Sunday, 27 September 2009

Splashing about in the river

In the fast flowing winter waters, large tree trunks ended up parked on the parapet of the bridge at the front of our property.

Snippet from my blog entitled: Watering, logs and bees. (March 3, 2009)
"Already Hubs is eyeing up the pile of logs captured by the bridge support and is making plans as to how he can retrieve them, one of which is wading across to them and manhandling them back to dry land. I smile and say "What a good idea, but wouldn't it be better to get a blow-up boat or something so you can row across", not wanting to put him off his gung-ho, 'man-provider' mode while all the while secretly hoping that the French will come and tidy up the bridge themselves. Only Lester rarely does anything at Labartere without needing my help, so it is a distinct possibility that moi will be captured into a retrieval of logs adventure sometime during 2009, hopefully when the Adour is in her sleepy state of summertime laziness. Or perhaps he might drop the idea all together, which will be even better!"

The idea did not become 'dropped'. But the river did, oozing away into a shallowness I would not have thought possible during the winter flow.

And thus it was that it came to be the time of 'Gathering of the logs' project, kicked into being woken up by Bruno strolling in a couple of days ago, with his chain saw dangling casually from one hand, and a can of petrol in the other, announcing grandly that he was off down to our beach to cut up one of our trees which had fallen down during the winter storms. This had a galvanising effect on Hubs, such that the pair of them headed off to the river. The 'Gathering of the logs' project was underway!

Not wanting to be left out of the adventure, I put my old faithful leather boots on, called Bools and Gus, and off we went as well. And there ensued the grandest of fun afternoons. In bright sunshine, we hauled the logs from the bridge to the beach, which is not quite as far as it looks here because the beach is considerably larger now because of the reduction in the volume of river water:

We got soaked. Bruno took it upon himself to do 'boss-man'. Stood on the parapet and shouted instructions as to which direction to float the logs. Not easy when the logs were being pulled against the flow of the water. Not easy when Bools and Gus kept on getting onto the logs for a ride."Go left" Bruno shouted out to me. "No, not that way, it's too shallow". Not for me it wasn't, the water already being well above my knees. Responding to the 'Go left' instruction would have had me in deeper water. Not for me, thankyou!

Splash! Into the water rolled another log, manhandled into the water by boss-man. And another. And another. Finally, all logs were in the water. Now boss-man Bruno had to come into the water as well, and we all towed the logs back to the beach. It was a rollicking wet funsome frolic, interspersed with fractions of seconds of worry as the insect population of the once dry wood took it upon themselves to try and rehome themselves on us. Not to worry, though, none of us were harmed, or bitten, and no part of us was eaten.

And here I must stop and mention that I have a vigourous imagination when it comes to an expanse of water. That I have an irrational expectation that a crocodile or somesuch creature is going to erupt from the depths of the water and eat me. This is a secret I have now shared with you, my reader. Why is this? Why do I have this thought in my head? This is France, not Africa. Totally irrational, as I have said. But.....bless me! Since I am of a 'certain age', (60+) and since I expected to get ever so slightly dottier as I get older, do you think this 'dottiness' has come sooner than I expected? And what would a sixty-plusser be doing messing about in the river with her boots on anyway! Having a bloody good time, that's what!

And the good news is: that all the logs are now on the beach. That no sharks, crocodiles or any other man eating thingys came and ate us all up. That Bools and Gus had a super duper time. And Hubs. And Bruno. And me. We all did.

Laughter is magic to the soul. Hubs and I feel boosted up again, as if we have been plugged into a petrol pump and been refuelled.

And it is the end of September, and we are still in summer clothes and can still go into the river without getting cold.

All in all, we have a mound of blessings that the log project reminded us that we had, which I think had slipped our minds in the general busyness of our days here. And the logs? Well they are beached now. Apparently Hubs and Bruno are supposed to cut them up next weekend. But if they don't, then the river will take care of them for us, probably putting them back onto the parapet when the river next rises! Then we can have the same adventure all over again! Wahoooooo!


Anonymous said...

Why is it that hubby's get these grand ideas and us wives end up being roped into helping?

TheChicGeek said...

Ah, Vera, "laughter is the magic to the soul"...absolutely true, and you've given me some magic today with a big smile and giggle! Your story has me laughing, and your zest for life is magnificent! Isn't it wonderful when we are reawakened to joy and laughter in our relationships and our days!
Thank you for taking me on this adventure :)

Have a Wonderful Day, Vera...and do try to stay dry today...LOL!
Hugs to You!

Vera said...

Hi Yaya, I don't know what that is either. When I have grand ideas he either seems not to be able to comprehend what I am saying, or 'nonsenses' it. Something to do with men coming from another planet I guess!

Vera said...

Thanks for hugs, CG, and will do as per instructions: no soakings today! Laughter has such a cleansing effect and seems to reduce all problems into 'do-ables' rather than feeling like the hugest of mountains to climb. Nice to have you pop in. Hope you have a a good week.

Land of shimp said...

Hehe, a grand project indeed! Well done conquering and re-purposing!

I will tell you honestly, and in no way to say, "you overreacted" but rather, "weirdly, I don't squeal at that." I don't shriek at the sight of a mouse, even under the circumstances you described, partially because the incongruity of the sight catches me and my reaction is more, "That does seem like it should be a part of this room. Hmmm. What am I going to do about you, Mr. Mouse?" As I do with spiders.

That said? I'm terrified of chainsaws. I hide from the things. The concept, the noise, flashes of horror movie previews I forgot to glance away from, all of it. Eek.

So that was making me laugh on top of your story. The mouse story, my honest reaction was, "I'd have a different reaction...but not if the mouse was dead. Dead animals send me leaping back with a shriek. Live ones I talk to." because everyone's fear mechanism is wired into different things.

I had to laugh merrily not only at your story but my reaction of, "Oh dear, not a chainsaw!!! EEEEEK!" just reading about it :-)

Roz said...

What a life! I have a friend who told me the other day her working day is a nightmare where a visit to the loo is a break - aren't we lucky!! Enjoy the heat from those logs when you burn them!xx

Vera said...

Dear LofS, how funny that it is chainsaws that start you off! And dead animals I am OK with, I say a blessing over them to make sure their souls are OK. And I am not really terrified of mice, it's just that they surprise me, that's all. But my fear is of caves. Going down in them!

Vera said...

Hi Riz, Yes, I agree with you, we are lucky to be living in France, even though it is flipping hard work sometimes. Well, actually for most of the time! But still worth it.

the fly in the web said...

We did the log thing too...our river is considerably smaller than yours, though. It is fun, splashing about in water, much better than the seaside,but how is it that when it comes to carting the wood away I am the only one deemed able to manage the wheelbarrow? My man mangement skills are sorely lacking...

Vera said...

My man management skills are also lacking, I think. Two men, Bruno and Hubs, came off the beach, carrying lightweight tools and I fetched up carrying two large logs under each arm. If I had taken the wheelbarrow down, without doubt I would have been the one left to get it back up to the house!
Nice to know someone else enjoys messing about in rivers as well. It is a glorious way to spend an afternoon.