Happy New Year from No.fifty6

Posted on 31st December 2017 by Julie and David Thomson in General News.

Happy New Year from No.fifty6

As the dawn of a New Year breaks we would like to thank everyone who sent us cards and festive messages and we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We spent a few days over Christmas in England with family and we are now back on The Somme ready for 2018. This time last year the weather was cold and dry but this New Year it is mild but wild, wet and windy. Regardless of the weather we get a chance in the winter to go out, dust away the cobwebs and visit places we don’t get time to explore in the summer.

2018 we hope promises good things. The end is in sight for our renovations and we know we have lovely people booked in to stay with us throughout the year as they make their own pilgrimages to this special place. 2018 will see the centenaries of the 1918 Somme Battles, the Battles for Albert, Villers Bretonneux, Le Hamel to name a few. It is also the year of the Armistice centenary and we have had many requests to stay with us for 11th November. The new Sir John Monash Centre and also the Cambrai Tank Museum will open their doors during this year. And as you know there is always something going on here…

Cambrai Tank Museum

https://youtu.be/oCkHaLGUheI Details of the Sir John Monash Centre

Treve De Noel/Christmas Truce Service Pozieres

On 16th December we attended the Christmas Truce service in Pozieres church. This annual event really heralds the start of Christmas festivities for us. Poems are read, the choir sings in 3 languages – French, English and German and it is a time to reflect on the year and how important striving for peace is. Julie read about Digger the dog who was looked after by Sergeant Martin and was a mascot to the Australians. Digger went over the top 16 times and was wounded and gassed at Pozieres. He comforted the men and brought messages back from the wounded in no man’s land. The Digger Cote Association acted scenes from 1917 in period costume with sound effects to great emotional effect. Afterwards, on a cold December night we all got together in the village hall for a glass and shared plate of something. Truly peace and goodwill to all men. 

The Treve ChoirCyrille and Xavier on pipes and drum

Christmas Trees in the Streets of La Boisselle.

We do have some new village Christmas lights but after its success last year, Christian Bernard, our Mayor, offered everyone in the village to have a real Christmas tree, as long as it was on the roadside and was decorated so that the village was illuminated for Christmas. Many families took part – including us - and they did look pretty. The Mayor took photos of them all and will declare the best-dressed trees at the Wishes of the Mayor Event in January. We love our Community.

Building Works continue

We are enjoying having our own space in our new quarters. Bit by bit it is becoming more like home and we are very lucky, having stunning views across Mash Valley as we wake up. David can play his music at volume and Julie gets some peace.

Greg the builder has done a great job on what was our old bedroom/bathroom. The bathroom has been completely ripped out and now has a new shower, toilet and sink, new tiling and flooring, lighting and fittings. The bedroom too is nearly there, new floor, lighting, walls prepared and now just the walls to be painted this week. New beds are on order to offer a twin or double bed option and the room will be ready to go as a guest room from the end of January. It will appear as a fifth room on our website when it is finished but we already have bookings for it.

Greg works on the new guestroom

The conservatory (la veranda in French) was installed during December during very wet weather. Getting the supporting iron beam in place was no small job. It is wonderful to see the conservatory finally in place. Now it needs a good period to dry out (not easy in winter) before we embark on the internal work – flooring, interior walls, lighting, heating etc but already we can see what a wonderful new space this will be for our new breakfast/dining area. Our target is to be using it by March. So 2018 is going to be a big year.

We have also had a security system installed and we have upgraded our carbon monoxide and smoke alarm detectors which will not only give an audible alert if there is a problem but also go though to a central control room. Peace of mind for us and our guests. Just a reminder to Julie not to prepare the Crème Brulee by the smoke detector! 

Probably the biggest delivery lorry Construction underwayThe new conservatory/verandaLooking out, needs to dry out

Practical Matters

Our room tariffs for 2018 are on our website. No change! There is no increase to our rates as providing value for money is important to us.  A single occupancy room is €59 per night and a twin/double room €98 per night. Our rates include breakfast. Our dinner rate remains the same too at €25 per person.

The local Tourist Tax which must be accounted separately is 40 cents per adult per night and will appear separately as an addition to your bill. The tax which is imposed by Le Pays Du Coquelicot aids tourism in the area.

Also a reminder that we do take payment by card (visa/mastercard) as well as Euros cash. We are thoroughly modern here you know!

Animal Postscript

While we were away for a few days at Christmas our lovely neighbours Chantal and Jean looked after the hens and rabbits.   All behaved beautifully, especially Jean and Chantal.



 Happy New Year

All that is left is for us to wish all our wonderful friends and guests past, present and future a happy, healthy, peaceful New Year. We look forward to connecting with old friends and new in 2018. 

The sun sets on 2017

Comments (20)

Chris Colligan says:

A very belated Happy New Year to you both! I've been extremely busy with work and family, so please accept my apologies for this late message. I do want to tell you that reading your wonderful newsletter is one of the highlights of every month! It's been almost four years since I visited you, but my stay at your lovely B&B, is remembered so well. I'm not sure when my next visit to France will be, but be assured, a stay with you both, will definitely be on my itinerary. In the meantime, I will look forward to reading your monthly newsletter. Until my next trip over from NYC, wishing you all the best!

Rebecca Prissette says:

Wow! Well done! Happy New Year to you both and our very best wishes for 2017.

Rob Kirk says:

So good to know things are progressing. It looks great, and we're really looking forward to seeing you in May - although I suspect I'll be in touch before then! Love from us both, Rob & Elaine.

Jon Hill says:

Happy new year to you both.

Sandy Biback says:

Happy New Year David & Julie and assorted animals. All the renovations sound lovely. Perhaps we will get back there-we do know we tell all our friends

Karsten Lund says:

Happy New Year Julie and David
Always a Joy to read your newsletters and really nice to see and follow the progress.
See you soon. Best wishes for 2018


Phil Rickaby says:

Hi to you both.
As I type this note to you on News Years day. I am counting the days until myself and fellow Triumph owners club riders will be with you in June. We will coming across from Normandy where we will be visiting the WW2 battlefields before the 6th of June services. Keep up the good work. See you in June.

Dennis J. Weatherall says:

In Vietnamese "Chuc Mung Nam Moi !" = Happy New Year. We had an Ozzie Christmas, as we say "out the back under the trees" with all the family. Son's Jarrod & Darryn and wives and our grandsons. Jarrod & wife Tram (VN) produced a third grandson on the 18th Sept 17, so it was "Coopers" 1st family Christmas. Brother Koby is now 7yrs and Darryn's son Ty is 6yrs. Life rolls on ! Let's pray for a peaceful 2018 from "The Weatherall Boys" Sydney AUS. PS: Time for the Old Man to hang up his walking boots. Undertaking my very last Battlefield study tour 10-16th Feb 18 for the 76th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore....then retirement for the third time......Amen.

Sandra Gibson says:

Happy New Year David and Julie. Derek, David and I really look forward to hopefully staying with you again in 2018, and experiencing once more your wonderful hospitality.

Brian Janman says:

Happy New Year to you both. Really looking forward to seeing you in May. By the way, we're back down to a party of three again, Adrian's daughter and future son-in law are expecting their first Mid May, so he's no longer a free man!

Gary James says:

Happy New Year Julie and David.
Looking forward to seeing you both in February and the new extension.

gerald abbotts says:

Happy new year to you both. the renovations look great, looking forwards to sitting in the new conservatory,

Sam Gascoyne says:

A Very Happy New Year to you both!

Another incredible year beckons I'm sure and I hope you will continue to enjoy every minute of it. Fantastic to see the renovations really starting to take shape.

I look forward to seeing you again in April.

Much Love,

Sam X

Terry Uttley. says:

Many thanks for your newsletter .Even though I have not been in your company I feel I know you .You are top of my bucket list. All the very best to you all for the new year.T Uttley.

Tim Pritchard-Barrett says:

Happy New Year to you both, Julie and David. I am very much looking forward to staying you during this year when clients bring me to the Somme. It has always been a sanctuary for me and I am most impressed by all the hard work around the house. Interesting how you have managed to extend so far - I doubt it would be possible in the UK.
It looks very appealing, see you soon I hope.
Joyeaux Noel, Bonne Nouveau Annee et Bon Chance. (added an extra email address above)

Heather and Malcolm says:

Happy and Healthy 2018 to you both, Julie and David. Can't wait to visit again and see all the changes for ourselves. You are on the "home straight" now ... well done, you deserve it. All the best to you.

Ashley Atkinson says:

Best wishes for 2018
See you soon

Mike and Kath, Bath, UK says:

And a Happy New Year to you two too. One word regarding the building works . . . Wow!

Wendy Stringer says:

Thank you for the newsletter Julie and David. Happy New year to you both and we will look forward to seeing you later in the year.

Iain Ross-Fry says:

Well done David and Julie, things are looking so good as we enter 2018 and the Centenary of the Armistice later this year. As ever I'm certainly looking forward to many visits to see you both at no. fifty6; always such a warm and hearty welcome! Best of luck with the final works. Thank you. A bientot.....

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