It’s traditional in France to say happy new year for at least four weeks after the new year begins, so if I missed you last week – Happy New Year!
It’s got cold here in my part of France and snow is forecast but I don’t mind, it’s lovely and cosy indoors. We’ve put an enormous amount of work into insulating our home so that the one wood fire we have, can heat it all up, though we do have some electric radiators too for days when the temperature dips well below zero and we need a bit of a booster.
It’s a vast difference from when we bought this old house. We inherited a wood fire which largely just splurged the heat straight out of the chimney. Even with two oil fires on in the same room, our breath turned to tiny droplets of liquid water and ice. When our neighbour Jean-Claude found out we were turning into snowmen in our own front room he sprang into action to help us get a new fire sorted. “My mate fits fires” he said, “I’ll ask him to fit you in as a priority.”
We were naive about the ways of French workmen and artisans – and Jean-Claude – in those days. Month after month we waited. We didn’t know then that some things take longer than you might expect. Much longer. In fact, they may never happen at all. Every month Jean-Claude assured us his mate would be coming soon. Spring came, then summer, autumn loomed. In the end we learned how to build a chimney and fit the fire ourselves (top photo)…
Bisous from my little pigsty in a cosy corner of rural northern France,
Janine Marsh is Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print & audio, on Amazon everywhere & all good bookshops online, and My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life
Don’t miss the weekly newsletter which every week brings you inspiration from France
It’s easy to subscribe if you don’t want to miss my weekly newsletters of musings from France and a round-up of fab features, plus exclusive random newsletter giveaways. Just scroll to the bottom of this post if you’re on a mobile device. Or look on the right on a laptop or PC. Type in your email address and click subscribe…