Wednesday, February 8, 2012

le mistral... prepare to meet your match


Don't be fooled by this beautiful winter wonderland... it comes with a price... an icy, biting price. Yesterday morning I awoke  to -17 ºC.

Think about that for a second... -17 ºC (that's 1ºF in American), there is no proper way to explain -17 ºC other than to say, it's freaking freezing. 17 below freezing to be exact.

While Le Petit Village is already high up there, as we sit perched atop the Luberon, my house sits on one of the highest points in the village. It's a mistral sweet spot. It's no accident that I'm surrounded by the ruins of old windmills... it's been windy here forever.

The Mistral blows from the north, and guess which way my house faces? Yep, north. So basically, the front of my house, and the pipes, are directly in it's ferocious, icy, biting wake.

And while I have been super diligent in leaving the tap dripping through the night, I made the stupidest mistake ever and turned the tap off yesterday morning (obviously by accident). And sometime, between 6:30am and 7:30am, the pipes froze. One hour was all it took. So outside into that harsh winter wonderland (wonderland shmonderland) I had to go, all bundled up with my trusty hairdryer in hand and went to work. It took me three separate battles to finally get the pipes defrosted. Because twenty minutes crouched outside as the freezing mistral spat at me, was all I could take at a time. But I persevered and emerged victorious.

Freezing Mistral- 0
Sara Louise - 1

bisou



35 comments:

  1. Jesus. What a woman. Remind me not to complain about our non existent winter here.

    I don't know if there's enough lavender to make the winters bearable!

    xo Jane

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  2. Um like you actually can't dress warm enough for this weather so I only leave the house when I have German class. Life on the tram is rough

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  3. You've done the right thing....pipes can never be allowed to win :-) I remember the deep freeze from many winters in my Boston life, and it's not nice, but at least there we were equipped to deal with it. We've been very lucky in Ireland this winter. Hang in there, spring cannot be too far behind!

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  4. I feel for you but have to admit it IS beautiful, visually speaking.

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  5. We've had barely any snow here of note, and last week our temp was 69 degrees -- well above the normal for February in Baltimore. Spring will be here soon!

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  6. My jaw is dropped. You had to go outside and BLOW DRY the pipes?! Holy moly. You're a trooper!

    Suddenly my complaint of not being able to find brocoli di rabe at the market today in Paris seems trite and bratty. Although our current infestation of baby mice is still justifiably "complainable".

    Anyway, stay warm and bundled up! We have one more month until spring! :)

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  7. I want pictures of what you wore on that expedition. HOW do you even dress for -17 degree weather?!?

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    Replies
    1. It wasn't pretty... two pairs of socks, leggings on under sweatpants, and a wool sweater under a hooded sweatshirt under a coat... oh and two pairs of gloves!

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  8. 1 hour for your pipes to freeze!!! Are you kidding!? I wouldnt survive! However, I have been wishing for some colder weather, since its basically summertime here (my flowers are blooming!!!). So send some of that cold air to South Georgia, just not the pipe freezing kind! stay warm!!! xx.

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  9. Omg, That's awful!!! Idk what I'd do. Prob hibernate inside with my Snuggie until spring time :)

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  10. Oh Sara, that totally sucks! It was 'only' -6 here so I can't complain! I hope you have a back up hair dryer and more hope for warm weather to happen. I did hear that is was suppose to snow this weekend! Keep warm :)
    Ashley

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  11. Wow. I can't even imagine temperatures so cold. And maybe that's a good thing? Way to go, Sara!

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  12. Hi, Sara.
    I used to live in the Gard, and the Mistral is something I WILL NOT MISS!!! At some point you want to scream at it to just stop for a second. I couldn't get used to it. Can't believe the cold weather you guys are getting! Bon Courage & lots of vin chaud to you.

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  13. A belated happy birthday to you! Loved the story of the hotel manager in Dallas... glad he didn't get on a sled with The Husband!

    So sorry about your frozen pipes, but most of us would trade places just to have the Mistral freeze us. Well, it sounds dreamy just the same! I hope that Fifty is snuggled inside in a warm spot.

    Bises,
    Genie

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  14. That does it! I will no longer bitch about 35 degrees again. Apparently, it could be worse.
    Bundle up! m.

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  15. Man, that sucks. I didn't even go out for the mail today (non school day Wednesday, I have been in my PJs all day - disgraceful, Even the kids got dressed.) it is just so cold. It's cruel really, we've had such a mild winter, then BAM, all the ice, cold and mistral to make it horrible. Blah. Keep those taps dripping sister!

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  16. Oh man that sucks! How do you know the pipes have frozen? The cold in our bathroom doesn't turn on, but the other faucets and the hot water (surprisingly) still work...for now. Knock on wood.

    PS - I feel like you should get a girl scout for that.

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    Replies
    1. You know when the pipes have frozen when water doesn't come out of the tap.
      And I totally should get a Girl Scout badge! Or at least some free cookies.

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  17. Go you and your trusty hairdryer. It's cold here too, but thankfully no mistral for us!

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  18. Oh my goodness, stay safe and warm! I know it sucks, but it must be beautiful too. : )

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    Replies
    1. As long as I'm looking at it from outside the window it's beautiful!

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  19. dude. WTF?!?! Those are inhuman temperatures. Unacceptable.

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  20. -17??? That's not cold at all!! ...Seriously!! Our low here in Calgary/Alberta/Canada this year has been -49 degrees Celcius overnight.

    -17 is normal. And then we get a chinook wind and 3 hours later its +8, haha! The weather here changes constantly. But when its cold, its COLD!

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    Replies
    1. Um, yeah, -17 is cold. Just because you live in frozen Canada and are impervious to freezing temperatures, doesn't mean -17 isn't cold, because it is.
      Bundle up! :-)

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  21. Somehow I didn't picture it ever snowing there. It's like the North Pole for crying out loud. Fifty must love playing in the snow. So glad you were able to unfreeze your pipes. Stay warm!! xo

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  22. At least the snow is pretty??
    Hahahaha
    I'm seriously ready for some warm weather, though. Seriously - I can't handle this below freezing crap. I was made for sun and beaches.

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  23. Although southern Spain thankfully will never reach anywhere near those temperatures, I experienced some of those icy winds as I walked to school this morning. Algeciras gets hurricane-force winds and rainstorms, but nobody except me every seems to be alarmed about this.
    Stay warm up there!

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  24. that's 1ºF in American
    that was my favorite part. hahaha so funny!
    stay warm down there!

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  25. What a stunning snowy view! I'm amazed that it's so cold in the south of France much colder than my part of the world (north-west England)
    Thank you for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment about Zaz.
    Bon week-end!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.com/

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  26. Oh my, I feel for you. I really do. I grew up in Norway and winters with periods down to -30 from november till march. (Main reason for moving to Spain!) I never liked the winters, and especially disliked the icy cold many minusdegrees. We never had frozen pipes though...guess houses are better prepared? I hope the coldness go away soon!

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  27. It is absolutely freezing here too! Although today we made it to 0*C, which feels almost balmy.

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