Friday, 17 July 2009

We had a bit of a blowing...

A storm fetched up here last night, for which there had been an orange alert. In the scheme of things it wasn't that much of an event. Nothing was ruined, no chaos ensued.

But what it did do was remind us of the January storm when all hell broke lose.

Not to worry, though, in a few more storms time the memory would have become filed further away in memory. But we are remembering less and less of the reality of it already, and more and more of the odd bits particularly of funnyness. Like when Lester was lifted three foot up in the air by a gazebo which was trying to metamorphosize into a kite, or my hours of hanging onto one end the gazebo while it flapped about. Or the moment it broke its back. Thwack. Right in the middle.

And standing in the half barn in the half light of early dawn, soaked, frozen, feeling emptied out of all effort. Then going to bed because that was all there was left to do. No electrics. No heat. Everything damp.

The memory of the winds marching their way towards us. Like warriors as if to war. That is how the waves of winds sounded as they came our way.

Of not being able to sleep in case the caravan was knocked over. But sleeping anyway, but in naps.

And the curious thing is that we now find it funny! Is that how one becomes a survivor in life? Of finding elements of humour during times when there is none? And those happier moments stay in the memory, eventually overlaying the stresses of the original experience.

Just a thought.

I have just come back from a walk round our fields. It is early. The storm is still around. Summer storms. We need them to keep things growing. To help us appreciate the peaceful times, of being alive, of being in life.

Yesterday I made some marrow and ginger jam. Well that was what I was supposed to be making, but it turned out more like marrow and ginger syrup. But oh so more-ish that I have kept helping myself to a spoonful of the left over jam whenever I pass by. I am fast becoming a marrow and ginger jam/syrup junkie!

Re: the gates fiasco. RV, him who is supposed to be putting the gates up. Well, he came round yesterday and strooth almighty! Mmmmm, yes, well, this is still an ongoing subject, with now a third set of posts on their way to us, to join the two sets we already have. The first set was wood from his back garden. The second was pine. The third may or may not be oak, oak being the wood we asked for in the first place. Come join with me as I let out a wail of frustration! No, seriously, he is a walking nightmare of a man, is oh so charming on the surface but that is it. No more is there of him, other than a man who wants to get the most money out of the job for less effort, which requires of him not to listen to what we want and then get uppity with us because we question him.

Re: the docks. As I have said, I have just come back from a walk round our fields, to find them absolutely full of dock plants. This is not good. Unless..... wild foodying! So researching on the internet today to see what can be done with tons and tons of dock seeds. I think we can grind them into flour, although I read somewhere that they tend to have an encouraging effect on the bowels. My one attempt at using them in cooking did not have any effect on my guinea pig, which was Lester. He seemed to be OK and did not require the porta potti any more frequently than normal.

Re: the house. Nothing to report. Johnathen came round yesterday, took some measurements, and had a chat. Danni came round, had a look, and had a chat.

Re: future adventures. Had a walk down to the Louet bay, the Louet being a robust stream which turns into a torrent of water when rains fall on the escarpment beside us. Since we have not had any rain for weeks, the Louet is looking sleepy. It looks like I can cross it and have a look at what is round the corner of the Adour.

This was taken at full flood, and now all the water on the right has gone away, leaving a sort of beach. Anyway, it looked inviting enough to have a go at an adventure. But perhaps not today. With the rain that came down last night, and more on the way, the Louet is going to be a very busy stream. I think it is trying to grown up and be as big as the Adour. Bless.

Must just tell you: went shopping yesterday into Maubourguet and on the way back had my first traffic jam since arriving here. The road was like driving on silk, so smooth, so bump-free, but no signs to say that they were resurfacing the road ahead. They don't seem to do warning signs here. Just pop a tiny old bollard in the middle of the road, that's all they do. No traffic lights, no 'chippings on the ground' warnings, no great long strings of bollards syphoning you off onto other bits of the road. No. All I had was a huge lorry stopped ahead. That was it.

After some time, the lorry moved. And I followed. Over to the other side of the road we swung. In a gap I could see a little bollard parked up by itself, all alone, in the middle of the road. I assumed that meant we had to be over on the right side of the road by the time we got to it. I missed it by a whisker, after having passed the cutest of all road resurfacing machines I have ever seen. No great belching monster like the UK ones are, this one was a poddly, old, not-in-a-hurry, resurfacer driven by what looked like a lady but was probably a man, this being a country which still has a sexist attitude.

Anyway, and I know I must finish this blog because you and I have other things we need to be getting on with, the lorry ahead suddenly did another swing over to the left. I dutifully followed.

In a gap ahead I could see a middle-of-the-road junction. Oops. But I was committed. So was the lorry. It kept going. So did I. Then blast it! It only did a sharp left turn onto a side road. Now there was only me, on the wrong side of the road. Oh blast it again! Oncoming traffic! Now by the junction. Going through the junction. No where to go except forward, the right side of the road being blocked by road furniture.

Ah a weeny gap. Just before the now stopped oncoming traffic, which also had a huge lorry in it, I did a sharpish dart through the gap, missing the first car in the queue by a slightly greater distance than the bollard and waving gaily at the drivers whose way I had been blocking. One can get away with quite a lot of nonsense when one smiles and waves charmingly: I am getting quite adept at using this method as a means of saying sorry for my numerous mistakes on the French roads.

And all the while there were no more directional bollards, and no instructional signs. Ah, the French.

So off into my day and signing off for now. Au revoir for the moment.

1 comment:

DUTA said...

Hi Vera,

So, there's "never a dull moment" at your place.
You're right. Humor helps us survive, and summer storms help us "appreciate the peaceful times".
Anyway, you're lucky to live close to Mother Nature: fields, Louet stream. Adour river..

I wish you lots of Luck with the gates, and please take care on the roads!