Monday 21 January 2013

Crisp and Even

It may not be very deep, but it is definitely crisp and even, which makes it look deeper than it really was. It started to snow in the night sometime and was snowing lightly when I got up yesterday. I measured 5cm in our driveway at mid-morning. I'm glad we got round to covering the Renault, which lives in the open front courtyard. We celebrated by watching a documentary on the winter of 1963 in Britain -- 2 and a half months of snow and ice and freezing temperatures -- the country froze to a standstill. Simon, who lived in London, says he can just about remember it.

The council tractors with their snow moving blades on were out clearing the streets of Preuilly when I went to buy bread.

 Our front courtyard.

 Our teenaged neighbour Tiphaine's footprint in the tyre tracks on the street.

 One of the neighbourhood cats returning to the home fire after having been out investigating this new white world.

According to Patti Lecron's blog post yesterday, année de neige, année de bon grain (literally, 'year of snow, year of good grain'). In other words, snow in the winter is a sign we will have a good harvest. Well, it was true last year, but not the year before, so we will have to wait and see.

 The Courteix kids and dog play in the snow in the street.

Looking down towards the ancien marché aux porcs

The snow was all sparkly and lovely, and there was no wind, so it was pleasant outside if you were rugged up with snow gloves and the rest. I hope these images don't upset our Australian readers too much...40°C -- insupportable ! The temperature here is hovering around 0°C.


Tim said...

Better than today... we've got driving rain at the moment... don't know how much we've had in the last hour... the rain gauge is still blocked with snow!!

I remememember '63 very well... started on Boxing Day for us near London... we'd been to relatives in Barnet and were coming back to the Harrow area just after lunch and the snow just got heavier and heavier...
The best bit... two superb 'boggan runs... one directly down a farmer's track... quarter of a mile straight and quite steep... through two gates!! Safe tho'... he had kids and put bales of hay at the gateways [and kept renewing them] and a mini-haystack at the bottom... he also opened the fence on one side, top and bottom, so that we could climb back up in safety!! Would that still happen these days??

The other run was down three fairways and through the woods of a local golf course... about three-quarters of a mile... but only 200yds between start and finish... the start was down a blind green... hidden by a drop... when the thaw finally came, there was a large toboggan half buried in the green...

The worst bit... having to walk to school in it!! Fortunately I'd just graduated to long trousers... my poor bro' still had to wear shorts!!

Jean said...

I remember the winter of 1963.

I remember that although I was a 11 years old, it wasn't all fun. We lived in a draughty old stone cottage with no heating other than the coal fire in the living room and the gas stove in the kitchen. There was frost on the inside of my bedroom window every morning and I had chilblains.

Tim said...

Jean, did you make peep-holes in the frost by warming a penny or a ha'penny in your hands and then using it to melt the frost?
I had chilblains too... did you have to paint yours with that iodine mixture?

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Mard southerners both of you... I was 13 and out an about on a dirt motorbike on my friends farm. Our house only had a coal fire I don't remember it being that cold but then again its always cold up north!

the fly in the web said...

I remember that winter all too put me off snow for a long time.

The weather forecast of good harvest made me think of the Irish one of 1798

A wet winter
A dry spring
Abloody summer
And no king....

The Beaver said...


The first and last last pictures will be good for Christmas cards.
Let's hope that the terra-cotta pots don't crack with the variations of the mercury and thawing /freezing cycles.

John said...

Reading the blog makes me feel very old, since I remember 1947. Now that was a winter.

Has the comments procedure changed? I wanted to quiz Susan as to whether the new top baker is to close at the end of the month, come what may?

I did not manage to get the previous attempt to publish so if this gets published I shall be pleased. If not perhaps I'd be better off contemplating 1947 snow rather than the few centimetres of snow which constitutes a 'blizzard' in the south of England.

Susan said...

Tim, Jean, C&E: great reminiscences!

Fly: Just gloating, or was there active Irish involvement?

Beaver: They are supposedly frostproof, and most of them have survived the last 3 cold winters.

John: The only thing I've changed is to not allow anonymous comments because managing the spam was getting too much of a pain.

Yes, I believe the top bakers is going to close no matter what at the end of the month.

Aussie in France said...

Whereas our snow is melting today. I would have liked to see Blois with more snow.

the fly in the web said...

Hoping the arrival of the French would do the trick....

Susan said...

Fly: OK got it. Sorry, I was completely on the wrong track before.

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