Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings

Friday, 12 January

Winter surprised us this week. On Tuesday, when I opened the door onto the dark morning to walk the dog, snow that had not been forecast blanketed the landscape. Better yet it stuck long enough to stick in the memory, and yesterday there were still patches of white to cheer the eye.

Finally some 'seasonal' weather. With 2023 being the hottest year on record, this January in France is the first month in the last 24 that temperatures have not been above ‘average’. Whatever 'seasonal' and 'average' now mean. Any snow we’ve seen in the recent past has disappeared before it has finished falling.

I'd almost forgotten how wondrous it is, snow. The way it creates a hush all around, except for the crunching sound under your boots...or paws...

Keeping track of Tasha

...the way it gives a sense (however misleading) that the world is at peace.


It is accompanied by frozen ground, meaning that you are no longer sloshing through puddles and mud, as we have been for the last few months. Though no complaints from me on that front. Thirsty water tables have been gulping down the rains, and any flooding we experienced here in the Perche, unlike in other parts of France, has been short-lived and limited to some fields...and our lane...

A river runs through it

A good freeze, too, means that some of the too many insect larvae, who, after all the warm weather, are already rubbing their hungry little caterpillar legs in anticipation of devouring the leaves of our plants and trees again this summer, may be euthanised, as is supposed to happen in winter...


Another advantage of snowy, cold days is that the dog comes home clean from her walk…

I hear you; I'm coming

…when she comes back. Besides acting as a stimulant, snow seems to amplify the call of the wild to the irresistible pitch of a siren's song. After a long period of relative obedience, the Indefatigable One has lit out for the territory three times this week during our morning walks.

And often with cold weather comes the sun, of which we have seen precious little since I can’t even remember when.

True blue

Welcome clarity and calm after a whirlwind end to 2023, with last-minute trips to Northern Ireland where the sun doesn't shine (or rarely, and never for long) in winter...

Swinging in Bangor

...Berlin, which was just as dark, and Arles, where the sky may have been clear but the Mistral muddled the mind...

Blowing in the wind

Travel conditions meant blogs did not get written, especially as all along the way I have been working intensively on the final revisions to a novel that will be published later this year (more on that soon!).

This morning the snow is gone, thick clouds are back and it's a mournful day. The week ahead offers little encouragement, except seasonal temperatures.

But hey, it's a new year, and despite the messy, mad world out there, I send you best wishes and a sliver of hope for 2024.

Let there be light

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