How does everyone weather the winter?

I'm not a big fan of winter. The cold isn't too much of a problem (although the cost of heating can be); for me, it's more the DARKNESS and the feeling of being very cut-off, which you don't get so much in the summer in my region.

I am hoping to be busy with my tutoring and my new baby twins... but has anyone got any hints/tips about winter survival that might also help me and others?

One thing that helped me was a decision to celebrate and look forward to all the winter "festivals" - not just Xmas, but Halloween, Bonfire night, etc - not necessarily doing anything big, but getting friends together for small gatherings, or lighting a few lacklustre fireworks, etc.

Any other ideas?! :)

I like Mauritius. Very nice people and a very nice country. Do you have a house there Bruce or do you rent?

You had to post that today???> When it is chucking it down here in Aude! Oh well. :-)

Anyway, have a great time. Mauritius is a place I'd love to visit one day. Take care.

Cheat! ;-)

Don't forget to send us a postcard

Only 3 weeks or so to go, then, …whoosh, Mauritius here we come again! Will think about you all when I’m sat on our balcony in the 35C heat, chilling with a glass of rum…but not often!

May you require a man servant, sir?

"Are you anywhere near Loudéac, Dave? We're South of Dinan." Near Belle Isle en Terre.

Just got my WFA and I’m thinking of “blowing the lot” on a pallet of “Prati Buches” from 22600 Loudéac: 189€ for 45 boxes of 8 = 360logs of compressed wood-chips. They ain’t quite as good as 3 year dried Oak but they do pretty well: they burn away to dust, and they’d be easy to stack and store in one of the dependances. A friend pays a LOT more for good Oak and, once stacked, it makes an HLM for big, hairy spiders that herself will not go anywhere near.

We got lucky and found a decent, brand-new, wood-burner for 139€ in a SuperU at Plouer-sur-Rance. I was going to weld one up, as I have the kit, but I couldn't buy the raw materials for that price.

Are you anywhere near Loudéac, Dave? We're South of Dinan.

Winter draw(er)s on; a Happy and trouble free Wintering to you all.

Make sure the freezers are fully stocked, that I have a supply of salt for the snow that we 'never get in the Charente', that there is wood, oil and gas bottles. Then try to draught-proof everything, close off unused rooms and break out the jumpers, thermal undies etc. In other words, just like the UK.

Well, perhaps not just like the UK. I don't have to go to work in a blizzard (or floods!), but I do have to drive some distance to shop (hence the freezer-stocking, and the reserve piles of dog food and candles). It's time to get back to the computer and carry on my family-history researches. At least our local Bar is about to re-open (after 14 months) so it is just possible that I might stagger down the road and be able to have a conversation with someone!

It's my third winter since buying my pile of Breton stones and still no heating so I commute to the southwest and hibernate with a friend until the cold, dreary, wet, suicidal weather in the Cotes d'Armor improves. If I am lucky enough to get the WFA that a few people are now getting I may blow the lot on some firewood for next year.

A bunch of us have started to meet up, regularly, mid-week; choose a movie to watch; share some food and wine/beer/heat and settle down to a sociable evening.

After eating together, we tend to split into male - female groups; simply because boys like movies that go whizz, BANG! ARRGH!!! And girls like a bit more emotional content...

And then a good chat...

Hoping to dust off a guitar and get together with whomever wants to have a jam, over the cold months, too.

We've just had two weeks in Spain to get away from the cold here. There are some very good cheap deals (deep recession in Spain) on gites in Spain if you hunt for them on the internet and then bargain by e-mail with the owner for even more discount! It took us one day to drive from central France to Valencia via the Pyrennees. Probably 2 days drive to the Costa del fish n chips. There's a very good, fast autoroute all the way down the med coast in Spain.

Staying in France: Keep the poele going, brew up some vin chaud, put on more layers when you go out, go for an envigorating 30 minute walk every day (my wife's just done that with the dog whilst I stayed in to watch the golf on TV!!), perhaps take up a new hobby ie. improve your french on line/reading; genealogy; buy a cheap rameur (rowing machine) on le bon coin; its marvellous weather to catch up on indoor things like DIY. The world's your moule.

We'll be seeing you around April then shall we Roger....? ;) lol

Down here in the South West we are ever so slightly closer to the Equator than we were in Britain. Thus even in summer nights are a little longer. No white nights for us. Bur climate- wise things aren't so different. So we do what we did in Britain. Enjoy bright high pressure autumns and go walking without sweating too much. Winters are not continental pace 2011 and are wet rather than cold.

It looks gorgeous Martha - thanks! :) I will definitely get a copy :)

May I suggest you get a copy of All Year Round? It will help you participate in seasonal activities with your children:

It is a lovely, lovely book.

I'll leave out the incest and suicide, sounds too much like some bits of my work. I also do not like Marmite. My wife has become excellent with a chainsaw, mind you that has implications, so I won't push the point!

Love it! :-)