I was shaving this morning when my wife Jan called into the bathroom, “Guess what?” Cleverly, I replied, “What?”
“It’s snowing!” she said, managing to sound pretty chipper about the whole thing. And sure enough, when I opened the blinds and looked out, there it was. Actual snow. Actually sticking to the ground and not melting. And this went on until about two this afternoon, until there were perhaps five to seven centimetres (maybe three inches) of snow on the ground.
Evidently, the cause of all this is the cold front from Siberia that’s been chilling much of Europe, disrupting air traffic, and generally causing consternation and mayhem. Here in the heart of the Greater Daglan Area, the snow has had several effects:
Fun and games. By the early afternoon, several kids in the village had made their way to the large hill near the cemetery with their sleds and toboggans. Someone had put together a small snowman in the main square (Place de la Liberté). And the son of one of our friends made a snow angel in the street just outside our house.
Work. My wife vowed to clear a bit of a path around the front of our house, from our cave door to the front steps to our garage. Since we don’t have an actual snow shovel (having left it in Canada, since it wouldn’t be needed here!), she used a dustpan. Fortunately, the snow is quite light, so it’s easy to move.
Slipping and skidding. From long experience, I know that the distance from our house to the déchetterie (the place where we take garbage and recyclable things) is 0.4 kilometres, as measured on my car’s trip-meter. This afternoon, my car measured it as 0.5 kilometres, meaning that my wheels were spinning a fair bit as I headed up our street, and then up the slight incline towards the déchetterie.
Rumours and speculation! Apparently road travel has been disrupted a fair bit already, so that eight-kilometre drives take an hour instead of mere minutes. There is now talk that tomorrow will be a snow day for kids.
And how does it all look? Not bad, actually. What follows are a number of photos, mostly taken by Radio Free Daglan’s leading staff photographer (my wife), showing Daglan in the snow. These aren’t meant to impress you, by the way — you won’t be seeing two-metre-high drifts of snow, or cars overturned in snowy ditches. The idea is simply to show a quiet French village in the snow.
First, the village square — which on other Sunday mornings would have some market activity taking place, even in winter. But not today. All the merchants stayed home.
Now here is another view of the square, taken later in the afternoon (by me, Radio Free Daglan’s lead writer and occasional photographer), with the snowman mentioned earlier:
Near the village square is our mini-supermarket or maxi-convenience store, the 8 à Huit. Here it is in the snow:
Here is the view as you look out of the village, towards the Pont Neuf that crosses the Céou River. (For some reason, there is a Pont Neuf in Paris that seems to be much better known, even though Daglan’s bridge is actually much, much newer — dating from 1963. Go figure!)
And speaking of bridges, here’s a view of the small bridge (for pedestrians only) that crosses the Céou:
And here is the river itself:
To finish this posting on a very human note, here is the snow angel impression left by the son of one of our friends, taken by yours truly from our kitchen window:
As for the rest of the late afternoon and early evening, my wife and I will put the snow out of our minds as we get prepared mentally and physically for that most-taxing of annual events — staying up stupidly late to watch the SuperBowl live on the BBC. Wish us luck.