Crikey, I know I've been saying winter hasn't even started here for a while but then today happened! Starting yesterday evening with rain it must have turned to snow during the night because this morning it was coming down thick and fast! And it didn't stop all day! I heard the snowplough come through around 5 a.m. but the snow never stopped. I can't say it was cold at all (I guess it has to warm up in order to snow) but that snow was just relentless. Which would have been fine if I didn't have to go anywhere (normally I don't) but I recently received a reminder that my car was coming due for its contrôle technique (MOT in the UK) and I had it booked in for this afternoon! Typical! It has barely snowed at all this season and now I have to drive into town behind the plough! Still, on a positive note, yet again I am eternally grateful that I wasn't pushing snow off my car at 6 a.m. this morning trying to get to work on what I'm now beginning to believe is the world's greatest parking lot - the Geneva ring road! I swear two days a week the traffic on that road doesn't move at all, thus becoming one massive parking lot!
Anyway, I made it into town ok and dropped off my car for it's inspection, which, conveniently enough, was located right next door to Intersport - a local sporting goods chain - where they were having their sales! Yay me! Thirty minutes to spare and the sales are on next door! I managed to find a nice lightweight, but windproof, top in the sale - which kinda surprised even me to be honest, as I usually can't find anything in my size - French women are just so diddy for the most part and I can rarely find a sports top to fit!! I guess I might have lost a little weight then! In addition I also picked up a long rain poncho for my trip to Sri Lanka in March. We were told to bring warm-ish clothes as certain parts can get cold and can also be wet (though I doubt as cold and wet as here) and I wanted something really lightweight as I only want to pack a small case! For the other stuff I want I will look around when I get to England as there are good sporting goods stores near my sister and they will be a lot cheaper!
Anyway, my car was basically OK but I have to have a couple of minor things sorted. He mentioned something about the "power steering having a little too much give" and a small light that needed changing, but frankly I know very little about cars and even less when they explain it to me in French! I have two months to get it sorted in order for my car to be fully compliant, so I dropped straight in at my garage and booked an appointment for when I get back from England. I have known Thierry at Ford for ages and he is a really good guy. He also speaks fairly decent English and likes to practice with me! He has me booked in for the work when I get back and then offered to drop it back off at the MOT place when it was done so that I didn't have to bother - so all good then!
Well "all good" until I got home of course, which was when I found out the electricity was out! I have no idea when it went off and they have always been very good about getting it up and running quickly, but having no electricity does make you realize how dependent you are on it doesn't it. I mean, I heat my home with fuel but obviously the system can't run without electricity! Still, I was able to make myself a cup of tea on my gas hob so all was not lost! I keep a couple of torches dotted around my house but the the one in my bedroom didn't work when I picked it up because of course the batteries had been in it too long! Not a worry though as I had others but it could, indeed, have been a cold evening had they not got the electricity up and running fairly sharply! The longest we have been without electricity since I have been here was over New Year 1999/2000 when I think it was out for about 24 hours and by golly it was cold. I'm lucky in that I have a log fire that I can use to heat the house but it obviously wouldn't be a long term solution. And another little tidbit, our little town of La Roche was the first in France to get electricity! You never know what you don't know do you!
Anyway, it has started to rain now so I'm hoping it will wash away a lot of the snow by the time I fly on Sunday. I can already hear the snow falling off the roof right now so fingers crossed!