Friday, 23 October 2009

The beach is killed and Gussy has a lie in

Oh now look what they have done to our beach. It is killed. Dead. No more. Sliced a great big chunk of it away from our land, taking some of our wood with as well, these machines did. Cut a deep new river bed beside our bank, took the stones and earth over to the other bank they did, to try and convince the river that it didn't need to flow over that side and that it could have a more fab time over on our bank.

I heard the roar of the machine's voices while I was battling with cooking lunch. A mouse had just ran over my foot and a wasp was busy trying to make friends, or otherwise, with me. Feeling flustered I became inattentive to the lid on the liquidiser such that a wondrous spurt of hot soup flew out of the gap betwixt lid and jug, arching tracefully to land on Hub's side of the table. All the while the roar of those machines was carrying on. Mopping up, but not very well because Hubs fetched up with a damp botty and had to roast himself, his three layers of clothes and his bare skin in front of the electric fire to dry himself off, I made a dash to the source of the noise.

And there they were. Two huge machines eating up our beach. The very same beach on which I had fond summer memories with my daughter and grandsons. The very same beach on which we had been woodying with Bruno. The very same beach I frequently enjoyed paddling from. Outrage flew through me at great knots of speed, shouldering aside my tinge of guilt about reliquishing Gussy into the hands of the vet earlier on for his op - I had felt quite a shift in my heart when I left him.

Meanwhile, the roofers were busy, in the rain as well, trying to get our roof finished. The back roof is almost done:

...and they are putting the lining on the front roof. I should have been pleased. Excited. House dry after all these months. But no. That outrage shouldered aside my relief at having a dry house. It felt like we had gained something and lost something. Strange that. As if scales needed to be in balance, that we had gained a dry house but lost the beach. "You can't have it all." That is what the Universe seemed to be saying to me.

Needing to take action, I went under the pile of tarps infront of the caravans, and dug out my freezer. Gave it a wash down from the slug trails and other nonsense festooning the once white surface, and charmed Hubs and Jean Louis into carrying it into the house, to there become a convenient place for workman-like activities including the time-for-tea equipment of cups and a plate full of biscuits or cake, which Bools was on his way to raiding, an activity he is most keen to keep repeating if given half the chance.

And then it was time to collect Gussy. Bless him. He had to wear a plastic collar which irritated him no end, and made Bools really cross at him so that we were constantly having to tell Bools off for being a bully. Gussy meanwhile kept colliding with everything including my legs. That plastic collar actually packs quite a punch when rammed into one's calf muscles.

So this morning Gussy had a lie in.

It was one of those mornings when one's bod didn't seem to want to get going. Even Bools got up and sank back into a slumberland, and all this at nine am which normally sees us halfway round a two hour walk. But Gussy was the most reluctant of us all. Since he was post-op we decided to leave him be. In his bed. Not ours. You can see by his guilty expression that he knows he shouldn't be up on our bed!

But Gussy did eventually get going, and took a gallop round our field with plastic collar gaily jiggling along to the rhythm of his stride.

So Gussy is well. He is now de-balled so no babies for him. No babies for Bools either. Fleur was last seen carrying on with a horrid black scrappy looking dog from down the lane so if she is preggers then she will not be allowed to have the pups, which was what happened last time she was in season.

My beach has died. The French monsieurs decided that the river ought not to be given its own way so have decided to tame her down. She must flow that-away not this-away. It remains to be seen whether the river will comply.

Things I have learnt: Not to take things for granted and not to let upsets spoil the blessings that I actually do have, and feeling a tad miserable with myself for not counting those blessings more earnestly.


TheChicGeek said...

What a day, Vera! I'm so sorry about the beach...that must have been heartbreaking. Your Gussy is so cute! I love the way you tell us your adventures of the day. It is so much fun for me :)

And really, the best news is, like you say, the lessons learned of counting the blessing you do have! We never know what tomorrow brings and we must find the joy every day in every place we can. Thank goodness the roof is done! Dry at last and in plenty of time for the rainy season in France! Yes!

Have a Wonderful Weekend, Vera!

Vera said...

Thanks Kelly, and sending hugs and blessings back to you in the USA.

DUTA said...

Hi Vera,

I'l repeat Kelly's words: "It must have been heartbreaking".

Indeed, we shouldn't take things for granted. I know how you feel; Here too one gets up in the morning only to realize that a neighbor or the municipality have cut down an old beloved tree or moved an electric high tension line close to your window etc..

We must learn not to take these misdeeds to heart.

Vera said...

Oh you are so right, Duta. I think that if we had been contacted and given the reasons why this was to happen, then we would have been more prepared. As it was, the removal of the beach came right in the middle of other things so my head was fogged up already.
Hope you are well, and sending blessings to you as well.

the fly in the web said...

How French! What's the class of your river? Probably too big for you to be the owner of half the river bed, more's the pity.

Vera said...

It's a big feeder river from the Pyrenees so is an important river in the region. The thing is that they took our river bank away, and dug a new, extra deep channel right by our bank, so that instead of the river running in flow against the Gers side of the river, it now runs on the Haute Pyrenees side, which is our side. I don't think we were 'owning half of the river bed', because the river takes a chunk of land from our lower field and deposits it round the corner on the bank, so in fact the river is redistributing our land. And on our deeds the spit of land is shown as belonging to us. But a neighbour said that it was useless exercise and that the river will put the bank right back to where it was before they shifted it come the first heavy water flow of winter. But we are OK now about it all now. We have a dry house and that is more important about what the French are getting up to in the river. We do own that bank, as I have said, which I only found out about after looking at the deeds yesterday, but we can't be fussed with kicking up a stink. If our neighbour is right, the river will sort it our for us.

Land of shimp said...

Oh poor Gussy, although he looks adorably pathetic. I'm glad you got him fixed, it sounds like the best solution. I've always spayed or neutered our animals, and it really doesn't change their personalities. Or if it did? Thank goodness, because I can't imagine Angus any more stubborn than he was, and the mere thought of our cat in possession of more fire and fluff is terrifying.

I'm sorry about your beach. I agree, if you'd at least known that something was planned it would have been easier. As it was, it was a rather unpleasant thing to be surprised by.

Your house does look marvelous, though! At least there is a bit of a trade-off.

Barry said...

What a shame about your river and your beach. Life may want to stay in balance, but can't it balance at a higher level sometime?

Still, as you suggest, maybe the river will have its own ideas on where it want to go.