Un froid de canard!
Un froid de canard! a french expression that means freezing cold, but translates directly to "a cold for ducks"... Do ducks like the cold? I don't know. Anyways, It's cold, very cold. I came back from the UK on Monday night to find the temperature down to -10 centigrade. So cold, the water had frozen in the pipe and so I had no water. To top it off, the central heating had run out of fuel. So a very cold night under three duvets followed. We can safely say I didn't get much sleep. Even Dolly was shivering! So first thing in the morning, off to the shop I go to get some fuel and get the heating going. The temp high for that day was -6. But at least come the evening, I had the fire burning, and the central heating going. Sleeping was not a problem, but the temperatures outside went down to -12, and the water staid frozen. I have the dog, cat and chickens to water, myself to wash and a toilet to flush. No option but to go down to the river with a couple of buckets to keep me going for the day. It's Wednesday night and after another -12 morning , the temperatures are back to 0 now. And hooray! I have some water. It is a small trickle out of just one tap, but it's enough to fill a kettle to wash with. Strangely temperatures tomorrow are expected to reach +15, so the water should be back. Needless to say, it has not been a fun or productive couple of days.
It's been a tough winter overall; The wettest in a 100 years, Three major bouts of snow (even though all the locals told me it never snowed anymore), and an unusually cold February. Still, spring is not far away now! The locals are taking the winter in their stride like it was nothing. I must have gone soft since I left France, because it has definitely been a challenge. Eating outside and sitting by the stream to keep cool last summer seem so far away. But I have always said, that one of the things I love about the region are its well defined seasons. and It has really delivered this year!