Au mois d’avril

on ne se découvre pas d’un fil*. That’s French for “you can’t trust the weather.” The quote defines the uncertainty as an April thing, but that was before global warming. These days it may be cold and rainy on any given day of the year, even deep into the summer months, never the less, at some point all of Paris seems to let loose and start listening the rest of the saying, “Au mois de mai, fait se qui te plaît.**” The summer wardrobe comes out of the closet, weather and common sense be damned.

As a Californian, who never had two distinct seasonal wardrobes before moving to Montréal as a young bride, and as something of a clothes horse, the changing of the wardrobe is like Christmas time. Discovering long lost garments that I adore is like opening the presents under the tree as I joyfully wrap winter boots into their dust bags, putting them to rest for the months ahead.

Despite the Old Wive’s warning, I jump the gun every year. Like an impatient 7 year old who wakes Mom and Dad before the sunrise on Christmas morning, every April, after about two days of blissful spring warmth, I haul down the summer clothing and put away my winter wear. Invariably three days later I can be found caught out in the cold, shivering me timbers and cursing my impatience for summer.

This year was no exception, last weekend with Mr French off somewhere in the far west and Em with her Dad, I set to work early. Early in the morning and early in the season. The sad thing is, that the last two summers have been so abysmal that it seems to make little difference. I’ve now got enough summer sweaters, pants and closed shoes that there seems to be little risk I’ll freeze to death. Lately, only the colors change from one season to the next and the fun stuff, like light linen dresses and sheer blouses hang undisturbed in the closet, waiting for their return into winter storage. This morning’s bright sun gave me hope. Maybe we’ll get a summer after all.

* In April, don’t take off a thread.

** In May, do as you please.

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4 thoughts on “Au mois d’avril

  1. Today is so beautiful! We were supposed to have a merdique week but this lovely Monday is proving otherwise. Let’s hope it sticks!

    I’m like you, I totally jump the gun once spring is official and abandon coats, boots and scarves…and then end up chilly days later! Here’s hoping for a real summer! Fingers crossed…

  2. We English have a saying, N’er cast a clout till May is out.

    The wind chill here is so cold at the moment that we are still in boots and thermals, even though it is 10-11 C. no chance we would ever think of getting summer clothes out yet.

    When I was in Paris for the month of May of 2010, we started with capri pants and tee shirts, then it turned cold. Could I buy any warm clothes in the shops? NO!… I had not brought a coat, expecting the usual warm May. Eventually H&M realising that lots of tourists needed warmer clothing brought out a rail of coats. I nearly got killed in the rush! Then at the end of the month it suddenly turned hot and I was lying in the Tuileries in my tee shirt again.

    Lesson learned. ALWAYS take a coat!

    Love Denise

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