28 January 2012

Still winter

This is one of those mornings when you just want to pull the covers up over your head and stay in bed. I woke up at 6:30 to the sound of hard rain. Actually, rain that sounded more like ice pellets slapping against the windows had awakened me at five. I finally worked up the courage to get up at seven.

Not this morning, but an afternoon a few days ago

I knew I couldn't really stay in bed. The cat needed feeding, and the dog will need walking, even in the rain. With temperatures just above freezing, it won't be a lot of fun — at least for me. Callie won't mind unless it's raining pretty hard when we go out. We are supposed to have temperatures below freezing — finally — by Monday, with a chance of snow that day or the next.

Another photo?

What do you do on a Saturday when it's chilly and damp outside? You don't go to the open-air market unless you really need to. Go to the supermarket? I did that yesterday. I forgot to buy eggs, though, so maybe I'll get the Peugeot out of the garage and go again. Cook something? No need — we're eating left-over coq au vin for lunch. Read? I'm trying to get through part of Michelet's Le Moyen Age, which is a history of the Middle Ages in France that was written in the mid-1800s. It's not exactly a thriller.

Michelet was born in 1798.

Michelet's book is a real pavé — a paving stone — of more than 1000 pages. I've been reading parts of it off and on, and over and over, since I bought it in Paris in 1981. Yes, '81. It seems like I've been reading the part about the lead-up to the 100 Years War for about as long as that war lasted. What I'm looking for this time is information about the Touraine province, where we live. I'd like to find a good book about the history of La Touraine. If you know of one...

La Touraine is mentioned on this page. It says there was
a Scotsman named Douglas who became the
Count of Touraine hundreds of years ago.

Winter. A few months ago I had so much work to do in the yard and vegetable garden that I was looking forward to winter, when I wouldn't have to be busy all the time. Now I look forward to spring, so that I can get back to work outside. Isn't that the story of life?


  1. The bottom para is relevant to Preuilly I know. Les Northmans and les Anglais sous Duguesclin fought it out at the chateau here. It's a tangled story that I must get round to researching and writing about on the blog.

  2. Your lethargy with the weather is similar to mine here in Perth at 40 degrees. My dogs didn't even want to go for a walk this morning as it was 28 degrees at 6.30 a.m.! Reading favourite blogs, a good book and air conditioning are the only options! Enjoy your afternoon!

  3. Louise, 40C would lay me low. Still, given the choice, I would prefer doing nothing because of overwhelming heat to doing nothing because it's too cold out.

  4. callie's winter coat is so nice & fluffy....we havent had much of a winter here yet......waiting to see if we get a really bad feb....
    word ver. is "warma"

  5. Is it one of those really annoying books in the French tradition that doesn't have an index?

    If so, do you have any idea why French non-fiction books never seem to have an index? It makes life difficult.

  6. Well, you know, a hard rain's gonna fall ... ;)

  7. Simon, I don't know. I think it's because you are supposed to work hard and just read — not skim and jump around from section to section. There is a very detailed table of contents. You have to adapt to the culture...

    The fact is, French books draw a much smaller audience than English books. In other words, they don't sell so many. That means they don't have the budget to work with that English-language publishing houses have. Have you ever tried to do an index? It's very labor-intensive work. Costs a fortune.

    And why do they put the table of contents in the back of the book instead of in the front? Sheer perversity, I guess.

    Judy, we've already had the hard rain(s). Now we are going to experience the ice age again... maybe.

  8. This post reminds me of why I dislike winter so much.

  9. Beautiful photo of the pond.
    I have been reading the series of "Earth's children" by Jean M.Auel. I still have 2 more books to read and cannot wait. (Interestingly, I watched Werner Herzog documentary about the painted cave that was discovered only few years back in the Ardèche).
    I bought "The swerve :How the world became modern" by Stephen Greenblatt. I hope it doesn't take me 31 years to read.


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