24 November 2011

November stopped by yesterday

Now it's November. The month arrived more than three weeks late this year. It rolled in under cover of a thick fog and a leaden gray sky.

Pots and planter boxes emptied of their summer
occupants, washed, and left to dry

The day before, we were outside in sunshine cleaning up the last of the potted plants growing just outside the back door. Walt picked up the last of the apples and then ran the lawnmower over the thick grass that had grown high under the big apple tree and around the garden plots. The race to get cleaned up for winter came right down to the wire.

The hedge and house at 8:30 yesterday morning

This is hibernation time in the northern French countryside. I'm sleeping from about 9:30 p.m. many evenings until nearly 7:00 a.m. many mornings now. It's the (absence of) light that does a number on my body, I think. Food and photography keep me going through the so-called daylight hours. At night, the color goes out of everything.

Apples, apples, apples

Right now, only three of the houses in the hamlet — out of nine — have people in them. The Blésois have moved back to Blois, the « Parisiens » have decamped to the région parisienne, and the young people who rented the house three doors down, worked at the zoo, and kept the chickens whose clucking and crowing gave the hamlet an authentic rural ambiance — well, they all moved on to parts unknown, leaving one more dark house on the road, and fewer entertaining barnyard sounds.

One more empty house in the hamlet

It's not cold outside yet, but that won't be long in coming, probably. The temperature this morning is about 50F instead of the 30F we might expect. It's Thanksgiving Day, but that's not a holiday in France, so we're in this weird space where we instinctively feel that life should be put on hold, but we're about the only ones who know it.

The end of the road

Today in Saint-Aignan, the mail gets delivered, and the bread, as usual. The stores are all open (unless of course there's some unpredictable fermeture exceptionnelle just to keep things interesting). It's just another Thursday, like all the others.

View from a rear window

The news points out that Christmas Eve is exactly one month away. That's something to look forward to, and then the days will start getting longer again. Meanwhile, enjoy your turkey, or turducken, and pumpkin pie.


  1. Know what you mean about Thanksgiving. It's been that way for me for a long time. Married to a Scot and living in different coutries in Europe marking Thanksgiving was/is a very hit & miss affair. Sometimes we have had enough American friends where we lived to organise a Thankssgiving dinner.
    This year it will confit de canard and roasted pumpkin for the 2 of us :-)
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Walt.

  2. We had thick fog yesterday too - feels like winter is really settling in.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy that lovely 'gigot d'agneau'! Martine

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Antoinette and Niall. Thanks, Martine. Ladyjustine, yes, you are right.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving to Ken and Walt and to all.

    Today for Thanksgiving diner I'll have poached eggs with Meurette sauce. That will remind me of our diner at La Fontaine de Mars a few years ago; hello Evelyn and Lewis!arinte

  6. And happy Thanksgiving to you!

    I'm up early-early to finish the rolls I started too late yesterday. I put the yeast dough in the frig last night and am hoping for the best.

  7. Ken, you've managed to make yesterday's gloooooom look really rather nice in your pictures!

  8. Happy Thanksgiving Ken! I hope you and Walt enjoyed the lamb. It is overcast in LA this morning with a 30 % chance of showers. Looking forward to a nice meal with my friends.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving Ken and Walt ( and Callie :-) )
    Enjoy your lamb dinner >

  10. Hi CHM- I need to learn how to make Meurette sauce this year since I like eggs a lot. I have fond memories of our dinner at la Fountaine de Mars.

    Happy Thanksgiving Ken and Walt.


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