Weather or not

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Flag of France  ,
Thursday, June 12, 2008

It was a wonderful day today.
You know, the weather has been really strange all through our stay. Very unsettled, lots of rain and thunderstorms, alternated by sunny, sometimes even hot, spells.
Luckily, I like walking in the rain, specially if the sun's shining too. Love it.

We were a busy lot today. Peter was building a shelter for the logs, Mieke was fixing the 'bac de gresse' (an inexplicable way of processing our waste water - there is no sewer) and I was stuck with the bills and stuff. I hate bookkeeping more than anything but somehow seem to be the designated one.
Anyway, it was a lovely, sunny, calm day. To think only yesterday Jacques had warned us for an oncoming storm. We were to tie down everything loose, close the doors, windows, shutters and hope for the best. 'Code orange,' he said gravely. Could be here in just five minutes.
Oh, that was just what I wanted, some excitement. I sat in the middle of the back garden overlooking the hills so I could see it coming.
The birds were sheltering in the trees, the sky blackening, the leaves rustling, the wind picking up - and then that eerie quiet, the silence before the storm.
It was thrilling.
But the storm passed us by. I could hear the thunder and see the lightning over the hills - it didn't reach us. I was disappointed.
No warnings today, a clear blue sky, agreeable sun.
But I felt very restless. Come on, let's get out of here, can't stand the sight of another bill.
We agreed to go to the river to find some smooth pebbles for Mieke to press into the wet cement on the top of the bac de gresse. After we'd shop for food.
As we turned on to the main road, literally out of the blue, the heavens opened, big fat raindrops splashing on the car.
'Let's turn round,' said Peter, as we were driving towards the rain. But Mieke and I had our hearts set on the stones at the barrage, and didn't expect it to rain that long anyway.

The river was wild, the water high, still we found some lovely stones, but it was pelting down now so it was off to the Intermarché.
Peter placed the car as close to the entrance as possible, but I couldn't even open the car door. Not only the torrential rain, but hailstones so big they could do you an injury. Amazingly, the windscreen wipers had no effect at all.
'Come on, let's dash,' I said to Mieke, just for the hell of it. A few steps later we were drenched, soaked through.
A small group was gathered at the shop door, waiting to leave. They were very amused at the sight of us, specially the men, nodding approvingly as if we we're in a wet t-shirt contest. But the atmosphere was light and jolly, people friendly and forthcoming as happens in such extreme circumstances.

Half way through shopping the power failed. That was fun, groping around in the dark, no music just the hail drumming on the roof - everything changes when the light goes, you're suddenly in a whole different world.
The lights were restored before it got scary and soon we were safely back home. I made some delicious Thai chicken soup. (Never throw away a chicken carcass, no matter how many have gnawed on it.)
After the soup we went to check out Mieke's 'beavers', she was delighted to have spotted them in a pool nearby.
They turned out to be ragondins, big water rats, considered to be a pest by the farmers.
Walking back we got caught in the rain again, Mieke and Peter rushed on home while I stood there, twirling around, rain on my face, I wanted to dance in the mud, catch the lightning, feel the thunder rumble all around and right through me, the electrical sensation.........exhilarating, am I mad?

Before I went to sleep, out I go again to see the moon, half it was, and bright as can be, clear sky - everything's lit up, stars all there I think.

Looks like it's gonna be a warm, sunny day tomorrow,
but then you never know here, do you?
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