Saturday, November 10, 2007

Approaching weather seen from a distance

Not long ago, this was the splendid vision from my bedroom window:

This afternoon, the situation at the far end of the Bourne Valley [also known as the Cirque de Choranche] was somewhat different:

The furthest slopes, covered in pine trees, are only 8 kilometers to the east of Gamone, and one has the impression that they're at more or less the same level as my house. But they rise, in fact, to over 1,000 meters, whereas the altitude here at Gamone is only about 350 m. Consequently, it can be snowing at the far end of the valley at the same time that my house is bathed in sunshine. Often, for me, the conditions observed from my bedroom window are a little like watching tomorrow's weather prognostics on TV. So, there's a fair chance that a bit of snow might be falling here in the next day or so. In any case, the temperatures have dropped considerably over the last few days, and I keep a log fire burning constantly in my living room.

Fortunately, there's some excellent TV these days, including a lavish four-part production of Tolstoy's War and Peace [budget of 28 million euros, 15,000 extras, 1,800 stunts, 1,500 horses, 105 shooting locations, 2,400 costumes, etc], a rerun of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon [trailer] and a couple of fine documentaries on the epoch of Charles de Gaulle. This evening, while toasting my feet, I'm looking forward to watching a recent French documentary about a great kitsch tenor whom I used to hear on the radio when I was a kid in South Grafton: Mario Lanza. Tears of nostalgia guaranteed!

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