Winter in the south of France

Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in the south of France?

By the end of January, winter is well underway and a large number of people are starting to feel overworked and underpaid and thoroughly fed up with winter.

Living in the south of France has not been as easy or as enjoyable as it usually is either. When you think of the south of France, you probably think of endless sun-blessed days, sun loungers round the pool and long ice-cold drinks. For nine months of the year, that would be just about it.

The other three months are bitter. We live way in the south of France, in the foothills of the Pyrenées mountains, 90 minutes from the Spanish border. Since the beginning of January it has been snowing on said mountains and although we have not had any snow here yet, temperatures have been abysmally low. Maximum temperatures. Some days the maximum temperature barely reached 0°C (32°F). The sun shone brightly but it was freezing cold.

If we didn’t have the horses, I would probably have climbed in bed and hibernated until spring. No such luck, sadly. We have been out and about in this miserable weather and ever-deepening mud every single day, wearing at least six layers each, mucking out, lugging around bales of hay and straw,  breaking the ice on top of the water in the drinking troughs, repairing fences, feeding grain and so on and so forth…and I have to tell you, we are thoroughly fed up with it!

If you are also feeling overworked and overwhelmed, read on, because I have got an idea that may get us all in one piece to the end of February, maybe even midway into March. Read on …


26 Replies to “Winter in the south of France”

  1. Hi! How are you? I follow your blog because it is very interesting and inspiring. I really love it. How’s your day going? I hope we could be friends. I can’t wait to read your upcoming blog post. Have a good day ahead!

  2. I’ve wanted to make one for years! Maybe this is just the push I need! Now how am I going to put your farm on my vision board though 😉 Seriously, my aunt’s place in Malawi was always my go-to place in my imagination when I needed a mental break, but since 2015 it’s been your farm and the lovely animals.

    1. That means an awful lot to me! Won’t your boss give you a long week-end off so that you can come and walk part of the Camino de Santiago this summer? We found out last year it actually nearly runs past our back door. Also, I would love to show you all the changes we have made. And there is a woolly white mammoth walking around in a meadow out there who has been asking how you are…

  3. I live in the Midwestern US and it’s normally about that cold here, but it’s been around 60-70 F and it’s both beautiful and sort of unnerving. I can commiserate about the cold, though; about halfway through January I start to lose tolerance and just want Spring.

  4. Your area reminds me of California, especially Northern California. No beaches here but warm to hot for 8-9 months, then cold November thru February. No snow this low but the Sierras are packed with snow right now. I really need to get to Europe soon!

  5. It has been a rough winter in Maine: ice, loads of snow including a recent blizzard that dumped a record 30inches of snow on us, below zero temps, worse wind chill temps. Yes, I could use some warm weather and some stress relief! I know it can’t be easy doing those outside chores in cold weather. I would hate that. I do envy the ration of warm months to cold, however. We are about 50/50 here.

  6. I find art very therapeutic, though I’ve never made a vision board. I love winter, cold weather and long nights, but then I don’t have to work outside and look after animals in it!

  7. Still a beautiful part of France to live in – my favourite area of France and for over 30 years I have visited almost every part of France – only place I haven’t been to is the area east of Nice – Monaco & Menton. 😊

  8. It hasn’t been quite as bad in Greece, but almost. High winds, cold, and some rain. And being creative does work- I have been under enormous stress lately, and I paint and draw every single day. It’s what’s kept me going. Very consoling. Loved the Solange story, btw.

    1. I’m the same. The worse it gets, the more I write. I’ll never be able to keep up this pace in summer. Sorry to hear about the stress. The Madame Solange story is one of my favourite RAK-stories too. The French barely ever tip(a 10% tip is already included in the bill), so the size of her tip was more meaningful than it may appear, on the surface.

    1. Dankie, Toortsie! Ek dink mens kan nooit te veel “random acts of kindness” doen nie. Daar is altyd ‘n geleentheid, as mens net die moeite doen om bietjie te soek. Btw, ek geniet jou “Faceboek Page” baie.

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