Authie et Mi

Buckets of snow – the repeat

December 2010

Last year the family got snowed off the week before Christmas. This year we had the cunning plan of organising ourselves two weeks earlier. This accounted for everything except Kent getting all of its snow, two weeks earlier.

The weather in France has been most unusual with very cold air coming from the north with great waftings of warm air coming from the south. Where it meets in the middle we are getting snow. We are also getting crazy temperatures. Freezing in the north but almost balmy a few hundred kilometres away to the south.

Near the coast we have been reasonably spared but with winds often touching 100 kph any snow that has been left lying has been blown across the roads.

On the Thursday night although my parents would have had a clear enough run down to Chatham, Anton was still unable to get in or out of his estate, so the trip was put off.

Twelve hours later the main roads had cleared enough for everything to get the green light and visits were back on the cards again. This meant having only a couple of hours to go out and buy the food and decorate the house.

They managed to get here in one piece despite having a heavy bout of snow on the coastal autoroute. Around here though all the roads were fine. Clear as a bell.

Having sat up until the end of a bottle of red we were on the go reasonable early. The forecast was for a band of snow to pass and then clear for the remainder of the day. And that’s what it did.
I had considered going up as far as Lille to the Winter Market there but although the roads were pretty good the traffic was very slow and we eventually decided to make for Arras which is a lot closer and easier.

The market is bigger than the last time the family visited two years ago and this time we were there in daylight so it was easier to get photos. The atmosphere in Arras is hard to beat with all the stalls in this superb setting on the main square.

Then it began to rain and didn’t stop for the next 24 hours. Not to worry there was always shopping to be done. Britain has curry but the French have a good selection of blow your head off sauces which my mother is more than willing to give a try. No delicately seasoned meal is complete without lashings of taste bud remover !

Presents were exchanged and I received the pies, biscuits and puddens for my French friends – these would have to be delivered: queue; more snow.

Posted : 28 December 2010

Family, Pas de Calais