Blue skies and twelve degrees when we leave the Rickety Old Farmhouse. Minus three and a sleet laden gale when we arrive in Carcassonne. The streets full of Spanish celebrating the start of Advent. Perhaps celebrating not quite the right word to describe the droves of storm lashed, irritable folk standing waiting for the mayor to turn on the Christmas lights. Purple and pink the ' in ' colours for 2012. Everyone cries out '' oooh " then there's a stampede towards the nearest bar. Our hotel mercifully ''as warm as toast ".