The big news here in the Cher river valley this morning is the cold weather. We had a spell of warm weather last week, and the grape vines sprouted tender new leaves. Our thermometer reads +1.7ºC right now, but out in the vineyard it's probably colder than that.
One weather site is reporting temperatures below freezing right now, and it's supposed to be even colder tomorrow morning. Our little fig tree/bush will probably freeze again, as it has several times in recent years. It too had sprouted during the spell of warm weather.
Some of the wineries have giant vineyard fans they turn on in situations like these. The fans stir up the air and keep the cold from settling in at ground level. In theory, it's just enough to keep the new growth on the vines from freezing. We can hear them whirring this morning — they sound a little like helicopters.
Meanwhile, here are some more or less miscellaneous detail shots I've taken over the years in and around the Château de Valençay. Grape-growers over there must also be holding their breath this morning.
Our new one-month confinement has now started. We're not allowed to venture more than 10 kilometers (six miles) from home, and when we need to go farther than that we have to carry with us a signed sworn statement that details the purpose of our trip and the time and date of our departure from home. We are also required to carry with us a document that serves as a justificatif de domicile, usually a utility bill that shows our current address. And don't forget that we are still under a night-time curfew (from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m.), during which time we're not supposed to go out at all unless it's to go to work or to deal with an emergency. The government is urging people to work from home and business to systematically allow employees to work from home. You of course need documents to prove your reason for violating the curfew if you go out at night. All non-essential businesses are closed, as are schools. The rules are pretty complicated, so it's just easier to stay home as much as possible.