7 Feb 2012

A freezing Arctic wind

While huge parts of Europe (including most of France) have been suffering record-breaking freezing  conditions, here in this region we’ve just had the bitterly cold wind but no snow. And it’s been howling for days now, with not much relief in sight. Though we have had wonderful clear blue skies, so there is that to be thankful for.

Here’s the four day forecast – those winds of 75 kph and gusts of 110 kph (and chill factor of -10) are freezing. 

And they're a little destructive. Well, they have been in my courtyard, anyway. Yesterday it blew down the dividing fence, taking my planter boxes with it. 

So I’ve rolled up part of the bamboo fencing, as it’s not going to stay upright for long in this wind. Perhaps now’s the time to consider putting in a more permanent structure - some posts cemented into the ground or something …..

This is the longest cold spell I’ve experienced since I’ve lived here. We’ve had snow before but it’s not lasted more than a couple of days. And my fish pond has only ever had a thin layer of ice on it, and that’s not lasted long either. 

At the moment, the ice is about 2 – 3 centimetres thick and the fish are looking rather lethargic.

Some of my plants are looking decidedly unhappy – parsley’s a goner I think.

But what seems not to be suffering at all – and in fact is looking really good is my wattle (acacia) tree. It’s just about to blossom.

Here’s a photo of it taken two years ago, weighed down heavily with snow. 

I don’t know what I was thinking of, planting a wattle in a planter box – so back he went into the ground. And it’s never looked back. 

A bit spindly, and tied to the upstairs balcony with a bit of rope – but doing a good job of creating a bit of summer shade for the courtyard.

In about a week or so's time when it's fully out, it's going to be a picture ....

And because I’ve been spending rather a lot of time indoors until it warms up a little, I’ve been trying to tidy up my photo folders. I’m a little lax when it comes to culling and categorizing. So I’m posting a few totally random ones that I stumbled upon which I quite like ……
At a vide-grenier in Argeliers last year -
a pumpkin seller who was more than happy
to pose and have his photo taken.
Newly pruned plane trees - Argeliers
A carving set no home should be without.
The shoe van that comes to Bize about once a month and
parks up for the morning on the Promenade.
The famous Blue Champagne ("La Soupe") being made in my kitchen by the lovely ladies of Bize. I had Christmas drinks at my place before I went to Australia - this brew had a total of 8 bottles of sparkly (there were quite a few of us!) plus all the other goodies. Delicious.....
Just a gorgeous window  ......
And this is one of my favourites. I took it on a group walk late last year - from the hills behind Bize. It's looking south to the Pyrenees. I used the maximum zoom of my little camera and stitched a few shots together, so they do appear closer than they are. They're actually at least an hour's drive from here, and can only been seen on clear days.

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