We arrived back from France last night, after, errmm, what should I call it.... an interesting 10 days at the cottage. Well, let me explain -
Winters in our part of France can get pretty cold, thats what we love though, distinctly different seasons. And normally it isn't a problem. We go to the cottage in the winter knowing that for the first day and half, it will be pretty cold in the cottage, while the very thick field stone walls absorb the heat from the central heating radiators and the open fire. After that, once the walls have adjusted, its very cosy, and we can do without either the fire or the central heating.
However, we hadn't realised that our particular area had had a prolonged spell of very cold weather, between minus 15 and minus 20 C, and the cottage was VERY cold when we got there. It was minus 2C inside! Again, not normally problem, except.............. everything had frozen solid because of the long spell of icy cold weather. Bit of a nightmare, lol. Andy spent the first two days with fan heaters and hairdryers trying to defrost pipes, the toilet, taps etc, only to find that two of the copper pipes for the central heating system had burst, and the water cistern for the toilet had split. Oh joy. My hero did get the hot water system ( which is separate from the central heating, fortunately ) going on the second day, so we had hot water for baths, showers, washing up etc. No. 3 son Nick and I spent our time huddled in front of the fireplace, feeding it wood like crazy and doing not much more than crocheting ( me, not Nick, tehehe ) and watching films.
For the first few days, the temp outside dropped to around minus 12C at night, and didn't get much higher during the day, but then things got a little warmer, only minus 3 or thereabouts, and it snowed! And after a few days, we actually managed to get the temp in the cottage up to a summery 12C, woohoo. And towards the end of our stay, we managed a positively tropical 20C, even without the central heating working, lol. Those French fireplaces are darned efficient. Warm enough to finally invite some of our neighbours round for the essential French apero ( drinkies and nibbles before dinner, which is very late in France ) on Saturday night. We are so very lucky to have such wonderful neighbours. We spent a fabulous evening with them, laughing so much that my jaw was still aching on Sunday morning.
But thats enough waffling from me, I'll show you a few pics. Firstly, meet ......... THE SLUG! Tehehehe, Nick had been wise enough to bring his sleeping bag -
DS thought it was a little unkind calling him a slug, lol. But come on, it does rather look like a giant green slug!
Things were definitely looking up when it started snowing -
And once the cottage was nice and warm, the doggies didn't need to snuggle under a blanket, they just curled up on top -
Sunday evening we spent with our dearest friends Frank and Christine, who had very kindly invited us all ( yep, including the doggies ) to dinner. Monday morning we packed up and made our way back to the UK. Despite the little disasters, we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the cottage. Next time we go, it will be a lot warmer and my hero DH will fix the central heating system.
I did miss out on making my Tag Tuesday tag and my inchies for Every Inchie Monday though, so I have some catching up to do. I managed to make last week's TT tag this morning and post it on the TT blog. The theme was Valentine's day, and this is my somewhat hastily made tag -
I made one of the inchies as well, but haven't taken photos yet. Hopefully I will be able to get the rest of the inchies, as well as this week's tag, done tomorrow.
I did bring a few bits and pieces back from France, which I will photograph tomorrow as well and list. Fingers crossed that the weather will play nice and give me plenty of nice light.
Until then, toodlepip xxx