Wherever you are, whatever you
I wish you a very Happy
No, I’m not being racist (the black and white Christmas in the title, I mean). This describes the Christmas we almost had: white because of the 20cm of wet, heavy snow that fell on the night of 23rd December; black because of the power cut caused by the snow.
Since you are reading this, you’ll have divined that the power is now back on. The electricity went off at 03h00 on Christmas Eve and was re-established 10 hours later at 13h00. In between, we kept warm by regularly charging the woodburner with logs, going down the lane to shovel snow at the lethal corner where we always get stuck and scraping it off the steps up to our bolet (covered balcony). It’s amazing how you keep doing stupid things like trying to switch on the lights or put the kettle on.
In the meantime, some poor so and so’s from Eléctricité de France were no doubt working in atrocious conditions up a pylon with a windchill factor of -10C trying to get a large swathe of southwest France back online. Sod’s law was operating with a vengeance: Christmas Eve is one of the days of the year when demand for electricity is probably at its highest.
We were just contemplating trudging a couple of km through the snow to check on an elderly neighbour, recovering from a recent heart operation, when the power came back. Fortunately, we were then able to phone her instead and were relieved to know that she was OK.
We have not ventured outside since, except to replenish the log basket. We are among the lucky ones: thousands across northern Europe have had their travel plans and their Christmases ruined by the weather. A thaw is announced for next week, but it’s too late for them.
So, thanking our lucky stars that we are not forced to celebrate Christmas in the dreary departure lounge of a snowbound airport or stuck in a car on a motorway blocked by jacknifed lorry, let me take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas.