Thursday, 9 February 2012

Snow Games

I mentioned on Tuesday that we were about to go for a walk. This was a mission successfully accomplished, albeit with much putting on of layers (and me dragging my big coat out of the cupboard for the first time this year).

We walked down to the plan d'eau, and were amazed to see that it has totally frozen over to the extent that even big blokes could stand on the water.

What a pity it's the summer olympics this year.
Being sensible
I think the ice must have been at least 20cm thick, because there was no creaking or cracking, although I was still very cautious, testing each step before I put any weight down. This also helped us not to fall over - that ice is slippery stuff.

We took dozens of photos of the town looking resplendant in white, so we will post some of the best views over the next couple of days.


Yes, it's still cold (-12°C at 10.00am), but at least we are able to heat at least one room more than adequately. The wood burner in the salon keeps that room at between 17° and 20° while we are in there, and the temperature drops to 13°-14° overnight if I get the setting right (or colder if I fail to get the setting right). The rest of the house hovers at between 15° and 16°, but we have a couple of small electric radiators to help even things out.

This is the first year we have had to use the electric heaters like this, but it is also the first year where have been using the whole house over winter. Before, we just shut some rooms off.

What has surprised me is the temperature difference a metre of height makes - at waist level the temperature in the dining room is 14°C - at head level 20°C. I assume this is a combination of the hot air going up thing, and radiated cold from the tiled floor. Maybe part of our next home improvement scheme should be working out how to live on the ceiling...


  1. Adopt a Neddy Seagoon accent and say after me...
    "You mad, mad, mad fools!!"
    But you do look as though you have been enjoying your selfs...
    More than we have... the pipe that supplies water to the big chaudiere has frozen in the -20C heat... and we therefore have no chaudiere.
    The plombier came at last to sort the pressure problem [a broken raccord]and will be back on Saturday with the replacement... until then we freeze... whilst trying to thaw out the supply pipe. He said use a paint stripper!!
    It is the black plastic pipe, so is possibly more able to stand the changes in shape when strong heat is supplied [and is not brittle when cold]... I have been looking at heating cables to wrap around the pipe, inside the "unsulation"... uses about 250W in a 25M length... worth it to never ever have this "fun" again... and get yourself some roller blades Simon.
    The WV is "corksm"... that feeling of frustration as the wine bottle cork breaks when halfway out of the bottle... or when youon a picnic and discover that you used the opener on another occasion at home... and forgot to put the D@#NED thing back!!

  2. I'm glad you didn't fall through that ice. I would never do such a thing. But I'm a wuss, as we say. At my age...

  3. How old are we today?? ;-) Looks like you had good fun.

  4. I have been following your blog for some time finding entertaining and informative, so would like to recommend something that might just help you in keeping your home even warmer, it is an ECOFAN, we have a multifuel stove and it's made the difference between having oil fired central heating on all the time,(horrendous bills)to just an hour or two everyday, if you google it, it will explain how it works.
    Ps, I love Susans wellies.

  5. I love those boots as well! Good buy.
    In my distant youth, I walked across Tarn Howes in the English Lake District one New Year's Eve. There were many people there - always some fool trying to ski. One woman had slipped over on the ice and couldn't get up because she was laughing too much!

  6. N&A - Old enough to know better, I suspect.

  7. Simon

    Get yourself some snow boards.

    As far as temp diff - between the floor and ceiling , reason some people do use a ceiling fan in some Canadian homes in winter, especially in the family room .

  8. the difference between a ceiling fan and an ECOFAN is that the ECOFAN generates it's own electricity and is not plugged into the mains nor does it need batteries, so there are huge savings on resourses, especialy the pocket kind.

  9. Your Mission, should you choose to accept to find some nice rugs at the markets. and cover the tiles in a few strategic areas.
    Good excuse to go jaunting about to markets when the roads improve.
    The rugs will make quite a difference and can be rolled away and stored for the warmer months.

  10. every house has its own character and culture. :) suction cups instead of slippers for guests to cross the ceiling with.