I spent a wonderful week in Provence in October. Friends from Canada and Australia joined me as we all celebrated birthdays, and friendship. It was a perfect week - sightseeing, swimming and eating alfresco. Why am I thinking about it now? I'm desperately trying to channel some of those memories to thaw myself out. Yes, Canada can be cold in the winter, but this one has begun brutally even by Canadian standards.
We had an ice storm before Christmas that knocked out power to many homes in the city and then with the new year the deep freeze set in. Temperatures are just numbers, you really know it's cold when you venture outside and with your first breath you freeze all the hairs in your nostrils. That never happened to me in Australia! So I stay inside and pretend that the sun shining in my windows has some warmth and set out the olives and saucisson.
Well that worked for a while, then I went to to fill the bathtub and there was no cold water plus the washing machine didn't work. The pipes to our bathroom are in a cold wall and the water had frozen in them. Luckily they didn't burst, but it took 2 days of heating the space and filling our bathtub with hot water to do the trick. Then I had to leave the cold water dripping from the tap. [Aussie friends please note I put a bucket underneath and used the water on my plants]. The temperatures rose to a balmy -1C, yesterday so I celebrated with some chilled rosé.
Today we are paying for that brief respite. That heat wave melted some of the snow, and then we had more snow and freezing rain last night. Today the temperatures are falling fast - it's been labeled a "polar vortex" and the footpath outside our front door and most of the city has turned into a giant skating rink. The heat is back on keeping the water in our pipes moving and the bathroom tap drips annoyingly into that bucket.
I can't change the weather and luckily I don't have to leave the house. So I've put my olive tree next to the sofa, cranked up the heat, set out the olives and a bottle of rosé. I'm hoping this and sorting through my holiday photos will help me conjure up some warmth.
Despite the weather there is an excellent reason to be cheerful today - it's Epiphany and I have a galette des rois that I made waiting to be cut.