Brrrr! The coldest winter here since 1985

Yes, folks, it’s official. The Lot-et-Garonne is suffering its coldest weather for almost thirty years.  Most winters, we get a night or two where the temperature might drop to around -6,  but -16C?!  That’s what we had here this week. Even the swimming pool is frozen!

It snowed relatively heavily here last Sunday and, as the roads are very treacherous, we’re pretty much house-bound at the moment (hence the time to create this blog!)  The French in these parts have absolutely no idea how to drive in snow and icy conditions, because they almost never see it. Of course, this is made worse by the fact that the roads aren’t cleared or treated; there’s little point in the département buying a fleet of ploughs and gritters to deal with conditions that occur only once every thirty years.

Unfortunately, the pipes in our loft froze up mid-week. This means that we have no running water, except cold water in the new kitchen we installed last winter (to which we decided to run a separate mains supply, thank goodness). So it’s buckets of water in the loos and pans of water warming on the woodburners. It’s more like Scandinavia than southern France!

Roll on spring!

The Canal Latéral, frozen solid
Click to see a larger version

"I am just going outside and may be some time" .... This is Jill and Holly
Click to see a larger version


12 thoughts on “Brrrr! The coldest winter here since 1985

    • Amazing photo’s! Glad to see Holly’s on the lead. There have been several reports here of dogs &/or rescuers drowning because the dogs were unleashed & ran straight onto frozen lakes or canals and the ice cracked.

      See you soon!
      Penny & Peter

  1. Greetings from a snow-free Blackpool area in the NW of UK!
    Good to hear from you, Pete. When in frozen pipe country, I used to use a hair dryer as a safe machine for thawing, i.e. not too many pixels,

    Mike Peak (Sept 2010!)

    • Hi Mike, it’s good to hear from you too.

      Fortunately, we have a English friend here who’s a plumber (qualified to work in France too). He’s on standby to come and sort it all out as soon as we see water dripping from any of the taps. I’m not inclined to go clambering about in the roof-space. The last time I did that, I fell through the loft-hatch and did my back in!

  2. Hi Pete & Jill
    I have a pair of Fen Runners (my late fathers), shall we bring them with us??
    Keep the home fires burning!
    We still haven’t had any Snow here in the South!!
    Cheers David & Jill

    • Hi both.
      I just Googled ‘Fen Runners’ 🙂

      A few minutes ago, we saw a UK weather forecast for -10C tonight on the south coast and +5 in the north of Scotland. Before that I saw the Six Nations, Italy v England match, from Rome, and the snow there was incredible.

      The world’s gone crazy!

  3. hi Pete and Jill! great blog, great idea 🙂
    The canal looks beautiful now.
    Good luck with the plumbing … think you might be in for a surprise when it’s no longer freezing.

    Looking forward to the nikon review too.


    • Hi Vera,

      The mains valve to that part of the house is off and all the taps are open. As soon as we get back to positive temperatures (hopefully, next weekend), we’ll get our plumber friend here and see what the situation is. I’m fully expecting some cracked pipes!

      Best wishes


      The canal is always beautiful! 😉

  4. So glad to see that you’ve started a blog, Pete. You have so much to share and I know your readers will thoroughly enjoy your updates about anything related to photography and life in the Lot-et-Garonne. Hope you thaw out soon and keep the posts coming!

  5. Pete & Jill
    Lovely news !
    An excellent idea !
    I love your blog and I will definitely follow you there. Thank you for sharing.
    Here (Porto Alegre) has a hot summer!
    Cheers from Brasil !

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