So..., this Siberian weather continues. Best to stay indoors. Trouble is, the dogs need walking and wood needs to be brought in from the shrinking woodpile, both of which mean shivery forays into the grey and freezing not-so-great outdoors. Preparations for leaving the house currently take a bit longer than usual. Military Gore-Tex boots have to be warmed before being dragged onto freezing feet, laces have to be pulled and tied with numb fingers, then a second sweater has to be donned before squeezing into a thick fleece topped off with a woolly scarf and, finally, a comical fur-lined hat with ear flaps. It's a look that's unlikely to gain applause on the catwalks of London or Paris fashion houses, but out here in these conditions it's compulsory attire.
Dressed thus, I drove down to Felletin yesterday to stock up with a few provisions and noticed the flashing sign outside the chemist's indicating minus 8 degrees. Drove back home and had a quick look at the thermometer nailed to the shed. Minus 13. Hah! Cissy townies don't know the meaning of the word 'cold'. Warmed up a bit by wheelbarrowing some wood indoors and chainsawing some other logs in half for the smaller upstairs stove (stock of original smaller logs already exhausted). Then prepared for an evening in. Shoved some chicken bits in the oven and poured a medicinal scotch. Phone rang. Dammit. Isabelle demanded I come down for crepes (apparently yesterday was France's equivalent of Shrove Tuesday, despite being Thursday). Turned the oven right down, donned my fur hat and legged it down there in slippers (couldn't be arsed to don shoes), clutching my scotch. Had a very pleasant nosh-up and returned home. Checked the chicken and luckily it seemed fine. Might re-heat and nosh ce soir, but Georgie said something about re-heating meat can result in death so I might give it to the dogs. Went to bed at around midnight, mighty grateful to whoever invented the 'leccy blanket.
Woke this morning to a welcome bit of sunshine. Still chilly out though. Chopped up some bread for the birds. Then some more. Tough time for those poor little buggers out there. Shall now get dressed and get some more wood in. Definitely need stacks tonight. Clear skies mean even chillier nights. Hah! Bring 'em on!
4 weeks ago