Sunday, 5 February 2012


You wouldn't believe how much snow we've had here, today. OK, it's relative; Canada and Russia needn't fear for their records, but it's been snowing here in Toulouse for the last twelve hours non-stop, and that's almost unheard-of in recent history for this part of the world, where the summers reach 38° Celcius and you generally don't have to switch on your heating until late November. Never having really seen snow, the authorities panic and close all the parks, just in case the branches of the trees crumble under the weight of four inches of the white stuff…pathetic, but there you go. We managed to find a green space - La Prairie des Filtres - to go sledding, but Fingernail II's hands got so cold in the end she started crying. We have equipment, but it's not really warm enough for the -7° Celcius we've had these last few days. As Minnesotans (and others) say: "There's no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing". Our sledge is rather delightful, though; it's an old-fashioned, all-wood model we found in a Sperrmüll clear-out in Germany when Fingernail I was very small. Sperrmüll is when you put your unwanted, unwieldy possessions out in the street at an allocated time for the council to pick up. Needless to say, the evening before the collection, the streets are full of people looking for gems to take home, and gems there certainly are; an American friend of mine in Koblenz back in the late '80's furnished his entire flat with Sperrrmüll, and it wasn't rubbish, either.

Tomorrow morning I start teaching at 8am; I'm intrigued to see how many of my students make it (not many, I hazard…).

That's the so-called pont suspendu, as it used to be a suspension bridge. In the background is the dome of a former hospital called La Grave. You couldn't make it up.

No comments: