Some of us (me!) thought that because we'd got to late January with very mild weather, then it was plain sailing till Spring. This past week has proved me wrong, however. We got a fair bit of snow on Monday, and after a very cold week (it was -8 walking to work on Thursday morning, -12 with wind chill, and even lower temperatures overnight), the last bits of snow were disappearing from the streets when I woke up to snow again this morning.
I get pretty excited by snow - it doesn't snow where I'm from in New Zealand (well, a few flakes were noticed in high places last winter, which was very very unusual) so it still has novelty value for me. Especially since last winter it snowed once, lightly (in early December) in Tours and lasted a couple of days on the ground, and the winter before that I was in Nice, where it did actually snow a few times, but it's not exactly Winter Central. I got my fill of snow in England both years though, unlike this Christmas where there was no snow to be seen.
But I must say, snow is more exciting when it's either sitting on the ground looking pretty, or falling when you're inside looking out. I made the mistake on Monday of deciding to walk home regardless, since I thought otherwise I'd just be stuck freezing my arse off waiting for the inevitably late bus, and then have a long journey home in traffic packed in like sardines on the bus. It was not very fun to be out in, though - the wind was blowing the snow directly at me under my umbrella, especially on the bridges across the Cher and the railway, where it was absolutely freezing cold. I had my fingerless gloves on, and my fingertips puckered up like I'd been in the bath for too long - I couldn't keep them in my pockets due to holding my umbrella. By the time I got home, I was wet, my shoes were leaking and I was very cold! I made home-made chicken soup followed by hot chocolate with Baileys to perk myself up a bit.
On Wednesday I went to the gym - I'm used to walking home in my gym gear and shower at home, so I forgot until I got outside that I was in shorts with bare legs! I basically ran all the way home, so maybe that's a good training technique!
Yesterday was a bit warmer (about minus 3) and nice and sunny. I went to the "cat expo" with a couple of friends. Bit disappointing - I was expecting to be able to pat/play with the cats, but they were all in plastic-covered cages :( I suppose I understand they don't want everyone hassling them, but it was a bit of a bummer. Paying 5 euros to look at 800-euro cats in plastic boxes isn't my idea of fun. We followed up with a nice lunch - a "tourangelle" version of tartiflette, where they replaced the lardons with rillons, a special Tours kind of pork confit, plus a litre of wine between the three of us. Very ladies who lunch.
Some photos from the last week:
I risked turning into an icicle to take a photo of the Cher in Monday's snow-shower
Sunset over the Cher on Wednesday or Thursday - not snowing, but very cold!
The half-frozen lake in the park
A bit of snow on the ground in the park - I'll try to brave the outside world and take some more pics today since it's stopped snowing
Snow falling in a different park
The view from my bedroom window this morning. Since all my other windows are skylights, it's pretty dark in the flat today and I can't see out!