My title says "the hamlet in three photos" — but this is actually only about half of the hamlet. It's made up of nine houses, and there are four houses in the first image. You can see what wintertime looks like here this year. Our house is the one that the road appears to be heading toward. You're seeing the back of the house, which over looks the yard.
I took these photos three or four days ago on a very warm (for mid-January) afternoon. I moan about everything being gray and sad-looking in the Loire Valley winter, but you can see it's not really true. It's browner than it is gray, at least when there's no fog. And there are reds and greens and blues too, though muted. It's pretty here, even in the dead of winter.
I was on my way home after a walk with Tasha in the vineyard. I take an afternoon walk with the dog every other day. I also take a morning walk with her every other morning. Walt does the same, but on opposite days. When the weather is good, I walk farther than on very cold or very wet days. But rain doesn't stop me, or Walt either, from going out for a daily walk.
Obviously, going out for a walk every day helps keep cabin fever at bay, or at least reduces its intensity. Photography, tennis or films on TV, cooking, trying to organize things on my computers... those are wintertime activities. It's important to have a project and to feel like you've accomplished something despite the dark, short days and less than ideal weather.