Friday, 10 February 2012

The cottage is struggling ...

... to keep us warm.

The temperature is minus eleven when Tod goes out with the dogs and was minus thirteen during the night - the coldest yet..  I light the gas bottle fires that we have going now on the landing and in the hall and only open the shutters facing south as the sun comes up.  Although the underfloor heating is on full blast we're wearing thermals and several layers on top to keep warm.

We learn that France is having to import German electricity because the French have so many electric fires.  Yesterday the washing machine ground to a halt at the rinse cycle, dismally flashing its warning lights. The pump was struggling to work with the waning voltage.  We've been here before.  I go round turning off the underfloor heating in every room and the extra radiator next to my desk.  The washing machine chugs back into life.  We're not getting our share of the German stuff!

At the moment our electricity meanders across the fields on wires from a neighbouring farm. EDF has promised us our own new mini electricity sub-station - just for us - and a new set of wires down our chemin along the edge of Monsieur F's field.  The work was due to start in November, but no sign of them yet.  One wonders how upgrading the grid to give customers a better service squares with having to import power from an "almost at maximum capacity" Germany when France has a cold winter. We may need to buy a few more gas fires.

How our electricity arrives


  1. We had almost -12 here in Wales the night before last and the kitchen was 2C warmer than the fridge the next morning! No underfloor heating here and the central heating is on the blink. :-( So I know just what you're going through, Sue.

    I was really surprised by what you wrote about France importing electricity. I'd always understood that France has a surplus which it exports to Spain and the UK. Perhaps it's just a surplus in the summer....

  2. Oh Perpetua that sounds uncomfortable! Hope the central heating is behaving again. Yes it is surprising about the power. Mind you these few days are exceptionally cold right across France. Don't know what they'll do as Germany starts to decommission its nuclear power stations!

  3. Funny, I was just thinking how our next couple of nights are going to be almost as cold as France - here in Oklahoma, USA. However, I failed to take note of that minus sign at first glance. Jeez, I cannot even imagine. We are such big sissy's here.

  4. Hello Rubye, thanks for stopping by. I'm enjoying dipping into your blog. I find it much harder to put up with damp, grey winter days than this amazing crisp, clear, sunny cold. (Although I am itching to get on with some gardening :))