In Canada for the winter
Yes, after 6 winters in the Aude I decided to spend part of this winter in Ontario. It’s possible that I should have consulted The Farmers’ Almanac or Environment Canada before buying a ticket. Both are predicting the worst winter in 15 years! And it’s started with a vengeance.
There are so many things I’d forgotten about winter.
Snow tires – for an old pick-up it costs about a third as much as the truck cost just to buy snow tires and have them mounted.
- Rear-wheel drive – the pickup has rear wheel drive but no weight in the back so I had to put bags of sand over the axle. It’s a find balance, too much weight in the back is also bad. No weight and the back of the truck can pass you on a hill. disconcerting to say the least.
- Winter driving – Not fun.
- Winter boots – They have to be warm and waterproof. Leather is not a good option. Fashion is not a consideration.
- Winter coat – Fashion is definitely a consideration. So is warmth!
- Winter jacket – Can’t wear a long coat in deep snow, it’ll drag you down.
- Winter gloves – as opposed to cute leather fashion gloves. The best ones are down-filled and waterproof. Waterproof is very important in winter. Snow melts.
- Winter hats – often not attractive but they keep your ears from freezing. The best one that I’ve found is more like a headband. I call it my Minnie Mouse hat. I got it at the hat shop in Carcassonne. I can’t remember the name but it’s across the street from the market – les Halles.
- Snow squalls – little snow storms that appear from nowhere.
- Whiteouts – snow blowing across a road. It’s as if someone suddenly slipped a blindfold over your eyes. Very scary.
- Firewood – well I hadn’t forgotten about firewood, just about stacking it and bringing it in through the snow. Salt – used to melt snow. Horrible in the city because it gets on the bottom of your coat and on your boots – another reason that leather isn’t the best option.
- Shovelling snow – very important that you approach it slowly. Every year middle-aged people (mostly men – maybe because snow-shovelling is still primarily a male reserve – die from heart attacks brought on by shovelling snow.
- Winter skies – incredibly beautiful
- Snow in the country – beautiful expanses of white snow. Lovely. If you’d like to see pictures of snow in the country …
- Snow in the city – piles of grey slush. Horrible.
- Sitting in front of the fire – reading a book and sipping brandy while the blizzard howls outside. Nice.
All in all it’s nice to be here. I’m still working so just e-mail me if you need information about properties for sale in the Aude.