Tuesday, 9 February 2021

A solar powered week

Last week we enjoyed glorious warm sunny weather.  It’s such a delight to open our bedroom shutters in the morning, to feel the heat coming through as soon as the windows are open, once the shutters are fastened back the bedroom is full of light and warmth.  I just know it’s going to be a good day.

Tuesday morning the whole valley was in cloud and we were in sunshine, all the little towns had disappeared, just look how beautiful it was.

A week of breakfast outside of course, afterwards I delay my garden walk until the pots are washed and the house has had a quick tidy.  I check every day if my little daffodils are flowering, finally they are. I have quite a few in the borders as over the years I’ve bought pots of them for the terrace and once they finish flowering planted them in the ground.  I haven’t seen a lot of spring bulbs about,  no snowdrops or aconites but I have seen growing wild nearby paperwhite narcissi which are lovely.  They are under the olive trees and on one walk had been planted round a little roadside shrine to the Madonna. In the UK they tend to be forced as Christmas houseplants and after that never do well. 

A friend we met in a walk told me he’s already started pruning his fruit trees, he says it’s time as the sap is already rising. We chatted about the beautiful weather, I’m British I have to do that, and he told me that 21 February is considered the start of spring down in the valley but higher up where we live we have to wait another month until 21 March.  I expect that comes from the same rule book that says 26 January is the coldest day and we don’t plant our vegetables before 26 April.  

Spring was certainly been in the air last week, it was wonderful.  I like the way I got so excited about the daffodils measuring the season as I normally would in the UK when in fact I have a large trailing geranium in a pot that has flowered right through winter in a sheltered position and the forsythia has had a few buds open on and off since Christmas.  This spring that is coming is all new to me.

And as if we weren’t feeling super powered already, Friday morning we had a call from our Ilkley doctors surgery, just 10 minutes walk from the penthouse,  asking if we could go in the next day for our first Covid vaccinations.  Mr FF explained our situation, they said we could phone when we get back and go in straight away for our jabs.  What excellent efficient service, we were then told the weather back home was awful, rain, mist and cold.  

This week there is heavy snow in parts of the U.K. it’s cooler here and we have rain but some blue sky.   However we were so cheered by our spring week when temperatures reached 15 degrees on the mountain that we are not complaining just looking forward. 


  1. Hello Jenny,

    The sunshine makes such a difference to everything, especially one's mood. How wonderful to have that warmth and light pouring in since one can really start to believe that all will be well.

    The turning of the seasons bring their own rhythms and demands. It is interesting to note the variation in planting times at the top and the bottom of the valley. No doubt, as we used to find, a variation in soil conditions would also need adjustments.

    We read with much interest about your service from your UK doctor's surgery. Alas, we cannot speak of a similar service from our own. It really does depend upon the individual practice as to whether one is treated well or not. That makes us rather sad.

  2. Foot of snow here. (That may be a slight exaggeration but it's cold, it's white, it's deep, it's luvverly.)

  3. What a lovely photo. I live at 800m (France) and we can often be sat in beautiful sunshine when the rest of the valley is in the fog. Then again, we can often be up to our knees in snow when they aren't. Swings and roundabouts I guess!

  4. We have actually had an Alpine sky and snow day today in North Yorkshire; blue sky one minute and snow the next. It's very beautiful but not the weather for breakfast outside! Oh and yes our Surgery has telephoned too and we are booked in for Saturday.

  5. Meanwhile down here we actually had a hot 30°summers day......at long last, another 34° promised for tomorrow, then guess what? Rain again! Just one of those strange summers we get now and again.

  6. Lovely to see daffodils, I haven't seen any yet. Talking about tea, I get my loose tea, English Breakfast from Twinings in Northern Ireland. Ordered some on the weekend and it is on its way. May be no good for you, with bad parcel delivery service but I though I would mention it.

  7. That photo looking down on the village covered in cloud is beautiful. We had snow here for a few days and it was bitterly cold. Flo was not happy about having to go outside to answer a call of nature and protested loudly each time she came back in to show her disapproval! Now that the snow has gone, I can see clumps of snowdrops and that is a real boost. The days are definitely getting longer too.