This year should be christened “The Year of the Fly.” It has been exceptionally mild and an unfortunate result is a mass invasion by flies. We are not the only ones to suffer, although I wondered if something had died in the vicinity. A lot of people around here have been complaining about it.
I will never live in a city again if I can possibly help it. But there are downsides to country life. One is the mud in the winter. Our car is already putting on its winter coat, changing from gunmetal grey to sludgy brown. Another is the flies.
Where we live is populated by far more cows than people. Where there are cows, there are flies. In the summer, this doesn’t bother us too much. The doors and windows are open and they waft in and then waft out again. In the winter, they float in somehow but get trapped on the windows or buzz around the lights. It’s particularly annoying when they end up swimming about in your tea.
We have given up cleaning the window panes. They are just as filthy again after a day. And I’d love a euro for every fly I have vacuumed up in the past few weeks.
Météo France tells us that this is one of the warmest years since records began. In fact it’s shaping up to be among the top three hottest years since 1900, with 2003 and 2011. Seven out of 10 months (their report didn’t include November) had temperatures higher than the average – by several degrees in some cases.
It’s somewhat ironic, then, that July and August were among the worst we have experienced in our 17 years here. But, leaving those aside, we have had little icy weather to speak of for a year. Normally, the first frost greatly reduces the fly population, but we haven’t had one yet.
Weather assessment for November
A quick reminder of our subjective weather assessment: we assign each day a plus if it’s fine, a minus if it’s bad and a zero if it’s indifferent or we can’t decide. In November, there were:
Pluses – 11
Zeros – 8
Minuses – 11
The chart shows the percentage of plus days each November for the past 17 years (the line is the trend – downwards in this case). There have been five better and 11 worse Novembers.
November is a very variable month. We have had Novembers when we were snowed in. And it snowed towards the end of last November (the only snow we had all winter).
We shouldn’t complain, since we have saved a lot of money on heating to date so far this winter.
November is traditionally a wet month. This year we had 96 mm of rain, compared to the 81.1 mm we would normally expect. And it rained on 15 days, when you would normally expect it to rain on 11.
However, we have had nothing like as much rain as they have had in the southeast and along the Mediterranean coast. Some poor souls down there have only just dried out from the previous bout before being inundated again.
The overall rainfall for the year is still above the average. We’ve had 846.5 mm to date, 8% more than the 782.8 mm we would normally expect.
Can we expect a white Christmas? Let’s see what the dictons (sayings) say.
Octobre ensoleillé, décembre emmitouflé Sunny October, December all wrapped up.
As far as I can recall, we’ve had only one white Christmas so far in 17 years. We woke up one Christmas Eve to a complete white-out and no electricity. I would be happy not to experience that again. But a couple of sharp frosts to get rid of the flies ne serait pas de refus.
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