it is to keep up with NaNoWriMo in this post with everything that is going on. I will do that in my next post. Believe it or not, my intention in this post was to talk about equine-assisted experiential learning (EEL). As I field enquiries from potential New Year, New You workshop participants (yes, I realise it is not exactly an original name anymore but it was pretty avant-garde when I started doing these workshops nearly ten years ago), I am often asked what EEL is exactly. I have a web page that explains it all, but I have just today found a video that demonstrates exactly how it works, in full colour. So if you ever wondered what it is that we get up to during workshops here in the south of France, this is it:

Hope this answers some of your questions. If it does not, do not hesitate to ask! This is my all-time favourite subject, I can talk about it for hours, no matter how many other pressing things I have to get done. For now,  though, I shall get back to my writing. I have not written a single NaNoWriMo word today, and it is already past five o’clock!


19 Replies to “Changing times: some things never change.”

  1. Tired just thinking about your schedule! I love the idea of NaNoWriMo but I know I would never manage it! I think Vendanges du St Sylvestre de Viella sounds like such fun (even for a non-drinker like me!)

  2. It is quite a mild fall in November here in the middle of the US, as well. All of this late fall time outdoors will hopefully stave off the winter sadness for awhile. I admit that I was wondering what EEL was and now I know! It’s sounds amazing!

  3. The grape harvest in Viella sounds fantastic, what a wondrous New Year’s Eve that must be. It’s very mild here too although I confess we have lit the fire every evening! Enjoy the weekend and the sun xx

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