06 January 2010

The big news in France...

...is cold weather. I just came in from a walk with the dog. We cut it kind of short this morning. There's a very fine, light snow falling, and the temperature is -4ºC, or +25ºF. Luckily, there's no wind.

This is proving to be a very cold winter by Saint-Aignan standards. Like last summer, which was consistently warmer and sunnier than most, this winter is colder and snowier than what we have gotten used to.

Today's lows — ours is the -5ºC toward the center of the country,
between all the minus ones and minus fours. That's +23ºF for us.

The forecast for this morning — Saint-Aignan is on the
leading edge of the snow that's moving in from the west.

It started snowing at about 8:00 a.m.

I really ought to go down to town and take some pictures of the snow-covered rooftops of the houses, the church, and the château. But it's too cold, and the hill down to the main road is too steep and slippery. So you'll have to use your imagination.

Afternoon temperatures inland will be right around freezing today.

The snow will move on inland, but we're under it all day.

Today I'm trying my hand at making that Korean cabbage specialty called Kimchi or Kim Chee. More about that later.

Walt is making a Galette des Rois, the special almond-filled, puff-pastry cake that people in France eat on January 6, which is a religious holiday called The Epiphany. It celebrates the day, in legend, when the three kings or wise men arrived in Bethlehem from the East to bring gifts to baby Jesus.

Here's Thursday: more snow.

We are all closed in and the furnace (boiler, actually) is running on high to heat up the big cast-iron radiators that warm all the rooms of the house. Once the house warms up again, after the overnight chill burns off, we'll turn off the boiler and start a fire in the wood-burning stove. That will heat the part of the house where we spend afternoons and evenings.

And Friday doesn't look much better.

The cold weather is supposed to last through the weekend, with snow about every day. But then the weather forecasters often predict snow (or rain) for days after it snows (or rains) just once. Half the time, they are wrong, it seems to me, and the weather improves.

To think we used to come to France for vacations in January!


  1. It seems like all of Europe is suffering the cold. Here in Scotland we're breaking records for both snow and freezing temperatures. It will be easy for me to imagine the snowy rooftops of Saint Aignan. You and Walt stay warm.

  2. It sounds like the weather outside is frightful, but the food inside's delightful...so let it snow...let it snow...

  3. No one could've said it better than Bill in NH :)) Right you are!

    And it's continuing to be unusually cold here (lows from about 5°F to -1°F!), and we're definitely supposed to get snow all evening tonight, and again somewhat Thursday. Total accumulation expected to be 4-6" (which would be how many cm??). I'm expecting a no-school day or two!


  4. Well, the snow stopped. It's supposed to start up again later today. Bill, you are so right. Judy, you can keep that weather over there in St. Louis. We've got it made here, while you got 10 to 15 cm of snow, and really polar temperatures. Keir, you'll be glad to get to Couffy, I think, where the weather is a little milder.

  5. Only one thing to do : heat up the oven and cook. I hope the cold wave doesn't last too long.

  6. Ken

    Is it Maangchi KimChi:

    I read an article on her this morning btw


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