A Celebration of Normandy's Rain
I've just come back on from feeding the animals which at this time of year (winter) does mean I need boots as it's a bit muddy out there. OK, let's be fair, when it comes to Boris' pen (Boris is our pig) it's VERY muddy! Throughout the winter I do find myself wading through rather a lot of mud and it would be fair to say that I am not always dry when I come back inside. Normandy is well known for many things and that includes rain. In fact there is a saying in France that in Normandy it rains three days in every two! (cheeky). Now I have seen rather a lot of people having a moan about the rain in Normandy? Really? But this is Normandy rain is central in creating this region.
The rain means the pastures stay green, the grass feeding our cattle whose milk gives us our our dairy products. Would it be Normandy without Camembert, fresh cream, butter and delicious salted caramel?
The rain helps our trees to grow. Did you know that 14% of Normandy is under forest cover. More still is orchards giving us our apples which are made into cider, Calvados and tarte Normande etc. There is also an estimated 130 000 km of hedgerows. Near to Eco-Gites of Lenault you can enjoy the woodlands of Valcongrain, Grimbosq, Saint-Sever, La Forêt communal de Flers and Pontécoulant and a summer walk through a sunken lane would not be as shady or half as pleasing were the trees either side were not there.
The rain fills our rivers and streams. Normandy has 14,500 kms (9,010 miles) and how would they flow without the rain? No more kayaking or catching fleeting views of kingfishers, no more wild swimming or paddling in streams. Thank you rain for filling all our rivers from the longest, La Seine, as it wends its way to the sea at Le Havre and our shortest, La Veules, at just 1.2km long. You can read more about our rivers here: Rivers of Normandy.
The rain gives inspiration to Normandy's most famous brand - Heula. Heula represents all the riches of Normandy's heritage: culinary, architectural, historical, landscape ... and our rain ... in a wonderfully humorous way! Visit their website to see what I mean. I think "Normandy as seen from Google Earth" has to be a favourite of mine.
Hygge - if we had no rain we'd have no excuse to snuggle up in front of the fire, no excuse to create a cosy indoor moment enjoying the company of friends and family, no excuse to not slow down and appreciate the simple things in life. Thank you rain - you are the perfect excuse to allow us to practice hygge!
Without rain there would be no puddles to jump in and there would be no rainbows. So it's worth remembering that it was Sir Ranulph Fiennes who said that there is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing. Simply remember to pack your waterproofs when you visit Normandy but don't be surprised if you don't need then - it really doesn't rain here all the time!
What do you think about rain - is it something to embrace or a perfect excuse to go all Hygge?