No Oysters on Sunday

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I think our cold snap this year has even reached the news in Australia. February is always the coldest month in Paris and we usually have a couple of snow falls during the winter but the temperatures rarely go below freezing. But we’ve just had two weeks in Paris with minus 2 or 3 degrees throughout the day and much colder temperatures at night.  We’d actually been having a very mild winter so the cold snap took everyone by surprise.

Brainy Pianist alias Michelin Man

Brainy Pianist, who desperately wanted to see some snow, was searching for somewhere to go and I suggested Strasbourg so he and Thoughtful went there last weekend by train. It didn’t snow in Strasbourg – at minus 12°, it was too cold – but they saw a lot of snow on the way. Brainy Pianist, looking very much like the Michelin man, was dressed in long johns, two pairs of jeans, 2 T-shirts, 2 jumpers, 2 pairs of socks, a neck warmer and a scarf, two beanies, one with ear flaps, and rabbit-fur lined gloves he’d had the good sense to pick up in Rome after he read my post! He hadn’t thought to take a second pair of gloves, but Thoughtful did! Plus they were both wearing anoraks of course.

Thoughtful alias The Terrorist

It’s snowed in Paris since, to Brainy Pianist’s delight because he missed the first snow fall when he was in Strasbourg, but there wasn’t a lot so it didn’t stay on the ground for long. The Palais Royal Gardens looked very pretty though and the water in the fountains next to the Glass Pyramids at the Louvre was all frozen over. But the cold has persisted.

In winter, I usually just wear wool mix trousers, socks, long-sleeved shirt and wool mix jacket when I go out, with ankle boots, parka with a hood, long scarf to keep the hood in place and rabbit-fur lined gloves. When it’s minus something, I add a pair of tights. My hands get very cold though. I have a pair of thin silk gloves somewhere that have obviously disappeared at the moment, just when I need them!

Me, not Black Cat

Black Cat turned up for afternoon tea yesterday in a summer dress with a cardigan over it, thick tights, long boots, coat, hat, scarf and gloves.  Looking very chic as usual. She’s even got special iPhone gloves so you don’t have to get freezing hands when you answer your phone. I need some too. She immediately took off the cardigan because our apartment is overheated, usually 23°C with the radiators off because of the hot water pipes from the central heating. The water has to be hot so that the apartments on the lower floors are sufficiently heated (we’re on the fourth floor). At her place, though, they have electric heaters, which are expensive to run, so she always has to keep a jumper on. Plus her Australian flat mate is always opening the windows and turning off the radiators and forgetting to turn them back on, particularly in the morning.

Directoire chest of drawers

Yesterday was the coldest I’ve been in a long time. We went off to a dépôt-vente in Nogent sur Marne looking for more furniture for the house in Blois. It was minus 2° both inside and out! I don’t know how the people can work there. We bought a directoire chest of drawers with a marble top. Despite the gloves, my hands were completely frozen by the time we got back into the car which, being a Volvo, doesn’t heat up very quickly. You’d think the Swedish could do better than that! Our Renault Scenic is almost immediately warm.

I went to the market this morning to buy fish and eggs. We bought everything else from the supermarket yesterday because last week’s fruit and vegetables were damaged because of the freezing temperatures and the ground’s so hard now you can’t dig anything up. The fish don’t seem to mind the cold. I felt sorry for the fish mongers though. They have to clean and gut the fish. No oyster man. Last week we ate inferior “fines de claires” instead of “spéciales” so this time, we decided not to have oysters on Sunday. Sigh.

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7 Responses to No Oysters on Sunday

  1. Kiwi says:

    Two comments: I have an iPhone pen, which is good with gloves. The problem with Paris is the dampness, which seeps into your bones. I’ve been colder in Paris and Milan at +0-3 °C than I have at -10-20 °C in the mountains, I presume because the air’s drier in the mountains.
    Now, more importantly, I have to speak out in support of Fines de Clair. I prefer their fresh burst of iodine flavour to the fattier, richer spéciales! Horses for courses I guess :).

    • Fraussie says:

      Hi, I didn’t know about the iPhone pen. I’ll have to find one. You’re certainly not alone in liking fines de claires – they are definitely what people in France prefer and some actually dislike the “spéciales”. When I say “inferior” I mean inferior for me, of course, but then I have a tendency to like fatty things (that’s one of the reasons I’m not a natural skinny, I guess …).

  2. Jane J says:

    My friend from Switzerland, visited me in tropical HOT Townsville this week – for one night only.
    He put in his usual request….. King red-spot prawns on the beach. (This is the menu for all my o.s. visitors when they first arrive. )
    Of course it is my favourite – that is if I can’t get Queensland mud crab, my absolutely favourite meal! – so I am always happy preparing for my visitors. We usually have fresh vienna bread sliced thickly, or rolls, and spread with real butter as well! We have no trouble eating up a couple of kilos with four of us!
    Although it is supposed to be achohol free, we sometimes can disguise a bit of something in a ‘mutual’ looking glass.
    Anyone want to join me in my tropical paradise?

    • Fraussie says:

      Yes, well, I have to confess that the Queensland mud crab in particular isn’t bad at all – and I can still remember Relationnel’s first experience with one!

  3. Maple Leaf says:

    I agree with Kiwi. The dampness in Paris often makes it feel colder. I think the coldest I’ve ever been (almost as blizzards in Canada are no fun either) was in London. I have bad memories of waiting for the bus in the winter in freezing rain with the wind blowing at an awkward angle which rendered any umbrella completely useless. I’ll take this dry cold and sunny weather we’ve been having over that any day.

  4. Fraussie says:

    I agree. I experienced freezing (hoar frost) weather in Orange in Australia but the wonderful sun meant we could put up with our unheated bedroom and bathroom.

  5. Pingback: La Saint-Valentin | Aussie in France

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