13 November 2010

Bands of rain

It's been raining for days. Not steadily, but repeatedly. Bands of big dark clouds keep blowing in off the Atlantic. Recently, because the wind and rain have been coming in from the southwest, temperatures have been exceptionally mild, morning and afternoon.

The vineyard in November seen from our back gate

Now the weather is changing and the rain bands are coming in from the northwest, off more northerly, colder stretches of ocean. Oh well, I guess some kind of change is better than none at all.

A forsythia bush

And the wind has been amazing. We are still getting used to living upstairs, right under the roof. My impression of it at this point has to include the sound of wind whistling under the eaves. The house doesn't shake the way the wood frame house we lived in back in San Francisco did — it's built of brick and concrete, so it's more solid. But you can still feel the wind blow. You can especially feel its chill, since the walls downstairs aren't well insulated.

Apple, linden, and evergreen trees in the back yard

It's supposed to rain today. Surprise, surprise. We're on the very southern limit of the main rainstorm, so it will be hit or miss here in Saint-Aignan. North of us, Normandy and Picardy, not to mention areas north of there, including Belgium, will get another good soaking.

Two of our apple trees

Tomorrow, however, they say a band of chilly rain will cross all of France, from northwest (Brittany) to southeast (the Alps). It should go through Saint-Aignan in the middle of the day. I'm planning to make a choucroute garnie to ward off the cold. (That's a link to a 2009 post about sauerkraut as it's prepared and served in France.)

Leaves on the cover over the compost pile

And after that, miracle of miracles, they're saying we will see the sun for three or four days. Maybe by Tuesday and Wednesday we'll be able to get outside and clean up some of the mess of autumn leaves you see in these pictures. If they have time to dry out a little, we might even be able to burn some of them.


  1. We have got 27 degrees C today (that's 80 degrees F), and it's getting drier as summer comes. Kerry Hand www.thefieldofgold.blogspot.com

  2. Hi Ken, Your French weather people are right, unfortunately. It's been raining steadily here since yesterday afternoon and in some areas - near rivers and brooks - several streets are flooded. South-west of Brussels they have started evacuating people as the water is coming into their houses.

    There is no immediate danger where I live as the only brook in our village runs underground. More rain is predicted for today and tomorrow. Let's hope that will be the end of it! Martine

  3. Hope Bertie is all cozy down
    in the utility room. Also have
    been wondering whether Callie
    has been venturing upstairs to
    sleep with you yet.

  4. The year in Paris, I remember thinking, "I guess in France, it rains some every day in September and October. That must be why all of the cars are clean." It DID rain every day that year. But...it's November, isn't it??

    We seem to have your weather patterns before you get them.... several gray days of cold and rain, followed by a week of glorious, sunny days with highs in the mid 70s, and now... suddenly, it's FALL with a vengeance... came in overnight.

    I loved the St. Martin church. The window was gorgeous, and I love those simple stone churches.

    I ditto Sheila's questions about Bertie and Callie, too:)

  5. Ken,
    Sue and I spent this weekend (see blog) at Flinders, a small beachside hamlet about 90 mins from home. Guess what - just like France and Belgium - constant rain and we are drifting from spring to summer.
    Can't complain really as we are pleased to see our water reserves filling.
    Leon and Sue

  6. I, too, am wondering about Bertie. November is traditionally the nicest month of the year here in Florida - temps in the low 80's (27-28C), no humidity, no rain and no tourists. :)


  7. I spent some time in Florida many years ago, but I don't know if I was ever there in November. I remember Christmas holidays in Central Florida when it was downright hot. And I spent a summer in Lakeland. That was too hot for me, but the contrast with Champaign, Illinois, where I lived back then, certainly was striking.

    Rain yesterday never materialized, and the sun came out for a few hours in the afternoon. It's supposed to rain most of the day today, however.

    Sorry to hear about the flooding in Belgium, Martine.

    Judy, November is a lot rainier than September or October, at least most years.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?