Stone cold

Part of our stone walls
Part of our stone walls

A few years ago we were in France’s Loire valley which boasts the country’s highest concentration of chateaux (castles) per square kilometer. On some days we would visit one in the morning, stop for lunch, visit a second in the afternoon and then return to our own rented castle for the evening. Even after a week of that schedule we only saw a few of the 300 or so that exist there. One especially memorable chateau was Chambord, not only because it’s the valley’s largest but because of how cold it was inside; colder than it was outside; stone cold.

The expression “it’s so cold you could hang meat in there” came instantly to mind. Flash forward several years to yesterday and that same thought was in my head when we walked into this house. Despite the very warm welcome we got from our landlords, the stone walls of this place were holding on to their chill for as long as possible. The owners had come by to turn on the heat to a comfortable 22 degrees C (about 72 F) and 24 hours later the downstairs unit is still pumping out warm air trying to get up to that setting.

My hope is that this summer these same stone walls will do their job by continuing to keep the interior of the house cool while the outside bakes in the Mediterranean sun. In the meantime I’m wearing 4 layers of clothing (yes, really) and drinking hot coffee and tea as fast as Bill will make the cups. That at least gives me another excuse for having a fresh pastry or some other treat from the local bakery.

5 thoughts on “Stone cold

  1. Ooh sounds cold! Put the oven on as well! You might try going round to the neighbours to ‘borrow a cup of sugar’ and stay chatting there if their house is warm! Are the museums open? It might be warm there! Try the ‘rowdy bar’ in town ……. a night watching football with the locals might heat things up a bit ( but,then again this might be too much to bear!).
    We are thinking of you as we sip cold beer on our veranda in the warm evening breeze overlooking across the Indian Ocean. Well, someone has to do it!
    Onwards and upwards. Lots of love, P n G. XXXXXXX

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  2. Our house holds on to the cold this time of year, maybe not quite as severely as that. If it is warmer outside, open up and let the warmer air come in. Hope the heat catches up soon. Spring is coming.

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  3. Think rugs/carpets and hanging fabric (curtains, tapestries). Overstuffed furniture also holds the heat.

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  4. Our first two weeks in Carcassonne were that cold. We were in an apartment that didn’t get the sun at all and it was COLD. Thankfully we were moved into a nice apartment across the hall that received all the morning sun and it was much easier to keep warm in the winter.

    We used fluffy lap blankets as well to keep us warm while sitting.

    Hope it warms up soon!!

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