Winter in Brittany is steam rising from the valley on days when the dew freezes on the grass. It's condensation on the windows and freezing cold hands when you type and write. It's endless cups of tea and hovering in front of the fire and knitting away at anything that might keep us all a little warmer.
This being first and foremost a holiday house it has always suited the family to have a special electricity contract which means most of the year our electricity is a little less expensive per kwh than the cheapest hours of a peak time/ off peak time kind of contract. The downside is that 22 days of the year it switches to EJP. The letters of doom which means electricity is 5 times the price per kwh and we need to reduce consumption as far as is realistically possible. It's actually quite a fun challenge. Practically speaking the electric radiators are set to anti-gel (normally the setting for when we're not here) and we are cooking in bulk at the weekends (no EJP then) so as to only need to reheat on the electric hobs and not use the oven. Lights are going on only when really needed and we're using the teapot and it's pretty tea cosy a lot more than we normally do. Needless to say first person up gets a roaring fire going and we all stay pretty close to it throughout the day to keep warm.
It's not all bad though. Having practically all our meals cooked on Sunday frees up loads of time for doing other things the rest of the week. Like birdwatching and medieval castle making (more on this later I hope), excellent cowgirl style bootie knitting and fun crafting. The need to be closer to the fire and the natural light has led us to a living room reorganisation we're all delighted with and then there's always the beach. This time it was Gavres with its sea wall providing perfect protection from the wind and making it lovely and warm with the right woollens, coats and snow boots - I hate cold feet, in my case they inevitable precede sore throats and colds.
Look out for a poem inspired by all this any day soon...