…or we soon will be. The saga of our poor neglected campervan meant that we had to wait until all was well again before we could safely book our ferry crossing, so it was only at the end of May that we finally knew our departure date. Now, if all goes well, in a week’s time we will be once more ensconced for the summer in our small cottage in Normandy.
Well, I say summer… As longer-term readers of this blog will know, the weather in southern Normandy is not very different from that in southern Britain. Maybe a degree or two warmer in summer and sometimes a degree or two colder in winter, but it is still recognisably a maritime climate and that means changeable.
Not for us the settled expectation of hot sunshine in summer and freezing temperatures with snow in winter. As the old quip goes, we don’t have climate, we have weather and sometimes it seems as if we experience all four seasons in a single day. This makes packing for a summer stay an interesting conundrum.
Yes, we can reasonably safely pack the swimsuits and leave the snow-boots at home. After that it’s anyone’s guess what the weather will throw at us. We’ve sweltered in September and had the wood-burner glowing and the hot-water bottles toasting our feet in July before now. We’ve had weeks of drought, with every drop of washing water saved for my rapidly shrivelling plants, and weeks of rain, with the grass growing to hayfield level before I get a dry day to cut it.
So with my hand now healed enough for me to get on with the packing, I’d better start sorting the T-shirts and the sweaters, the sandals and the wellingtons, so that whatever the weather, we will at least be appropriately attired. Then we can start looking forward to the journey and to seeing our friends again, to eating different food, speaking a different language, and, in my case at least, worshipping with a different church community.
Who knows? We may even have kittens in the woodshed again….