It looks like winter might finally be over. It’s been another long one, and our coldest and snowiest to date. We pretty much exhausted our wood supplies so it’s time to start building up a store for next year.

However, a few more things to do first. We’re almost there on the gite renovation. That’s been a huge task but it’s looking brilliant. A final dust and polish, some gardening work outside and Notaire’s House is ready for visitors.

The pool is coming along well too. Despite a ten-day break because it was too cold to made concrete, even with antifreeze in, Bruce is back on the blockwork. That’s almost finished so there’s just the lining and pump to sort out – but we’ll need much warmer weather before it’s ready for being swum in.

Gabby and Katrina the llamas grow steadily rounder by the day. Katrina’s cria could be due as early as next week, so we’re all getting excited. All except Katrina, that is, who just gets grumpier. The other llamas give her a very wide berth. It was the same with Windermere in her last few weeks. Gabby doesn’t seem to prone to the mood swings. She concentrates on seeing how close to exploding point she can expand. She really is enormous and she has until early May to go.

The daffodils have decided to go for it this time. They were about to burst into flower a fortnight ago but then the arctic conditions set in so they stayed firmly shut. But a few days of warm sunshine is tempting them to open now. At last!

Everything’s getting going. There are meetings and fetes and exhibitions. People are dragging themselves away from the fire and back into the world. There’s a near hibernation experience in Creuse in winter! For our part, we have a German exchange student, Florian, coming very soon. He gets to Benj’s lycée today where he’ll be staying till the weekend when he’ll come here. Then we have an alpaga show at the end of the month. I’ll be returning from that with two new additions to our herd, Acoria the Suri and her son Ghost. And the next day, Ruadhri has his chasse d’oeufs with the school and a vintage car club are coming here to Les Fragnes as part of their ralley. Then it’s Easter, then Caiti and I are going on a spinning course, and then, there’s the Creuse on Famille open day, and then the kids go to Germany … suddenly we can make plans again. We have our polytunnel to erect, together with lots of fencing, and the potager needs attention. Plenty to do, and finally the weather to do it all. We’ll forget all about the winter struggles … until next winter, of course. But who cares when there’s a glorious Creuse summer in between!