“Last October,” muses Euro-Correspondent Lucy Culpepper from southwestern France this morning, “I wrote about how I loved the fall in this part of France, in the Bearn. The crisp, clear days, richly colored leaves all around, and heart-stopping views to the snow-capped Pyrenees in the distance.
“As soon as my words were published, the weather turned foul, and we had three wet, miserable weeks.
“No views and everywhere cold and damp. Just as the blues were really setting in, out came the sun. The Pyrenees were covered in snow, and the ski resorts opened early. Unfortunately, the sun got carried away, and we had seven days of 70 degrees Fahrenheit!
“Needless to say, all the snow melted, and it was the skiers’ turn for the blues.
“This was followed by a week of ‘normal’ weather…but, then, the temperature gauge dropped to 23 degrees Fahrenheit, way below the norm. We restocked our woodshed, ready for the true winter to start…
“Today we have a wood shed bursting to the seams, and so, too, is the garden. Spring has sprung!
“Yesterday I mowed the lawn for the first time this year. My husband is sneezing his nose off thanks to his spring allergies, and the garden is a mass of primroses, daffodils, violets, and tiny white strawberry flowers.
“Morale of the story: Be careful if you are choosing your dream destination based on the weather. Nowhere these days has normal or usual weather, least of all southwest France!”