This is turning out to be a very strange year. Back in the winter we had weeks of freezing cold weather with snow lying on the ground for longer than we can remember. Our olive tree dropped its leaves and the cammelias, planted by Roger’s Dad, gave up and died. Working on the final draft of the Loire Valley Guide, we burnt heaps of old roofing timber on the small Godin in the office and wore several layers of fleeces and sat at the computers with blankets over our knees.
The book deadline having come and gone, we were free to ski and get more material for MountainPassions. Off we went to the Alps at the height of the season… and we get a heatwave. Temperatures soared into the 20’s and the snow turned to slush. We were lucky enough to get a few hours skiing most mornings but rain put paid to two days and we had to mope about hoping for an improvement so that we could get some decent pictures. On our last day the temperatures had dropped slightly but it was still raining. The forecast was for snow. As we gained height on the skilift, rain turned to sleet, then snow, then a blizzard. One of the lift guys gave us directions down and we skied back in the most heavenly powder – the best snow we’d seen all week but we were soaked to the skin and glad to get back indoors for a hot chocolate.
Back home, April turned out to be a scorcher and we thought it would last. Wrong! When May arrived, we would normally have long cleared out the stoves and be spending evenings sitting in the garden and strolling around in T-shirts. Instead we were hauling logs and pulling the sofa up close to the fire. What was going on? This wasn’t the climate we signed up for.
Now things have just got worse. Flaming June has been dowsed in rain and we haven’t seen the sun for a week or more. A freak hailstorm ripped through my vegetable patch, the garden is overgrown with weeds, and waterlogged roses are hanging off the walls, piles of soggy petals building up on the ground below.
Whatever next? It’s a very strange year….