Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Paddling & Cold

How come the two people with birthdays this week, are the two with head colds?! Life is NOT fair!

Certainly not for Nic and me. We live in the sunny South of France for goodness sake - colds are not meant to exist down here!
The meteo all this week - torrential rain, thunder and lightening, with hail to follow in the next day or so.

When we first decided to move down here, our one concern was the arid landscape we would have to live with during the long hot summers. Having been born and brought up in lush and green Hampshire, we both were going to miss the rolling hills and flourishing flora of home.

Ha! Some joke! There is so much water in this region, we could almost be called an ocean.

Ok, who said we should have wondered why it was called the pays de source? It is all well and good being so clever in hindsight......

Rain?! You have not seen anything like what we have been having for the last three days!

This is the wide concrete conduit that Nic would walk along with her class to get from her school in Lamalou to the sports ground. And she never had to paddle, let alone swim!This is the wide concrete conduit through Bedarieux where everyone walks their dogs. And the dogs never use life jackets! By the way, the red colour is because the water is flowing from Pezenes Les Mines where the soil is famously a rich red colour because of the high level of bauxite in it. NOW we know that 'conduit' down here translates as 'storm drain'!!

These photos were taken at lunchtime. Looks almost like midnight. Richard is fretting about his runner bean plants (can they swim?). Whilst I kept on going out to check on the chemin I dug and cleared last week - was it all washing away down the road whilst the wall I undermined collapses?! Yes. Washing away down the chemin.......... and past the steps to our front door.On days like today, I remember why I never wanted to be a postman or dustman.

On days like this, I wish we had spent our savings on a new roof rather than a swimming pool! Pots everywhere in the lounge, to catch the leaks, is not a chic look.
Filled up the car with diesel today - and it cost over 100 euros! That is a 50% increase over the last six months!
With the storms ranging all around us, our electricity has been going on and off all day, and we have been without the Internet for almost three days.

This morning Richard got up early and went to find all the torches. I asked why this early?

So that LeeLee would have one ready next to her in case we lost power before she had finished doing her make-up.

Is he a wonderful, thoughtful Dad? Or a real sucker?
We are sitting up late tonight to build Nic her birthday pressie ready for when she wakes up tomorrow morning.

To give you a hint. We chose it so that it would fit (just!) between the house and the barn. Only problem is it is pouring with rain outside, so we have built it in the salon. Looks a bit unusual (you will see the photos tomorrow) but at least Richard does not have far to go to kneel on it!
In the midst of the storm, we went to pick up some more vrac wine (siege mentality - get your priorities right!). We got nervous when the overhead pylon and cables started sizzling......but then a tourist coach arrived and we decided they would be a far bigger and better target for the electricity if it decided to escape!

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