Whilst the UK has been experiencing freezing temperatures and snow, down here in the south west of France........it's been pretty cold too! We have had the odd light frost but during the last week it's mainly been cold and wet. I really felt sorry for the roofers on Monday as they fitted three new Velux windows into the ceiling of the salon, the rain poured at intervals so it was not an easy job at all. This morning the sun is shining again and I have managed to take a hastily shot photo of a red squirrel in a tree in the garden. The deer are wandering about and a watery sun is pushing through the morning mist.

My DIY challenge for January (and now February) is to scrape and sand the shutters ready for the repaint. Surprisingly this has been a satisfying job especially when great swathes of paint come off at once. It's the irritating little bits that hang onto the wood for dear life that are the worst and they get all that they deserve with the hot air stripper! The Pool Guy called round yesterday and I was discussing my shutter issues, he told me to be careful what I repainted them with and handed out gratefully received advice. I had, had it all planned out, primmer, undercoat and that carefully chosen F&B topcoat. No.... I think there now needs to be a rethink and more investigation. This is mainly because a lot of our shutters face south and I learnt that the oil based paint can therefore blister in the heat. It seems like it's not only the shutters that are a bit green! 

It's not been the weather for shutter tasks this week so I have found myself doing more admin type jobs from the warmth of our sitting room. It's getting towards the time when we will have to import our trusty Mercedes into France. You can only have six months of UK insurance on a car that is being used in France so I have started to fight my way through what I believe to be a mountain of paper work to achieve this. I cannot tell you enough, how I have been putting this off. I have heard tales of queues at the Prefecture and difficulty in getting "attestation d' identification" forms. Just google "importing your car to France" and you can read a plethora of forums explaining how to manoeuvre through this maze and read about other peoples exasperating experiences. Then, on Monday, I went to my first french class. It was there that someone suggested I visit the local garage, so I did. Suddenly the weight of car importation was lifted from my shoulders. Monsieur Garagiste told me exactly what I needed to do and not only that, he offered to organise it for me. Time to teach the car a few french words. This German car who has lived all its life in England is now about to become French.

The sun breaking through the morning mist and northern views. January 2016.

Three deer and a red squirrel. January 2016.