Friday, March 24, 2006

What a Pane !

The garden of Diane de Poitiers at Chenonceau, seen through one of the castle's windows. As I mentioned before, it was raining. At times it was coming down pretty good - so the exterior shots are mostly grey and colorless. But, that's how it looks around these parts in winter, er... early spring.

Still, flowers are beginning to burst out all over, and trees are loaded with buds. A few good sunny days and we'll forget all about this long, cold winter we've had. By the way, everyone in our part of the country is complaining about how long and cold the winter has been. Mind you, by northeastern USA standards, this winter was a picnic. But not by Loire Valley standards. They seem to be used to mild winters, tempered by the warm Atlantic (thanks to the Gulf Stream).

What's interesting is that whenever you talk about the weather, the conversation can leave you feeling like you don't understand a) the weather, b) the language, c) the people, or d) all of the above.

If you tell somebody you think it's mild, they are likely to respond that it hasn't been cold enough (to kill the insects). If you say you think it's been cold, they say that it's too cold and that's not normal. If you complain about the rain, they will say it's been too dry and we need the rain (which is very true). If you praise the rain, they'll say it's too dark and grey and depressing (which is also true) and that there hasn't been enough sun.

Maybe this is just the French way of conversation. My friend Cheryl remembers that when she said to someone, "Il fait froid (it's cold)," she would get the response, "Oui, il fait pas chaud (yes, it's not warm)." If she said to the next person, "It's not warm," the response would invariably be, "Yes, it's cold."

3 comments:

  1. Ah! I was there just last summer, I had a blast visiting all those castles, but it's tiring too! This is one has a wine cellar that you can visit, if I remember well.

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  2. SFDP - it sure is tiring! After a while they start to look alike...

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  3. Salut Walt,

    Plus le temps de venir sur Internet ces derniers jours because le boulot, lol ! Mais je me suis fait plaisir en revenant faire un p'tit tour sur ton blog. J'adore ta réflexion :

    "What's interesting is that whenever you talk about the weather, the conversation can leave you feeling like you don't understand a) the weather, b) the language, c) the people, or d) all of the above."

    C'est ben vrai ! On n'est peut-être pas aussi doué que les Britanniques pour parler du temps... Bises. Marie qui retourne à ses copies :-)

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