This past weekend was one of the many long May weekends that we get in France. The first big one of the month where all and sundry pack up their vacation stuff and head off to the old family homes, where ever they may be, and spend a weekend chasing spiders, scrapping mould off of walls and just being really glad that second homes and some family members are just that, far far away.
Our village was plein a craquer, meaning that every single house that usually sits tight with it's shutters closed, was open and sporting more cars in front of it then a Hummer dealership. Funny thing was, there wasn't a human to be seen.
Why? Well, all these poor long lost rellies of former residents of the Village on the Hill were all hiding inside trying to stay warm and cursing themselves for not having gone to Tunisia instead of being stuck in this frigid backwater of the Auvergne. They were hiding under dusty duvets wondering what on earth happened to the sun and who's idea was it to pack sandals in the first place?
As for me, I'm blaming that unpronounceable volcano in Iceland. That scary cloud of ash that stops jumbo jets in a single poof, I am convinced is wrecking havoc with my spring time.
It's rained for almost two weeks straight and we've even had snow at 700 meters. There's a rumour floating around that all these cold temps have also practically destroyed the hirondelle (swallow) population of the area. The poor little birds migrated back for summer only to be faced with freezing temps and weren't able to cope. Unlike the second home owners, the little birds couldn't just get in their cars, turn on the heat and leave.
The weather service says that things should improve this week and I really hope so. I love winter. It's my favourite season. But there is just something in me that thinks when the local ski area is closed, it's time for spring.