It's what they call "duck cold" outside this morning. Actually, we've seen two or three ducks at a time on the pond out back over the past 10 days. Tasha chases them when they lift off in a great clatter of flapping of wings and fly in circles around the vineyard. The temperature this morning is minus seven Celsius, which is about 19ºF.
The pond is frozen over and we had a period of snow flurries late yesterday that turned the surface of the pond and dirt road white. The reason this is called a "cold for ducks" in French is that when the weather turns very cold... what do ducks do? They fly south. They can't land on, or feed in, a frozen pond.
Meanwhile, here's my status report. Walt went to the pharmacy yesterday and got me some medicine. It's an herbal remedy that contains extracts of pine tree buds and ginger root, along with "essential oils" (oleoresins) of pine, juniper, and an Amazonian plant called "copaiba balsam" (Copaifera officinalis).
The directions say to take two teaspoons of it three times a day, which is what I did yesterday. It tastes pretty good. I hardly coughed at all between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., which is how long I stayed in bed. I took another dose of this « Sirop Bronchosec » — its trade name — a few minutes ago. It's officially a dietary supplement (un complément alimentaire), the label says, so not a drug. It seems to be helping.
P.S. The bad news: Walt just got out of bed and came downstairs. Now he's sick too.
So our February miseries will extend into March...