It is interesting to compare the differences with the weather in NE Scotland with the weather here in France.
It can get cold here…
The water from our well (where the underground source is about 8m below ground and from where we pump up the water to an open tank of around 6000 litres) is little used as it is primarily for Papa’s garden however, they do use the water as ‘dirty water’ for their toilets and the tank itself, which is open to the elements has a covering of ice that is around 4” (10cm) thick and has been for over a month!
The north side of our garage and house both have frost on the grass yet the all the other aspects have none due to the sun. In fact, the difference in temperature between the north facing aspects and the others can be more than 20 degrees C when the sun is shining which is quite dramatic!
The other thing that I find is that the cold is a ‘dry’ cold.
I manage to drive to the golf course and have seen temperatures as low as -8, yet play golf and, if the sun comes out, take off my winter jacket and play in a jersey whilst wearing sunglasses!
Of course, the greens and the fairways have the most incredible bounces and at one time I found myself playing off the ice on one of the small lakes!
Last week we woke up to a smattering of snow and, knowing that the sun would come out later, I donned my winter gear and took out my Nordic skis to have a play in the field beside us. The dog soon lost interest in trying to bite the tips as I pushed myself through the snowy grass, catching on molehills as I whizzed by at 5mph. I soon got bored but at least I had some fun.
I am not sure if we will go skiing this year to the mountains – there is now plenty of snow in the Alps and it looks like a promising ski season although a late start. Who know, we may go to one of the closer resorts for the day.
Even though we now live in France, there are certain traditions which cannot be ignored and celebrating the life of the bard is one of them. My sister (Rosie) took a couple of tins of Haggis with her when she came here and left them with us. Tins(?) I hear you cry in disbelief and so did I when I saw them however, we invited some guests, I cooked the tatties and neaps (it took a long time to find the right neaps as the one’s that we are familiar with in Scotland are not common here and the alternative is a tasteless white variety which is fed to the cows – I know why), Martine cooked a nice soup and our guests brought the pudding – yes not completely traditional but we tried!
I managed to recite a few lines from the bard but used YouTube to have a professional address the Haggis which was a lot more impressive than me fighting my way through versus of auld Scots which nobody here understands anyway!
We have a good few drams and even more wine (I also managed a few G&T’s for aperitif – Burns may have liked John Barleycorn as do I, but I also enjoy ‘Mothers Ruin’!) whilst the Caledonian Pipe Band played in the background – I had to later change this to some background jazz as the bagpipes get a little wearing after an hour or two on repeat!
The Haggis I hear you ask (?) – it was delicious!
A great night, guid fayre, guid company and a guid dram!