Friday, February 10, 2012

The Big Freeze II

 Crusoe, earlier today, investigating the ice on his lane

OK this cold weather business is really not funny any more... Only a few weeks ago I was bemoaning the fact that the weather was not cold enough as I think it's necessary for the garden to have a cold spell, to kill off all the bugs and diseases so plants and shrubs will be able to develop properly in the spring.  They say be careful what you wish for...

The temperature has not been over minus 1 since Monday.  On Tuesday night the temperature dropped to minus 12 and on Wednesday morning we woke up to no hot water in the bathrooms...Yes the hot water tank is up in the loft and despite the fact that the loft is insulated and the hot water pipes lagged, somewhere along the line something has frozen up.  We have been up there armed with hair-dryers and blow heaters, to no avail, there is nothing we can do except wait for it to thaw.

  Friends have kindly offered us the use of their bathrooms and their still running hot water, MG has taken them up on this but I am a bit funny, the bathroom is a sanctuary to me and I like to practice my bathing rituals within the sanctity of my own walls. 

Degas, 1887

Fortunately all has not been lost, there is still hot water in the kitchen as it is supplied via a different system, I don't have to be like a seventeenth century French aristocrat and douse myself with colognes and perfumes to make up for the fact that I have not bathed.  Without a maid to fill up my bath for me I have taken to filling up a large bowl and armed with a sponge, making sure the bathroom is toasty warm (thank goodness the heating is still working!) have been washing standing up in the bath, I feel quite the Victorian!

Don't we take piping hot running water for granted!

French antique copper bateau bath, they were installed in Châteaus or Maison de Maitres and before hot running water there would have been a maid or valet to fill it.  Would you believe I have seen similar baths in fields used as animal troughs and yes I have enquired who owns the land and bought a couple this way.

French country folk who lived in farmhouses like ours had to make do with small tin bathtubs like these, hopefully filled with hot water boiled over the fire by a loving spouse and placed in front of the fireplace.  We found a load of these in our garage when we bought the house, they make excellent planters, though I could have done with one this morning!

I don't believe it, the blogging Gods have heard me, whilst I have been typing this the frozen pipes have thawed, I am off to the bathroom whilst the going is good, the temperature is forecast to drop to minus 15 on Sunday!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.


  1. Reminds me of my grandparents' farm...where the bath ritual was a galvanised tub fed with hot water from the copper.

    I loved those copper baths...but never had the luck to see one in a field!

  2. Mon Dieu Dash. You are about to turn into a popsicle. Time to draw that hot bath indeed! I loved all the beautiful pictures in this post, but my favorite, bien sûr, is the one of Crusoe... Be careful out there, friend. Spring will return-- with no bugs hopefully. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  3. I so loved your post, with the images...stay warm...

  4. Huzzah for hot baths...enjoy!


  5. that is just another day in the mountains of Canada....frozen pipes are always a drag....but sometimes it is good to get out of your comfort zone....for a little while anyways!

  6. Dash, your images here make the past look so inviting, but like you, I am very fond of hot running water. Hope all is in working order now for you and that the cold wave passes on by. Love the picture of Crusoe. He looks like he's enjoying the moment. I can't help thinking his feet must be freezing! Brrrrrrrr.

  7. Hint: During cold weather, leave all your faucets dripping - moving water won't freeze as easily!

  8. Hello Dash

    Lucky you have no burst pipes. The images of those baths has me wanting to soak. It is turning a little cold in Florida today, the wind is whistling down the chimney and our homes are not well insulated. Tomorrow promises to be in the low 60's and sunny.
    Hope the sun shines in your corner of the world

    Helen xx

  9. Marcheline thanks for the hint we have had the taps dripping since the pipes thawed and I am happy to report that they have not frozen up again.

  10. I'm glad you now have hot water. We've had no water since last Sunday and are still waiting for our pipes to thaw. :( Getting used to boiling water for washes etc. All those pictures of baths makes me so want one!! Keep warm. xx

  11. Petit Ange, I hope you get your hot water back soon, it has got a tiny bit milder here but once again snow is forecast for the next few days.


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