The winds are very significant down here... We live outside of Toulouse (bottom middle as far as the map of France goes). We are equidistant from the Med and the Atlantic, and from the Pyrenees mountains - very nice. The Massif Central mountains are a bit to our north. Unfortunately this places us in one of France's wind tunnels. The prevailing wind is my black arrow, and it's fine - nice, soft, slightly damp Atlantic wind. It blows nearly all the time, to a greater or lesser extent, and brings most of our weather, which is why we often get similar weather to the UK (we even got the tail end of that London hurricane a few years ago!)
Geogography lesson boring you yet? It wouldn't bore you if you had to live with the red arrow. This is when the wind turns round, and is said to drive people maaaaadd! Yes, there are lots of stories like this, but it's a dry, disturbing wind from the Mediterranean and it messes everything up. We've had a lot of it in the last few days: it's known as the Vent d'Autan, which apparantly means 'Wind of the High Sea'. Great Uncle Joshua got blown off his perch twice before I moved him - all the windows in the house are geared up to cope with winds blowing the opposite way.
It got so dramatic that my French teacher and I had a long chat about French winds today, with a good look in the dictionary to acertain the origins of the words. The pink arrow shows the one you know about - the Mistral, which comes from the old Provencal for 'Master Wind'. It drives people mad too! The blue one is the 'Tramontagne', or something - memory going hazy here...
Well, now you know more about wind in France than you need to know - unless you move here, because if you do, it will become very significant to you! I always know which way the wind is blowing now I live here, and we look out nervously for the Vent d'Autan.
Whichever way your wind is blowing, do put your name on the guest list for my garden party! The invitation's to your left.