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.

11 comments:

mountainear said...

Beautifully expressed - your last sentence brings a pricking to my eyes at the thought that there really is - so much to be thankful for in this world. Warm heart, warm home, white world. Wonderful.

Blossomcottage said...

Your village like mine has been kissed by heaven, how interesting you used similar wording to the ones I used on my Blog, I have not blogged for ages, but the sight of the glittering landscape prompted me to put keyboard to computer screen.
Loved how you described it.
Blossom x

Friko said...

What is happening? The whole of the Northern hemisphere lies calm and silent under deep snow. No shouted greetings float up from the street down by the bridge, the field and field edges and lanes are indistinguishable from each other and people enquire anxiously, over the phone, are you all right.

I wish we had an ancient jeep of any kind of rough terrain vehicle, we are completely cut-off, in spite of living INSIDE a village.

Stay warm and happy and healthy. That Cremant d'Alsace sounds a good idea, I'm sure there's a bottle or two left from the last Alsatian holiday.

ChrisH said...

You sound very contended there - good for you.

Pondside said...

You have all the makings of a perfect winter holiday right there in Brittany - and you have the good sense to know it! I wish you as much snow, as much quiet, as many lovely fires and as much frolic for the children as you all need before the thaw sets in.

Elizabethd said...

Is this what we are returning to this week?

Fennie said...

That is a really lovely blog. It seems you've had the snow pretty bad. We are getting it now, or so the forecast says. Good for the wrens but what about the other birds?

Cait O'Connor said...

All is white here too and I love it as much as you do. I shall miss its beauty and the wonderful feeling of being 'cut off'. It is good to read your words again.

Kate Harrison said...

Lovely post - and gorgeous pictures. Gave me a warm glow reading and looking.

(But better not spread the word about tractors, they'll become the new must-have in London)

HER ON THE HILL said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Un Peu - and your beautiful monochrome pictures bear witness to it all. We have been enjoying the same thing here (though I was away in France for the 'best' of it - and was very cross!), but at the weekend it turned to rain and now all that beauty, peace, silence has been washed away and we are left with the dismal grey, the dull tarmac roads, the heavy fog and the return of hustle and bustle. YUCK.

Sallys Chateau said...

I guess all your snow has gone now although its cold enough for more even down here, it all sounds very cosy and tranquil in your household.