07 February 2013

Different days, same scene

Yesterday afternoon I decided to take a picture of our nice sunny weather out the kitchen window. When I picked up the camera, I found it didn't have a card in it. I looked at the camera's internal storage, and I found a photo I'd forgotten. It's the same scene exactly, looking out the same window. Look at the difference.

January 20, 2013

February 6, 2013

I think I'll take the second view, please, many times over through February and March. And on the same subject...

TF1's evening journal télévisé last night featured a report saying that, according to official weather statistics, the January we just suffered through here in northern France was the grayest month of January, with the fewest hours of sunshine, in more than 60 years.

Did Walt ever post a picture of this Tarte Tatin that he made a while back?
It brightened up a couple of dreary winter days, for sure.

The TF1 report picked the upper Burgundy town of Auxerre as its example. Auxerre is about two hours south of Paris, and about three hours east of Blois. Les pauvres Auxerrois got a total of 14 hours of sunshine over the course of the entire month of January 2013. France 3 TV, I see on the web, reported similar statistics for the towns of Troyes and Langres, farther east. Reims (in Champagne) had 80% less sunshine than in an average month of January.

I don't have statistics, but I can't imagine that Saint-Aignan got much more January sunshine than Auxerre or Troyes. Remember all those black & white photos I was posting last month? The news reports say that luminothérapie devices — special sun lamps, for example — are big sellers in the stores this winter. And the sunny islands near the equator in the Indian Ocean are attracting a lot of French vacationers.


  1. Holy moley! That is an incredibly low sunshine hours figure. Less than 100 hours for a month is low. 14 hours!!

  2. I think we had more sunshine than that, but more snow too.

    Incidentally, Troyes is twinned with Chesterfield in Derbyshire. Other than a few half-timbered buildings, the two towns have very little in common.

  3. The photos are really cool, no really hot.
    Have you been to Auxerre, we liked it.

  4. What a difference a couple of days make....I love the February photo. Enjoy the sunshine while you can.

  5. Hello Leon and Sue, yes, I've been to Auxerre several times, as far back as the early 1980s. Walt and I stayed there in a hotel and had a good dinner in 1993, I think it was. And recently we've been talking about going back there to get to know the place better, with the idea that we might leave Saint-Aignan one day and go live there, in the town. Far-off plans, maybe dreams, but it could happen... someday.

  6. I forgot to mention, Walt's tatin looks wonderful, not too dark, just right for me.

  7. Bonjour Ken,
    Do you and Walt take Vitamin D supplements and get your levels checked annually? We do, but I couldn't tell you whether it makes any difference or not.

  8. Moyen mnémotechnique pour se souvenir de la préfecture et des sous-préfectures d’un département:
    “Comme j’avais une soif de l’Yonne et que je sais à quoi l’Auxerre, je dis — dans un Sens Avallon.”

  9. No wonder you were complaining about the darkness in January! Love the look of February.

    I've been to Troyes (interesting history there and a Petit Bateau outlet among others), but not Auxerre.

  10. Wow, incredible to have those two photos! And... Walt outdid himself with that Tatin. Oooh!

  11. Bonjour Cousin

    Don't know whether you will be affected : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-06/-historic-winter-storm-moving-toward-u-s-northeast.html

  12. Wow, that tarte looks fantastic!

  13. So it wasn't just all us feeling it was terribily gloomy and grey.

    Walt's tarte tatin looks yummy!

  14. No, Antoinette and Niall, now we know that we are not just whiners.


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