The sun will come out tomorrow…

Well, actually, it came out today.

It’s been gale-force winds here. The little wind ornaments have been driven mental, turning one way and another, not knowing where to go in the wind. A winter storm had passed over France, leaving some people’s houses flooded – others without electricity. We’re lucky. We had electric and I sorted out candles, matches, dynamo torches and the paraffin lamp last time we had a power cut so I think we would have survived.

But yesterday it was so bleak – the sky a tungsten and charcoal grey – and it didn’t really get light. Jake went to school in the pouring rain, we stayed in and I wrote. Steve had had a crap night’s sleep – so had I – something about worrying the shutters are about to come off their hinges at any point makes you worry too much to sleep. Sheets of rain came driving down off the roof, totally overwhelming the gutter and then slamming down onto the glass roof of the lean-to. I’ve never seen so much rain. It was like we got a month’s worth in five minutes. Tilly went out for a wazz and was soaked to the bone by the time when she got back in. Frankly, I’m surprised she even bothered going outside. Usually, the hint of rain makes her want to wee in the living room or the dining room or Jake’s room or the bathroom or the lean-to.

And I won’t deny it. I was feeling utterly miserable. Some days, you’re entitled to a poor-me moment.

Today, I woke up a bit later than usual. The sun was out – first time in three weeks – and an hour later, my dad finally arrived. I think he’s forgotten it was my birthday on Thursday, though I’m well-used to this. He forgets Abi’s birthday and it’s the day after his. Mostly, he just wanted to get my junk out of his car and go to the supermarket, so he didn’t stop, just dropped off parcels and packages.

And oh what a joy.

My mum has made me a fabulous – and I mean TOTALLY fabulous card that is so beautiful I’m going to frame it afterwards. I opened my birthday present from her and it was a beautiful jumper – at first I thought she’d knitted it – she’s a seriously wonderful knitter – but was only a little disappointed that it was from a shop instead, because it’s beautiful. I also got some very timely hand-warmers, a very lovely pair of stretchy jodhpurs and an undershirt.

The second present was off my Nana. Her card had arrived yesterday a little damp and worse for wear, but another beautiful, sparkly jumper. My mum and Nana have such good taste. I absolutely love them.

Then it was on to my sister’s. A gorgeous cardigan and THE COOLEST (well, warmest!) slippers. Love. ♥

New slipper boots. So warm.... soooo comfy

However, since some of my last boxes have made their way out here, opening them was like opening birthday presents too. I found my ‘hug me’ hot water bottle, a body warmer I had for horse riding, a couple of jumpers I forgot I had, my photographic enlarger (which was the only bit of kit missing and once it warms up, I’m totally out there making my dark room. Watch this space!) my other Moroccan pouffe, more Christmas decorations and the likes. Oh, it was wonderful. I’m strongly of the opinion that you should – once a year or so – let someone run loose in your house, take a few boxes of things, keep them from you for a year and then give you them back. It’s amazing how much more you appreciate them.

And with the passing of the torrential rain, we are left with a flood, but it feels like these sunny moments are so much more precious. A lot like life. It does feel like the sun has lifted on what has been a very crappy week. Thanks for all your love yesterday, too. xx

Some photos for you…

The bridge is a good two metres above the river bed...

The river bed was dry on Thursday so this has come up by about 2 metres over 36 hours. The Tardoire disappears down a limestone sink hole just between Rivieres and La Rochefoucauld, and I guess it goes to some underground lake or cavern or river. Then, when that’s full, the river starts flowing again down our way. But to go from being the foot-deep stream it usually is for four or five months (from November to April) to the bottom of the bridge, and flood the road entirely, well that’s a lot of rain to fall in one day!

A good two metres more than usual...

But, and if you’ll forgive the dirty lens, the village is looking lovely in blue.

The back lane to La Rochette

Molly nearly met her maker here – the ditch alongside must be a good two foot drop, if not more, and she went in over her head without realising there was no land underneath. For a dog who doesn’t like water on her belly, she did well. Steve was prepared to dive in after her. I had Tilly on the lead. She’s far too stupid to be round anything that might cause problems!

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