04 January 2012

Up the hill and through the woods

This what we see when we leave home and walk or drive toward Saint-Aignan. The center of town is only 3 km (2 miles) from our front gate, but it feels like we are far out in the country. And there isn't much foot or car traffic.

January on the rue de la Renaudière, just outside Saint-Aignan

From the other direction, the road passes a few houses down below — twice as many houses, actually, as there were down there when we arrived here in 2003 — before driving or walking up the hill through the woods to get to our little village. It's a hamlet rather than a village, really, because there's no church, no shops.

The road in...

When you get past the houses and into the woods, the hill is very steep and narrow. In wintertime, with all the rains, the shoulders are soft and muddy. If you're driving and meet another vehicle, you have to pull halfway off the pavement to get by.

...and up the hill

I looked back at our weather record for the December that just passed. We had rain on 15 out of 31 days, and more rain that we've ever had in a month since we starting keeping track of precipitation and temperatures about 7 years ago. Luckily, we live at the top of the hill and don't have to worry about flooding.


  1. Ken,just curious, what have you had overnight, please... our weather station recorded 23.7mm, but it was very windy and the little rocker in the gauge is affected by wind.
    The millstream is up by at least a foot, but we are at the end of the Aigronne.
    I am redoing our weather recording set-up and intend to get a little cylinder gauge like yours to counter check against.

  2. Tim, Walt just checked and we got 17 mm overnight. So far, we've had measurable rainfall very day of 2012 — but today it's sunny and nice. And a nice break.

  3. These pics remind me of some parts of Connecticut. I'm sure it's very different but it's so beautiful.

  4. Thanks Ken... seems likely ours was Ok this time... another 7mm sounds about right... it was hammering it down around 2AM, Pauline says.
    It is very nice today... you can really feel the sun if you are in a sheltered spot.... roll on the walled garden!

  5. I wondered whether the river near us was about to burst its banks a second time - it's definitely full to bursting!

  6. What a lovely photo of Chambord!
    We had standing water out on the land again bacause of the amount of rain overnight. Just glad we're not next to a stream/river.

  7. What a charming place to live!

  8. Is the house in the second photo the one that is for sale?

  9. Ladybird, no, it's not that house, which is at the bottom of the hill. The one for sale is the first one on the right at the top of the hill. No more news about that one at this point, but I'll let you know.

  10. Starman:

    Good one - I chuckled.

    Ken: Beautiful pictures.

    Donna in SF

  11. Starman and Donna, fact is, of the eleven people who live up on the hill, four actually are grandmothers (and four are grandfathers).


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