April 10, 2012

DIFFERENCES

3.  The weather.

July 2010 111

In our travels through France over many years of holidaying, mostly camping, we have experienced all kinds of weather and we decided we like the climate in the Loire best of all.

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Perfect weather means different things to different people but for us the Loire comes closest to our ideal.  The summers are warmer and longer than in the UK but it rains often enough to keep things growing.   

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We decided to live somewhere south of Tours because north of Tours there is often a lot more rain.  We also chose not to go further south because we didn’t want to live somewhere where there is relentless baking heat for months on end.

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Mind you, the weather has been rather strange in France as well as England lately.  But, generally speaking, the weather in the Loire is much better than in the UK.  Mostly, whether it is perfect or not, it will be at least several degrees warmer, brighter and drier than it is in Derbyshire, whatever the time of year.

Knowing that we will be able to sit out and enjoy the warm evenings, that we can plan to go to events that will probably not be rained off, that the spring flowers will arrive sooner and the summer flowers will still be flowering for longer, makes us very happy. 

There will always be nasty surprises of course.  We had burst pipes in our little house last winter because it was unusually cold for a prolonged period.  In summer 2011 there was a drought causing huge problems for farmers and gardeners as a result. 

But we know we will probably be able to enjoy meals outdoors on our little terrace in France, while the crickets chirp away, for several months of the year.  So different to the very brief and often disappointing Derbyshire summers where, if it’s nice weather, we reorganise whole weekends to take advantage of it, because the chance of fine weather lasting from one weekend to the next is very slim.  Our garden furniture in Derbyshire spends more time under covers to keep it dry than actually being used and then we finally give up and stuff it back in the shed until next summer !!

22 comments:

  1. You know Jean - I think you might just like the climate in Melbourne. not sooo stinking hot, yet not sooo bloody cold with just a hint some times of "4 seasons in one day "(stolen from Crowded House - well they were a Melbourne band for awhile). You must visit one day. It's only 36 hours away.
    Leon

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    1. Leon - it's obviously one of the reasons you like the Loire so much - the weather reminds you of home !!

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  2. Yes, it can get pretty hot down here. I like all the green in your Loire neighborhood. You seem to have just the right weather there :)

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    1. Meredith - I'm sure it's what you get used to - friends of ours who live near Perpignan find the Loire weather too chilly and "too English"!

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  3. Someone once told me the Loire has a micro-climate so it is just that bit warmer than you'd expect. True or not, it suits us just fine :-)

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    1. Antoinette, you could be right, I never thought about it in those terms, we just gradually sussed out that it's what we like.

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  4. Glad you enjoy the Loire weather. Seems to have clear advantages over Derby.

    I also appreciate your photos, especially of the very attentive Lulu. She is waiting for a treat, perhaps?

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    1. Bear, Lulu is always ready and waiting for a treat !!

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  5. I agree with you -- the Loire always seems to have excellent weather whenever we are travelling through!

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    1. Broad - unless you happen to pick the day it is chucking it down - that's why it's so greeeen !!

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  6. We never sat in the garden in the UK. If the weather was good then we could not hear ourselves speak for partying neighbours!!! We love the warmth and the the peace we have here in France. Diane

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    1. Diane, you just rolled into one comment the main points of my last two posts !! Well said !!

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  7. The weather suits us just fine too. I lke that the evenings still get a bit cooler to make it easier to sleep.

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    1. Gaynor, if the evenings are hot, you know it won't last that long and you will soon get a good night's sleep. We did however, invest in a couple of those tower fan gadgets for the bedrooms and they do get used occasionally.

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  8. Our area, which is at the top of the Haute Pyrenees is supposed to be the greenest hottest place in France. It has huge swings in temperatures - sometimes mountain cold from the Pyrenees, or Mediteranean hot. One thing is for sure, though, that even on the coldest of days, if that sun does shine it will provide enough warmth to sit outside, making it easy to tolerate the wide temperature range. I can carry a light sun tan all the year round down here!

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    1. Vera, that all-year suntan sounds wonderful. My colour swings from pasty to slightly crozzled !!

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  9. I love that first photo. What amazing contrast. Where/what is that?

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    1. Mitchell, it's the château at the top of our road. The new building is a museum attached to one end, erected a couple of years ago.
      The design is rather controversial, you either love it or hate it. Even if you hate it, there's no denying the quality of the building itself. I hated it at first but now just accept it lovingly because it's there and because it's "ours".

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  10. Lovely photos, Jean. I will concede that here France is indubitably the winner, at least in consistency of weather -most of the time.... I haven't been to the Loire Valley since I was a student, but I do remember it being nicely warm in summer. Being in Normandy our weather is more British, but usually a little warmer, but that suits us fine, as neither of us can cope with much heat.

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    1. Perpetua, we have mostly been lucky with the weather when in Normandy, and it's such a beautiful part of France.

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  11. oh, I dream of spring! proper WARM spring!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. John, if only !!
      Today is glorious - but so cold.

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