2017 Preview and 2016 Weather Roundup

bonne-annee-2017

Bonne année, Meilleurs Vœux. Wishing you a happy and peaceful year and a better one for the world in general. Welcome to Life on La Lune 2017. This is a particularly special year for me and the SF (Statistics Freak to the uninitiated; you’ll see why below). August marks 20 years at La Lune and I’ve no doubt we’ll be raising a glass or three.

Life on La Lune highlights 2017

In the meantime, here are some of the highlights lined up for you this year:

  • A new series, French Flavours, exploring the origins, history and recipes of some French dishes and beverages, especially those from southwest France.
  • Further interviews in the Ma Vie Française series.
  • More local châteaux in my Every Château Tells a Story series. I keep discovering new ones to tell you about.

In addition, there’ll be the usual mix of the historical, the eclectic, the opinionated and the downright quirky. And if you’d like to hear about an aspect of French life or culture that I haven’t yet covered, please leave a comment below or write to me via the form in the contact tab. I always enjoy hearing from you.

2016 Weather Roundup

It will take me at least a month to stop writing 2016 on cheques and forms. However, the weather is determined to remind us that we are now in January. Last week, it turned wintry and raw, with temperatures down to minus 9C or so at night, and our central heating is working overtime.

In ironic imitation of the summer canicule (heatwave), the market stallholders have to cover their produce to stop it spoiling. Even so, the green spears of daffodils and snowdrops are poking through and yesterday we walked past hazel trees covered in catkins. Reminders that winter doesn’t last forever.

Not like this...yet

Not like this…yet

So far, we’ve had no snow, but we’re not out of the woods until early March. And our experience is that if it snows early in the year it will carry on…and on.

It’s also our experience that the weather in the latter half of the year is becoming distinctly better than that from January to June. My husband measures everything from weather statistics to the number of colds he has in a year, hence his soubriquet, the Statistics Freak. He has been slaving over a hot Excel file to bring you a review of last year’s weather in this part of southwest France.

We give every day a subjective mark: a plus if it’s good weather, a minus if it’s bad or a zero if it’s indifferent or we can’t decide. In 2016 overall we had:

+          174 (48%)
0          104 (28%)
–           88 (24%)

As you might imagine, this varies a lot from year to year. The best so far was 2011 with 201 pluses; the worst was 2013, a particularly gloomy year, with 146 pluses.

Drought?

If you look at the rainfall chart for the year, you’ll see that every month between January and June had more than average rainfall, but the later months had less, except for November, which was pretty wet. December, in a re-run of the previous year, had very little rain at all. So, although the 2016 total of 930 mm (almost a metre) is over the average of 785 mm per year, the situation is becoming quite serious for farmers.

Monthly rainfall in 2016

Monthly rainfall in 2016

According to the forecast, this might change next week. And the phrase “be careful what you wish for” springs to mind.

Finally, here’s a dicton, or proverb, of which French country people are so fond.

Mieux vaut voir chien enragé que chaud soleil en janvier (it’s better to see a rabid dog than warm sunshine in January).

Little chance of either so far.

You might also like:

Five Signs of New Year in France
Epiphany, the Day of the Kings, in France
How to Stay Warm in Winter
French Winter Market

Copyright © 2017 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved

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About nessafrance

My husband and I moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I am fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs and enjoy seeking out the reality behind the myths. I run my own copywriting business and write short stories and the occasional novel in my spare time. My husband appears here as the SF, which stands for Statistics Freak, owing to his penchant for recording numbers about everything.
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8 Responses to 2017 Preview and 2016 Weather Roundup

  1. Osyth says:

    I very much look forward to your posts through the year and I wish you a wonderful 2017 and impending 20th anniversary. Dare I ask how the citizenship process is going? Meilleur vœux a toi aussi.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      Thank you. I look forward to reading yours too – and even more to meeting up this year. 2017 must be the year! I’m still in the process of gathering the frightening number of documents required for the citizenship process, some of which are not readily available. And then they have to be translated into French by an approved translator…I can see the necessity, while complaining about the effort!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth says:

        Courage! Having matriculated my British car in 2014 to I can only begin to imagine what matriculating a person might be like!!! 2017 is certainly the year. ONe has a determined chin so it will happen, this meeting of ours!

        Liked by 1 person

      • nessafrance says:

        Yes, people say that importing a car into France is akin to having teeth extracted without anaesthetic. Look forward to meeting the determined chin!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Monique says:

    A vous aussi and to all your readers– happy new year, good health and peace in the world. My Mexican neighbors say salud, amor y dinero.

    Monique

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Merci bien, Vanessa, et une toute belle année à vous également, créative, sereine … et très excitante ! The dog must be rabid rather than just rapid !

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      Merci, et à vous aussi – sauf que je peux bien m’en passer d’une année excitante ! – and thank you for alerting me to the typing error. Thankfully, there are no more rabid dogs here.

      Liked by 1 person

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