Out and About

Snow, snow, snow, snow and more snow!

Well the snow is at last melting away and at least the ducks are happy again!  We have just come to the end of a long three week period of snow.  The snow doesn't usually last for that long and we definitely don't usually experience temperatures of -18 degrees.  
The climate is definitely changing, I remember that when I was a child the cold weather arrived much earlier.  My Mummy used to go out with her poppies in her tall furry bearskin hat and how we had to wrap up warm for Taro Fair on the Heath at Petersfield each October.  Last time we were at Taro Fair we saw people in shorts and T-shirts! 

For the last few years we have had snow before Christmas. In 2009 it came down so hard and fast R ended up leaving his bus at college and walking home.

I had to venture out to collect C and H from college, 
only to be met with tears of relief from H as she thought she was going to have to sleep there (some students had to!) 

M & W excitedly watching the first flakes fall.

This year M has been wishing for snow since last November but it didn't actually  arrive until the very end of January, the day before my parents were due to drive from the UK to our home in central France!  We didn't tell my Dad about the snow until he was too far south to turn around!! 

M ecstatic because the snow had at last arrived and it was actually here for her birthday and Mannie and Papi were pleased because the children had several unscheduled days off school during their stay (due to the extreme cold and lack of school transport).

................. and we are pleased because it has now all melted!! 

It makes me very sad to think that I spend most of the snowy days wishing it was all over.  I have always loved the snow (strange for someone who cannot stand being cold), in fact even now I still phone my Mum to tell her when the first flakes start to fall...... 

.....but these last few years I have also felt myself dreading the forecast of snow, our lives have changed and we have other considerations and responsibilities.  

Now instead of excitement, I have angst .......... will the children be able to get home from school? Will R be safe driving his bus? Will we have enough wood for the fires?  Will the services stay on?  Will the pipes burst?  Will the house stay warm? ......... and one of the biggest worries of all .... Will our animals be all right?  (Sadly this year we lost 3 ducks and then 2 baby lambs born on one of the coldest days).  
This year we did take the sheep into the barn before the lambs were born.

Everyone did get home safely, we did have enough wood and we did keep warm and even the services stayed on most of the time (unlike our first winter here when we spent a whole week without water, electricity, telephone or internet!)  

The children had a wonderful time building snowmen, making snow angels and sledging (the snow here stays so much cleaner than in the UK). 
Next year I vow the stop worrying too much and enjoy this wonderful, exciting, magical time of the year.  Safe in the knowledge that  together we will be all right.


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