Its a Bit Nippy !
Back in October 2017 when we had decided that the move to France was on, we decided we needed to do some proper research and so we booked a Gite in Genouillac in Creuse (Department 23, you will soon learn the key department numbers) and unfortunately it was at the end of February 18 because Hazel had work commitments upto Christmas and I had tax year end to worry about in January.
See It At Its Worst
One of the reasons we wanted to go in winter time was to see all the locations in France at their bleakest. Anywhere looks wonderful in the sunshine and we did not want to see an area in the height of summer only to discover in the winter it was an awful place to live.
So at the end of February we set off from Beverley to drive down to Portsmouth to get the Brittany Ferries boat from Pompey to St Malo. ( We love Brittany Ferries, we get an overnight crossing and so we can have a great meal on the night and sailing into St Malo meant we well over on the western side. Yes we could save money going to Calais but you have that awful drive to Dover and also you have a lot more driving in France. )
For those of you can remember, the end of February was the time the ” Beast From The East ” paid us a visit and we got an icy blast from Siberia. It was cold driving down to Portsmouth and from memory the temperature was around -4c but with a colder wind chill.
So when we got off the ferry we thought it would be a bit warmer in France and we were none the wiser since we were safely cocooned in our heated car. I did think it was strange driving through French villages that everyone seemed to have their hoods up and were wrapped up for a severe winter, I just put it down to the French not liking the cold!
When we stopped at a services for a coffee, the cold it hit us as the wind chill really kicked in. Nope ! There was nothing wrong with the French, it was cold. After a good 6 hour journey we arrived at the Gite and a lovely warm welcome from Alan & Doreen who had the house attached to the Gite that they rented out.
Creuse is quite central in France and it was certainly cold when we got there and Alan had made up the log burner for us and we soon started getting heat from it but it was still very cold. The Beast doing its worst to make us feel very cold. The Gite had English TV and we sat down to watch “A New Life In The Sun” on Ch4 drinking a bottle of wine left for us by Alan & Doreen. The pasta made with food supplies brought with us soon warmed us up. We then began to plan where we would go to in the coming days to get a feel of the Limousin area of France.
The next morning I made the dangerous trek in the bitter cold (it was cold, I am from Hull & I even put my wooly hat on !) to go to the Boulangerie to buy croissants & bread to set us up for the day.
Did I ever mention it was cold ?