C'est humide et froid

it's turned from summer to winter literally overnight. Just a week or two ago we were sweltering in over thirty degree heat. Now we are bearing the brunt of storm Alex. Winter has arrived.

Two cords of wood had been delivered back in late August when the weather was calm and we were still sitting out in the garden till midnight with a glass of red wine satellite spotting. Yes it really is pitch black here when the sun goes down.

Because of the weather in the last few days, we have been busy chopping the firewood. With only a wood-burner for warmth, it's a long way from the central heating and electric fire we were used to in the UK. We started cutting by hand. Not to be recommended. We would have been chopping all winter! So we invested in a woodcutter and chopped a whole cord of wood in a couple of hours. One of our best investments yet.

Today, despite the pouring rain we turned our attention to clearing our garden waste, old branches from cutting back the trees when we first arrived in July. With almost 1600 square meters of land we have quite a lot of trees. We don't have many neighbours in our small hamlet and we are surrounded by farms. This weekend we noticed some of our neighbours and the farmers had started to burn rubbish on outdoor fires.

To ensure we didn't fall foul of any regulations I took to the internet to refresh my knowledge of the laws and local rules regarding outdoor fires. I would say ninety percent of the sites I found assured me that outdoor fires were only illegal from May (March in some areas) to the end of September. Which was already our understanding, so it was good to have that confirmation. Fires in such a rural area as ours in the spring and summer, could be disastrous.

Then to add confusion to something I thought I understood I found a site that proclaimed that outdoor fires are generally illegal in France unless you are a farmer! So now I'm really not sure what the rules are.

My advice after this would be - go straight to the horses mouth - I am in the process of contacting my local Mairie for clarification. Don't trust forums or other peoples opinions. Check the dates of any articles you read. Just because something was ok in 2012 doesn't mean the rules are the same in 2020.

Using the woodcutter to chop up the firewood.

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