Thursday, 15 October 2009

One tile, two tiles, three tiles up, & Sara's snake

You have been spared yet another photo of our roof because my new camera eats batteries like a hungry shark, so: the back roof is now having its tiles put on. And really the only feeling I have at this time is of disbelief. As if my life is galloping onwards and I am several steps behind. Catch-up time, I think, when the builders have gone, and we have got all the boxes, furniture and other assorted paraphanalia which seemed vital to our UK lifestyle but which we haven't needed at all since we arrived here sixteen months ago, from out beneath the tarpaulins and into the dry space of the house. And that will be satisfying enough. Meanwhile we will carry on living in the caravans for the winter. We've done one winter already, so are more prepared than what we were last year. And if the winter storms hit us too badly, well we can always move into our house temporarily.

Sara down the road came by yesterday with the news that her friend had been almost attacked by a hissing python of a snake. OK. A bit of exaggeration, but it was very long snake of over a metre long, and had taken up residence beneath his car. Didn't like being disturbed, so had had a hissy-fit at him. He hastily retreated, meanwhile the snake took it upon itself to climb at the nearest tree and continue its hissy-fits.

Now this is disturbing. Walking around the local woods and fields have reassured me that there is not too much wild life around that is likely to either attack or eat me. This time last year there was lots of hunting going on, with guns going off nearly every day and quite close by as well. This year there is silence. So either the local huntsmen are giving this area a rest, or there is nothing else to shoot.

But: snakes. Sara prodded the snake up the tree, her intent being to make it come down so she could somehow box it up. What she was going to do with it then she seems to be fairly vague about, but I suppose she felt she had to take some action. It stayed put. Became more hissy, so all retreated. An Internet search fetched up the info that it wasn't a poisonous snake but could make a hefty bite if it felt so inclined, and that it killed by wrapping its coils around its prey. Ooooohhhh dear!

Not to worry. We are aways up the lane, but Sara isn't. The snake is in residence at Sara's house along with the camels, the lamas, the goats, the pigs and the chickens. It is not likely to want to leave either, because she has loads of young chickens which are snack food for it, and the bare-knecked chickens lay their eggs all over the place which provide it with nibbles. I said the only thing was to make loads of noise when they were moving round the farm. Bang drums. Stomp feet. That sort of thing. Then it could either clear out of the way, or have a hissy fit so you would know where it was. Don't know what else you can do about it. Neither do I like the thought that it can climb trees. I thought only jungle snakes did that.

Naughty Gussy. Musing over whether to have him de-balled or not, I was veering toward not. I have tried running the legs off him each morning by two hour walks, thinking that would wear him out so he would feel less inclined to go trotting over to Fleur. (The lady dog across the road) Hasn't worked. Not only that, but he will not let himself be easily caught when I go and fetch him. War is now on. On lead for his walk this morning. No glorious hunts and gallops through the maize and woods today, and de-balling it is. He has pushed me into the decision himself.

I am not sure if Fleur is in season, but I don't think so because Boolie doesn't seem to be excessively interested in her. Which means that Gus is going to be one of those male dogs who will sniff the wind and then follow any scents of lady dogs wafting about. This will not do. Because he will then wait for an opportune moment and be off. And another thing: why is he howling? For some reason he has taken to sitting in the middle of the courtyard and howling, which starts Bools off too. They have been fed. Walked. Lovied up. So why the howling? Is it some sort of doggy phone-system? By his howling, is he saying 'Wait for me, oh you wonderful lady doggy, and I will come and play and do all sorts of things with you if you only but wait for me'? Is this his way of answering the doggy lady scents he has captured on the wind?

Otherwise, all is well, down here in South West France. The temperatures have dropped fast the last three nights, so into thermal vest and thermal long-johns. Not very elegant, but hey ho! Caravan homes and country living dictate the necessity for these items. And layers. This morning I have on: 1 vest, two t-shirts, 1 body warmer, 1 hand knitted cardi, 1 pair long johns, 1 pair of trousers. BUT I don't have any heating on. The reason for this is because I can't be bothered to switch the gas fire on. This not only helps my carbon footprint, but also the bill for the gas cylinder refill and my sinuses which get clogged up whenever heating of any description gets switched on. So with halo shining brightly, and hoping my rather slender reserves of patience will carry me through another day with Gussy-boy, I say cheerio for now.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Take the positives from your yesterdays and forget the rest. Today is the start of all your tomorrows. x


Barry said...

What an amazing adventure you guys are on. I'm very impressed. Consider me a new follower of your blog.

Vera said...

Hi Barry, lovely to have the connection with you, although I didn't expect a reply back because of your health difficulties. But thankyou for visiting, and will be avidly following all progress you make in your health. God bless.

DUTA said...

I hope you have some professional in the area that knows how to deal with snakes and you can call him immediately in case of emergency. Snakes are no light matter.

'Today is the start of all your tomorrows" - great sentence!

Vera said...

Actually no, Duta, we are in France and there isn't anyone who is going to come along and sort the snake out, mostly because apparently we have quite a few in this region. What you are supposed to do is keep anti-snake serum to hand in case of a bite, or get to a hospital or call a doctor. I asked Bruno how many people died from snake bite here and he said not many. Most deaths from the wild are from eating mushrooms gathered from the wild, and that is about 2 or 3 in total in France. And Johnathen has seen a snake so long that it stretched from one side of the road to another. Wow! However, we are aware of the dangers and will take care. Thanks for your concern.

Ron said...

Hi Vera!
Glad to hear that all is well over there in France. Hey, here in Canada we're all switching over to thermal-wear and long johns, so no need to feel weird about that! It's freezing here too!

I'm on my way to Lebanon tomorrow and will be passing through Paris. I will be thinking of you! Blessings, my friend. I hope you're well.

Ron said...

I don't know how you can live in an area with snakes longer than the width of a road!!! You are amazing!

Vera said...

Hi Ron, nice to connect with you again. Now if Paris was nearer to us you could have popped in for a coffee and got off your life for five minutes. Do hope you have a safe journey though, and that you remain in safe within yourself. I know you can find parts of your work mentally troubling to you. As for snakes, we don't really see very much of them. Me, Gussy and Boolie make enough noise to frighten them off. Its the wild boar in the maize fields which are more thought provoking! God bless.