I’m not intending to be very quiet today. Mind you, I’ve had a silent week, so I’m just getting some words out of my system. The snow that fell last Sunday morning is still knee-deep. It wasn’t until Thursday that the roads were clearer, and I was lucky to have lots of ‘indoor’ jobs to do. First off, I’m glad I’ve got Skype appointments (and glad I have ‘real’ appointments when the internet goes down!!) and I’ve been teaching across the world. Well, Bolton, Horwich, Plymouth and Finland this week. Oh, and Pressignac and Chabanais. The internet is a great thing. Second, I’ve been finishing everything off – managed to finish off my marking, most of a couple of pieces of translation I’ve been doing and then a big piece of writing. Whoo!
I’m not going to lie to you though: it’s been 6:30 starts and cold hands, two cardigans and a hat until the beast awakes and makes a fire. I could make a fire myself, but it’s a full time job at the moment and if I get into fire-making, I’d not get any work done. It’s been a fresh 12°C inside each morning, and a good -10, -8 or even -15 outside. Though it’s not snowed, it’s still deep. It was only yesterday that I went for a wander round the garden.
I realised the moles have not been idle in this cold time – though surely they’re in overdrive with this cold turf? I’ve got several HUUUUGE molehills in the snow – bigger than I’ve ever seen. There are also loads of crazy prints in the snow – birds, of course, dogs too, and possibly cats, but then one or two sets I can’t identify. They trot from the very end of the garden, right at the bottom of the triangle – and up alongside the fence before disappearing.
We’ve also got huuuugge icicles – the gutters melt during the day and freeze overnight. I don’t even want to think about how much damage there might be. I’m just going to enjoy it whilst it’s pretty and worry about cracked pipes down the garden and in the outhouses later.
Jake made it to school on Thursday and Friday – though there were only about 10 kids in school. Most of them were very local. The majority from further afield weren’t there at all.
Monsieur Noireau has settled right in and doesn’t seem bothered about going outside – maybe he knows how cold it is out there. Tilly’s been bonkers this week. She’s finally learned to play (yay!) and has been chasing an old bit of bone we’ve been throwing for her. She’s a funny little dog. Fancy not knowing how to play! She’s been trying to squash on to the couch with me at night – I’ve been sleeping in the front room as there is ice on the inside of my window in the bedroom and there’s no way on earth I’m sleeping in there when the couch is on offer. I could get the hot water bottles out, and I’ve got two duvets in there, but the front room is so warm at night – the fire is like nature’s valium – that there’s no way on earth I want to leave our 22 degree front room and sneak off to my bedroom with its ice. Not a chance.
The snow is set to stay until at least Tuesday. It’s pretty, but I’m tired of it. I wonder how people in Russia and Finland and Canada live. A cold life is not a life for me.
The river – which only came back on the 15th December – is almost frozen across the surface – and slushy in other parts. Don’t get me wrong – it is absolutely beautiful, and going for a walk when you’re all wrapped up is great. I drove over to St Claud yesterday along the forest routes – never usually much traffic – and the car was like a dodgem. The road between Chasseneuil and Pont D’Agris was still covered with snow, so I came back along the motorway, which is mostly clear.
The highlight of my week has definitely been this teapot from Verity… I’m planning, for my 40th (or one of my celebrations, at the very least!) to have a sleepover in full old-lady-French-gear. I might even start going down the route of cutting out pictures from calendars and sticking them on cupboards. The teapot will find a place among cut-out pictures of chicks and alsatians.