Rain, rain … up north and down south

I bet you’ve been thinking, in these gloomy rainy days, that a bit of a break somewhere like the south of France might cheer you up. But not necessarily. In honour of Flashback Friday, I’ve found my post from 29th January 2013, written in the corner of Southern France that we used to call home.


The banner headline on this morning’s regional paper, La Dépêche du Midi, told us what we already knew. There’s been twice as much rain this month as is usual.  Of snow, we’ve seen hardly a flake.

Driving back from Foix yesterday, we saw meadows that have become mini- lakes.  Even more fields glistened with water as the water table has risen to the very surface of the soil. It’s made the month a somewhat gloomy one, even though the days have been pretty mild.  The mountain peaks are snow-capped, as expected, but the white stuff barely creeps down the mountainside and with all the low cloud and zilch visibility, it’s sometimes hard to know where the Pyrenees have disappeared off to.

The Pyrenees seen from up on our roof terrace

Our regular yomps into the countryside have been a bit curtailed.  Walk after walk has been rained off, and when we do go, we choose our routes with care.  If we don’t, we’ll be lugging kilos and kilos of glutinous heavy clay with us as it clings to our boots and the bottom of our trousers.

Muddy boots … up to our ankles in mud.

Roll on the 2nd of February, Chandeleur (Candlemas), the day when Winter decides whether to stick around or push off.  Last year, it was icily cold, and Winter stayed and made his presence felt with several weeks of constant snow, ice and bitter cold.  This year, he‘s looking much more half-hearted about it all.  We blame ourselves. We invested in snow-tyres and snow chains for the car.  We clothed our olive tree and a few other plants in white dresses of horticultural fleece.

Olive tree in a winter coat.

So Winter laughed in our faces.  We daren’t change the tyres or undress the tree though.  We all know what will happen if we do.

Square Up

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

26 thoughts on “Rain, rain … up north and down south”

  1. I love it! 🙂 🙂 What a beautiful place you lived in, Margaret. Delightfully told! I just had a mini-moan to Teresa because all our sensational blueness disappeared overnight. Guess who won’t be sitting up on the roof this morning? This afternoon…you never know!

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  2. Margaret – France is where we first met, then you traded the mountains for the Yorkshire Dales. Our winter has taken a snowy turn of late – this morning it is cold (-8 C), crisp, dry and clear and I can see the setting ‘Wolf Moon.’ We have snow forecast fro Saturday and Sunday about 15 – 25 cm which will make travel treacherous even for flatlanders like me. So, I’ll stay put and stay warm and watch another episode of James Herriot’s – All Creatures Great and Small n Sunday evening. have a wonderful day – off to school in a few moments with students coming in! Peace.


  3. Being an optimist I always think that a sunny day means no more rain for a while – I’m always wrong. It’s raining now. Westies and mud are really not a marriage made in heaven


  4. Snow in the mountains – rain down below – and in the same area. I know this isn’t the essence of your story, but changing weather with elevations in the same area has always struck me. It’s not surprising, but people tend to forget how climate and life changes with elevation on one mountain.


  5. What a wonderful view of the mountains you had! All the rain this winter is really getting us down, perhaps because there’s little to distract us from it 😦


  6. What a wonderful life you have had – I always fancied the Pyrenees, or rather Midi-Pyrénées which is now the Occitanie. Doubt I’ll get anywhere near now, so thank you for sharing bits of it with me.

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