Sunday, 10 January 2010
Snowflakes from Heaven
For most of the new year our tiny corner of Brittany has looked like a backdrop for a high budget film version of Dr Zhivago and we are becoming habituated to snow. Our neighbours have built a horse drawn sledge on which the chidren have taken jolly rides over a endless white landscape and middle and I have trudged to the village, wrapped up like eastern European refugees, to buy bread . We have got used to stomping through snow each day to the barn to replenish the log baskets, dragging our load by toboggan up through the drifts to the house.
Each morning we wake to the all enveloping silence that only a heavy blanket of snow brings and the dim half light of velux shrouded in a smothering of thick whiteness. At night we go to bed sharing our room with a family of wrens who sneak in through some small gap and sleep in the warmth of our converted barn before dissapearing in the morning in search of food. As the days progress my car gets buried deeper and deeper under drifts, not that it matters as it can not go anywhere in this weather. Today our ancient lanrover drifted into the fosse and had to be persuaded back with the aid of planks and a bit of heaving and shoving onto what was not so long ago a tarmac road. With so much snow it is hard to tell where the road ends and infinity begins.
Youngest returned from his school ski trip today and we parents met in the village square to collect out returning prodginy. It appears we have had more snow than the ski resort which has hosted their jaunt . The road was lined with tractors, farming parents coming in on their work vechiles to pick up off spring. It may not be as smart as a brad new four wheel drives driven by urbanites but you can bet your life its more effient and you would be amazed just how many people you can stuff into a tractor cab if you put the luggage in the bucket at the front.
We have had no school for the past week, not that anyone is complaining. It is, we are told , the whitest winter since the war to end all wars. But we know that end it will and after the snow will come the thaw, and with it the mud. Bearing that in mind I hope it continues to snow until February as many say it will.
And so I sit here in the unearthly silence at or kitchen table as the snow falls relentlessly outside, burying our world steadily in a damask quilt of blinding white and I toast the safe return of our youngest to the fold with a glass or two of Crémant D'Alsace and thank the fates who have given me the chance to be snow bound in Brittany with the owl hooting in the tree outside in the darkness , my boys asleep in their beds and a caring husband asleep in mine.