Friday, 27 April 2012

Drookit in the Languedoc

Billy Connolly said there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. I have always been a believer in this. Ensuring a warm woolly, a waterproof something or other, and having the right shoes has always been important, in theory, to me. I admit to being less than practical though and have often found myself, on holidays around the world, having to buy yet another emergency sweatshirt, or cagoule, as my unpreparedness catches me out again. But I smile and recall Billy Connolly's wise words.

Vide Grenier in Carcassonne.....150+ stalls expected......4 turned up.......very drookit.
We all know the weather in France has been a little unseasonal so far this spring. I have not worried….knowing that come those 30 degree summer scorchers I will be looking forward to some grey coolness as a break. However…… today……along with most of the last 3 weeks, continuing with the Billy Connolly ( well Scottish ) theme……. is a drookit day.

I love the word….drook, or drouk, as a verb, to drench  or soak, or steep…so it can refer to people, animals, trees, or even pulses which require an overnight drookin.

Somehow to feel drookit is not just feeling wet, but to be miserably so. It has to be one of the most expressive words in the Scottish vocabulary.
My first official visitor to our new house in Caunes left today after 5 days of feeling pretty drookit. We found some warmth and sun by crossing the Montagnes Noires yesterday and visiting Albi….but this side of the mountains has remained drookit all week.

Albi, yesterday, looking amazing....some pale blue patches and shadows indicating a hint of summer weather may be on the way....the other side of the Montagnes Noires.

I will avoid the inner misery implied by the word and think about how much good it is doing my newly planted shrubs, and how full the water butts will be when I need the extra water for the garden. In the meantime I will revel in the fact that the view from my terrace is spectacular no matter what the weather…and go and dig out another pair of warm socks.

Caunes Minervois, from my terrace, looking fairly drookit.

26 comments:

  1. Hello Janice:
    You are right. Whatever the weather, nothing can spoil that most marvellous view from your terrace.

    We are sorry that the weather has been 'drookit' with you over the past few weeks. However, as you say, the garden will be grateful later in the season.

    Albi looks magnificent, perched high on the hill. We are sure that your friends will have enjoyed it all enormously, rain or shine!

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    1. Thanks Jane and Lance. Albi was beautiful yesterday, and actually driving through mist, low cloud and rain made it even more lovely when we arrived...always a real treat to visit. Hope all is well with you. J.

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  2. Dear Janice - what a lovely view from your terrace, even though it is looking fairly drookit. It seems that the whole of Europe is flooded out. Here we keep having typical April showers, one minute pouring the next brilliant sunshine. We even had plenty of rain on our holiday, in an area which is usually pretty parched!!!

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    1. hello Rosemary, Yes, Europe is pretty damp at the moment....hopefully filling up all those low water tables, and providing a good store of moisture for palnts later in the year. J

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    2. oops...plants not palnts.

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  3. I love finding new words and this one is a real winner!

    I have tried long and hard to explain to Cesar why views are so important but he just doesn't get it...he thinks it's a Brit thing. He might be right, it's certainly a fundamental requirement for so many people I know. Yours is lovely.

    So far this year, we haven't felt drookit at all though I can see from Facebook that it's very drookit in the UK at the moment. It's pretty droughty here - I wonder where on earth people don't worry about the weather?

    Axx

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    1. Spending a few years with a Glaswegian provided me with a delightfully extended vocabulary....this was always one of my favourites, and sometimes it is the only word that will do.
      As for the views.....the agent who found us this house decided to show it to us after a 10 minute chat in a bar...she worked out quite quickly that the view was the thing for us.... we didn't realise it at the time, but she was right.
      The rain..... I will try to value it while it is here. J xx

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  4. Even 'droookit' those roof tiles manage to look soft and warm....I used to live on the cusp between slate roofs and tiled ones and in wet weather the slate roofs used to add to the gloom!

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    1. This is very true...somehow the pink hues soften it all, and there is nothing more drookit than wet grey slate. J

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  5. It is cold and sunny here at the moment, Janice, but forecasts for a very drookit time for the next seven days.

    Drookit. A new word for me that perfectly describes the time we had a few years ago. Seven days in Vermont in October. It rained all but one day. No matter, for we had a tremendously wonderful time dipped in maples ablaze with color. The thing is, the photos came out brilliantly, as they often do in the rain, evidenced here by your lush photos. That view from your terrace is so atmospheric and should be a postcard.

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    1. I am delighted to introduce the word drookit to you....I keep saying to myself that rain is good....I'm just not so sure my English guests, lookingforward to a few days in the south of France expect to get a drookin while they're here. I can imagine how wonderful the Vermont fall colours were, assisted by the moisture though. That is a trip I still have on the list....J.

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  6. When we moved to Arizona 15 years ago, someone gave me this advice, "You are not responsible for the weather." It did seem that the first visitors we had would experience some of our 5 - 10 days of rain all year or the day that the temperature hit a record high...oh, well. Love the word 'drookit'...we have a few of those here in August when the monsoons come...though now they are called haboobs. Love your view and your perspective. Keep writing..

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    1. Jane, I actually thought about you when I "apologised" to Sue for the poor weather when she was here. I remember your joy at the drookit days, and the shades of green they helped produce when you were in Ireland, and how delighted you were to see our roses in England, blooming in such a lush way.....due to the amount of rainfall in Yorkshire.
      Thanks for reading Jane, and for your comments. I think "blogging" has helped fill the DK writing gap for me !
      J.xxxx

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  7. A wonderful word which I had not encountered before, I obviously don't know enough Scottish people!

    That roofscape looks beautiful even in the rain.

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    1. Thanks Jenny...it is great word isn't it ? so expressive. J.

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  8. It's been pretty drookit in my little corner of the UK this week.

    I measure drookit (love the word, BTW) by the number of wet break and lunchtimes we have at school. This week most days one or other has been indoors!

    Contrast this with the fact that we didn't have one from September to late January.

    When the sun arrives your view will be even more wonderful...

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    1. Oh Gaynor, my heart goes out to you re the wet break and lunchtimes. My teaching days ( 1977-1988) involved many of them, and I do recall them making life just a little more difficult ! Lets hope all of Europe gets a little sunshine soon. J.

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  9. Drookit is a great word. But I noticed you slide in a 'drookin' and I really really like that even more -- it sounds kind of 'cool' -- which it literally can be! And the view from your terrace is wonderful no matter what!

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    1. Yes, as far as I can remember...drookit is the adjective, drook is the verb....and drookin is the noun, or at least that is how I have always used the words. I would say, after coming in having got completely soaked in the rain, that I've had a "right drookin".
      As for the terrace view.... it was what made us want to buy the house, no doubt.J.

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  10. What a fantastic view, Janice, drookit or not! Sorry fro your friend, though - let's hope her next visit is sunbaked. Up here in the far north we've escaped the worst of the recent rain, but since we get so much anyway, I don't feel too guilty. :-) I even had sunshine on my Orkney visit, but the temperature was truly Arctic. Brrr....

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    1. Glad you saw the Orkneys in the sun...somehow the cold is ok if the sun is out and there are a few patches of blue sky to be seen. Still, Billy Connolly was correct....we just need to make sure we have some waterproofs with us. J.

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  11. We're the opposite of drookit at the moment but I don't suppose Scots have a word for long clear sunny days . I love Billy Connolly and think his best saying is "Anyone one wanting to be a politician should be banned from being one. "

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    1. Billy Connolly does have the knack of finding just the right sound bite doesn't he, and that one is perfect. Its still pretty damp and grey here, so I'm looking forward to the clear sunny days you are having. J.

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  12. Hi Janice,
    For once here in Scotland the weather is glorious and before I set out for the afternoon I just had to say that I'm loving the Scots references. I've always thought that Scots has this lovely way of combining description with feeling and 'drookit does just that evoking an image of water running down, getting soaked through and creating puddles (or dubs) at your feet. Great image as is the view.

    Celia x

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    1. Thanks Celia, there are a number of excellent Scots words and phrases that I have always loved....peely wally is another great favourite, particularly used in our house when someone makes a pathetically weak cup of tea. I'm pleased to say that the drookit days seem to be over here now, the sun is out and I have just had a glass of rose ( cant cope with doing accents on this keyboard), overlooking the beautiful view...in the sunshine. J.x

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  13. The Broad sent me over here to escape temporarily from my drookit Shropshire skies to experience some glorious French sunshine. Ha, and there I was, envious of people who have chosen to live in sundrenched France!

    Love the word, a new one to me.

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