Mrs Frog had got caterers in to prepare a large meal for the 28 of us sat in the main house reception room. Actually, called the reception room but in fact a large part of the production buildings, housing 3 large tanks where the grape juice goes through its first fermentation period. (Giving it a permanent yeasty smell)
The caterers were in fact Mr Frog Sr's 2nd cousin and wife who joined us in a glass between courses, meaning this really was a family affair.
A huge 5 course meal followed. Champagne naturally flowed, along with various eau de vie, digestives and a special eau de vie which Mr Frog Sr makes as part of the end of the champagne process. As with many things from the afternoon I do not remember its name.
I do remember standing in the bathroom slumped against the wall trying to gather some quiet and energy to take back into the (by now very noisy) main room.
We finished eating by 7pm.
At which point the card games and more champagne came out. After the church this was my favourite part of the day. Everyone formed small groups and we had the chance to chat a bit more quietly.
(Not the fortune tellers nasty cards) A French card game with a special deck that becomes very obsessive. After spending Christmas endearing myself to Mr Frog Sr by learning this I passed my period of formation with flying colours by winning the end of a 3 hour tournament.
Le Bataille Corse
A one on one simple card game involving wits and luck. I had no wits. I must have used all my luck up in the Tarot tournament. I was drunk and tired. I lost to my Frog countless times. But I refused to give up until my Frog wouldn't play against me any longer. He is no fun.
We played this on Sunday. With a French set in English against my Frog. I lost. I am forever humiliated.
At 2am I crawled to bed and passed out.
Sunday. Ahhh the magic of champagne. A little tired. But no hangover! Thank you St Vincent!