All through the summer, when our B&B is full of lovely guests, one question pops up all the time - 'What do you do in the winter?'
With bright blue skies most of the time, much of it is spent outdoors. Until recently that meant the gardens here at Le Couvent. However, with the acquisition of the new vineyards Ali and I are more than fully occupied with bringing our neglected vines back to full bloom. We have until the end of February to prune as many of these unruly beauties as we think we can keep.
They are in a shocking state having been untended for three years. Ali's keeping a diary of our derring-do with heavy machinery and sharp implements on our other website Chateau Mal Au Dos.
The rest of the time we see the friends we neglect during the summer, catch up on house repairs, visit places guests tell us about, lug logs upstairs to our apartment, write and re-write websites and market Le Couvent B&B, oh - and sleep. Well, I would if the cat, Gouttiere, didn't think 6am was a good time to scrape the bedroom door. Anyone want a fat, cantankerous, wilful and greedy cat? She came with Le Couvent when we bought the house and never left. She treats us with utter malevolence most of the time.
Actually, the winters here are fantastic. For the most part the sun shines, and when it doesn't I'm grateful if it means we can fill the pool next summer, and the skies are glisteningly clear. We can see for miles and it rarely gets bone-chilling. What else could one want?