A brief note about the climate:

In January, the daffodils begin to show and days get longer and sunnier, and while the temperature may drop to 2 or 3 degrees below zero (centigrade) at night, it is usually 7 to 10 degrees on a sunny day. Typical winter clothes include a thin wool sweater and suede or leather jacket; one never needs a heavy coat or boots, and rarely even gloves.This pattern continues in February, and while March is warmer, it may also bring rain. We take the cover off the table in the garden and put up the umbrella, but it protects us as much from the rain as the sun.

April is the beginning of the warm weather; tulips and daffodils have finished flowering, and the orchards are in full bloom. In early May we are eating strawberries from the garden, followed by raspberries, cherries and plums. On sunny days from April to June, the average daytime temperature will be around 20 - 22 degrees.

The hot weather begins in July and lasts through August. How hot? Pleasantly, if you're not in a hurry and don't have to go to work. We get into the habit of closing the shutters during the afternoon to keep the house cool, and the thick stone walls help as well. This is the time that the water at the beaches warms up considerably. In 2005, daytime temperatures were around 25 to 28 degrees.

The temperature drops a few degrees in September, although it is still "shorts and t-shirt" weather. This is the time of the grape harvest, and the figs and apples are ripe as well. The beginning of September also marks the end of the French holiday season, and the final Sunday of the month is NOT a good day to be be heading back to Paris.

As October begins, we are still eating all our meals outdoors, although by the end of the month there may be a few rainy days, and evenings are shorter.

November is traditionally a rainy month, and this may extend into December. We harvest the kiwis, the last fruit of the year. By the end of December, when the days have begun to lengthen, people begin saying that winter is ending. The television weather report always mentions the extra three or four minutes of sunlight each day, and the mood lightens considerably.






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