Sunday, 28 October 2012

A change of wind

Last week, we had glorious weather with temperatures peaking on Wednesday at 26 degrees, all thanks to a mass of warm air coming up from North Africa. It was shorts and T shirt time again - fantastic! But I was watching the weather forecast with a sense of foreboding. A big cold front was marching down from the North which would push away any hint of warmth from our precious North African high. There was even talk of snow at the weekend.
No, no! Not yet! We're not ready! Despite intensive work on the heating installation we were not yet up and running and really needed a few more days before being hit by a cold spell. But sometimes, you have no choice in the matter. On Friday the heavens opened as an occlusion did what it does dumping a UK-style quantity of rain on us, followed on Saturday afternoon by a dramatic drop in temperature ..... but thankfully no snow here at 600m (phew!) although there is a good dusting on Pic de Cagire and snow down to around 1600m. But it is cold now and there is a biting wind in the air. Tonight, the woodburner is in situ with all fixings attached and looking mighty fine....
... but we still need to plumb in the mains water supply, fill and test the system for leaks and undertake numerous other tests before we can light it. But hopefully by tomorrow (Monday) evening we will have a working system and a warm house. I can't wait!

In other news, we have experienced the fantastic spectacle of the migration of the cranes in the past 24 hours. It started last night when it was dark, with a very loud honking low over the house. Against the clearing, moonlit sky we were able to make out the V outline of a flock heading South. Two or three flocks passed overhead in the space of a couple of hours. Then today, more of them. This time I was able to capture them on video. However, for a moment, their flight had me worried as the flock seemed to get confused and started circling in all kinds of directions with no particular pattern. Which way was South again?! But then they seemed to regroup and set off again with a more arranged, purposeful flight. I let out a sigh of relief. Strange that I should feel so protective about a flock of cranes?

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