Didn't it Snow , Children... Didn't it, Didn't it, Didn't it... Didn't it Snow?




“She” sent a message from faraway lands. “I am packing for good. Will I need my snow boots?” He had a good chuckle over it. She had never enjoyed the snowy winters in Boston. Wasn’t she lucky to spend her first European winter in Brittany where it never snows, at least where we are living - by the sea and with the Gulf Stream floating around our coast!

So the answer was no. No need to bring her snow boots. Those would wait until the following winter in London… maybe…

New Year’s Eve surprised us with a flurry of snowflakes which vanished within the next hour… 

Fall and early winter had been exceptionally warm and wet. So wet that torrents of rainwater flowing from the fields had dug deep canyons on the beach below our house, something that was hard to believe and even harder to cross during our daily walks.


Then it became sunnier and much colder. "She" was a brave soldier but one could easily see that she was missing the Indian scorching heat.

On the 8th of February, our national weather forecast sent out a heavy snow warning for our coastal area… which it kept repeating every hour. Strange! We usually shrug off most of those warnings. Météo France has lost its credibility ever since 1999 when our meteorologists didn’t even realise that France was going to be hit by a serious hurricane. Plus heavy snow on a coastal area, who could believe it?

On the 9th, it started snowing in the early morning hours. A few snowflakes here and there… By noon, the skies were darkening and we were heading right into a real snowstorm, the kind of which most Britons had probably never seen in Brittany. On the ground, the dusting had turned into a thin blanket of snow. A few hours later, it was metamorphosing into a rather thick comforter everywhere.

We kept shrugging it off. By the end of the day, it was bound to stop and melt at least in our area. We live right above the beach for goodness sake and this is Brittany, not New England!

Guess what? The snowstorm did not abate. Not at all and a strong northern wind started to blow. The sea could hardly be seen but it was rumbling at the bottom of the cliff.

Around 5 pm, we couldn’t resist to brave the snowstorm (even though we were so ill-equipped). The wind was biting and temperatures were falling and heading below freezing point. But out we went. 



We wanted to take a short walk around the garden, which was very daring! We start swimming quite early in the season and our natural pond is not heated of course but taking a walk during a snowstorm fueled by a nasty northern wind, this was eccentric and maybe raving madness!



We ended up being very surprised by the thickness of the blanket of snow stepped up by the wind in some areas. The snow was already sticking to the plants which were bending beneath its weight. It was an amazing sight. Beautiful but worrisome. Plants, bushes and trees, they all looked so pitiful... and cold!


Because we had never done such a crazy thing in such a long time, we started building a snowman. We enjoyed every minute of it of course, feeling so young again… and wondering how many snowmen we had ever built considering the places where we had been spending most winters in our life!

Our snowman was great! Tall and fat. I have to admit it lacked decorations - no carrot-nose, no scarf, no real smile. A victim to a dire lack of time. It was getting dark and honestly, did we, being grown-ups after all,  did we really need a fancy snowman? Plus we were convinced that it would collapse pretty soon over the lawn which was already breaking out wherever we had used the blanket of snow to handcraft the three balls… It might even disappear during the night, not running away of course but melting exactly the way its fellow creatures depart every winter. No exception granted to a snowman from Les Tertres…

And then we went back in. We took off most of our layers. A nice fire was roaring in the fireplace but no chestnuts roasting there. (Not really Breton!)

I remember we settled down on the couch to sip a nice cup of Rooibos. It was completely dark outside and we had no idea nor any desire to open the door nor a window to check if it was still snowing.

“Mañana será otro día”, said Popeye, reminiscing about some very cold winters of his youth in Madrid and acknowledging he never had as much fun in his youth as during this weird snowy episode in Brittany, by the sea.

And someone was really feeling sorry she had listened to her husband and left her snow boots at her parents’ place where the temperature was currently 35°C at night!

And this someone got even sorrier when we turned the garden lights on just before going to bed, precisely to check on the thawing process. The joke was on us! Thank you, Météo France! We were snowed in and it was still snowing...





*Good Night, and Good Luck*


Myrna said...

Wow! A surprising but beautiful snowstorm!

Nancy said...

An excellent snowman! That's somewhat of an annual tradition at our house as well (somewhat meaning...we build a snowman whenever it snows, which isn't necessarily something that happens every year). :)

Quite a lot of snow for you! And quite beautiful, as my mom said, knowing it didn't cause you too much distress (and that it would soon melt)!