Life in the heart of France
2nd January 2012
Winter in the Limousin can be pretty cold, damp and grey, just as in the UK. But it's good to have distinct seasons, for the cold to kill all those pesky flies, for the leaves to return to the soil, and to get cozy in front of a log fire (or in our case on warm underfloor-heated tiles). And then the sun comes out and the countryside beams and you're reminded it won't be long till spring. Already the snowdrops are shyly flowering, the crocus buds are opening and whatever it was they planted in the field at the back of our house is sprouting greenly.
Some mornings are white and frosty, with mist lingering in the valley, some are pink and pretty giving into clear blue-skied bright days.
There's a healthy population of birds, mostly goldfinches and tits but also magpies and a resident robin, who come for the sunflower seeds outside our bedroom window every morning. Recently a pair of plump red-legged partridges have come for breakfast too. In early January we spotted a hedgehog sprinting about in the field next to our garden... insomnia?
Occasionally when the sun shines, we are tempted out for a walk, to get some oxygen in the lungs and lose a few of those festive flabby bits. These walks tend to be short though - it might look refreshing from indoors but that cold wind cuts through every layer of clothing
As well as beautiful dawns we often have gorgeous, dramatic sunsets.
It's good to see that the point where the sun sets is moving noticeably further west and that the days are definitely getting longer.
The wintry leafless view of Thiat through the trees. This is the field that contains happy sunflowers in high summer.
It seems a much better idea to leave those New Year resolutions (get fit, lose weight, you know, those perennials!) until March at least.
Having said that, we did have coffee sitting out on the terrace the other day....!
and is merciless on exposed skin.