Will it? Won’t it??

… be a White Christmas, that is.

The snow of a fortnight ago vanished almost as quickly. Christmas lights are going up in the local communes.  “Christmas” events, like the “Marche de Noel” at Pierreville that had been cancelled have been programmed in again –

As the snow melted, there were some surprising survivors

Not sure of their name; but I’m told that they’re not edible. Quite striking as they emerged from the melting snow. Also emerging, though showing some signs of frost damage were the chrysanthemums

Even some of our vegetable garden came through virtually unscathed

Last Sunday we were at the Surtainville’s “Marche de Noel”; and then Tuesday was the Pierreville Club “Buche de Noel”, so Christmas began for us this week, in quite balmy daytime temperatures of getting on for 8 degrees.

The tables were set

 

 … the room laid out, and the tree decorated

… and even Santa put in an appearance

… the buche, amongst other things, was eaten

… there was drinking, and singing

… and so the first celebration of Christmas is done.

Within the last 24 hours the cold air that has brought snow to England has also reached here; at present with just a smattering of snow this morning. The local forecast is for it to hang about for a couple of days before warmer, wetter weather establishes for next weekend.

We’re keeping an eye out to see whether we do get to spend Christmas with family in England. Whatever your plans, and whatever the weather, we wish you a very enjoyable holiday season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
 
from
 
Bob & Marjory
 
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Snow, and more snow … and snowball fights with the neighbours!!

Arrived back home last Friday after a few weeks in England. Some snow at Caen as we docked, but nothing here. Awoke Saturday morning to

The main road was just passable

with chains, and for essential services (e.g. the milk tanker!)

Minor roads, and the little roadway into our drive were not really possible

30cms of snow had fallen overnight, accompanied by thunder and lightening. Power lines were down, and homes without electricity, even, as it was reported in the papers “deux pas de Flamanville”(the nuclear reactor). Our power was off and on several times during the day, but we banked the fire and stayed indoors, apart from bringing the wood in. Sunday was a bright sunny day, so we wrapped up well and ventured out on foot to get some fresh bread from the little shop in St. Germain.

Monday and Tuesday again were bright and sunny, though very cold. Snow that had melted froze each night making going out more hazardous, but we managed to get to Les Pieux for some shopping – huge bags of potatoes and onions, bread and bottles of wine!! I also did a tour of gites and holiday homes, putting heating on against the frosts.

Wednesday it snowed all day, and again today

Now the snow is even deeper than it was last weekend

and the van that was cleared of snow and out and about on Monday and Tuesday is in need of digging out again

Don’t think we’ll be going out again this side of the weekend. Did call next door, after digging our way to the gate

to check that the neighbours were all right. Marjory suggested playing in the snow, and much to our surprise our 69 yr-old neighbour came out for a snowball fight. The dog, a springer spaniel, joined in, disappearing on several occasions under the snow!!

SO, a white Christmas?? don’t think I’d bet on it – you can have too much of a good thing after all!!

 

First effects of global warming? Paradoxically, could well be with the Gulf Stream pushed further south by the water from the melting ice-caps. So what to do about it? Stay in; keep warm; open a bottle of wine, or perhaps a drop of calva – what more ??

Bob & Marjory

“Dreaming of a White Christmas”??

The snow arrived here, after some days of bitterly cold weather, on Friday morning. We’d been following the discussion in the media, which seemed to say nothing more certain than “possibly, but probably not”; so it was quite a surprise to waken to the snow in the garden

Just after midday we set off, somewhat warily as it was still snowing, towards Benoistville for lunch. The roads were covered, with only tyre-tracks each way, and the snow continued to fall . At Les Pieux we joined the back of queue of traffic which then ground to a halt. Fortunately, we managed to turn and make our way home, very slowly; passing various queues, and the gendarmerie on duty redirecting traffic. No pre-Christmas lunch for us on Friday.

Saturday we checked the gites, in the snow; but a glorious, if bitterly cold day

 – and the views over the dunes were wonderful

So, snow for Christmas ?? Posibly, but probably not. Today is grey and wet, though still bitterly cold; certainly not the stuff of Christmas cards.

One Christmas meal missed. But one occasion “The Buche de Noel” started off our Christmas celebrations last Tuesday

not only the cake, but an afternoon of eating and drinking -with fruit salad, biscuits, chocolate, clementines, and of course wine, coffee and calva and rhum!! 

Sunday we had our own Christmas dinner, as Christmas Eve we eat out at friends’ in the village, and Christmas Day with the neighbours. The diet starts after that, or maybe in the New Year.

Hope to see you next year; watch out for our special offers for the Spring, and news of another, larger gite for holidays next year.

“Bonnes Fetes” to all our readers.

Bob and Marjory

Yet more snow!!

Just look at what we awoke to today –

snow-feb4 

 

After strong, and bitterly cold winds yesterday, it went quiet overnight, and this morning there was an eerie silence, without the usual traffic noise – the sound of the few cars on the road muffled by a couple of inches of snow. 

The house itself, and all the trees in the garden are blanketed with the snow –

snow-feb1

The meteo had forecast some snow flurries overnight, and continuing through the day – I’d say this was more than a few flurries. The 40-year old Christmas tree, planted out after their first Christmas by the people who built the house, and which now has pride of place in the garden looks even more magnificent than ever – pity it’s the last day of Christmas (Candlemas, The Presentation of Christ in the Temple) today.

snow-feb2

Do French children not play in the snow, or have snow-ball fights?!?  Last weekend, talking with a French neighbour about the possibility of snow this week, she asked “Is it really true that children in Scotland play out in the snow?” Marjory, born in Scotland, assured her that this was the case!!

On a different, but related, note, last weekend was the annual count of garden birds, organised by the Normandy Ornithological Group (GON). Very important this year after the coldest winter in these parts for over 50 years. I used to take part in a similar exercise with the RSPB in England, and really do need to get myself organised to join GON next year. If you’re interested in ornithology in these parts (just a few years ago we had English guests thrilled to have seen Hoopoes at Surtainville), you can find out more from Gon’s website – www.gonm.org

Bob