In which we consider Noah’s flood, the advisability of a fountain in the bedroom and never having enough buckets when you need them…
Having begun with great gusto, the creation of our new vegetable plot at the end of last week we consulted the meteo – weather forecast – on Monday to see what might be in store for the next few days. We never take these forecasts too seriously as they tend to be of the ‘maybe rain, maybe not, maybe sun, maybe not’ variety but occasionally they do hit the jackpot and get it vaguely right. We were hoping for a light fall of rain to settle our newly turned earth and noted, without too much anxiety the warning of possible thunder storms and the certainty of a little rain.
The Charente region is traditionally a very mild area with particularly happy ratings on the sun-ometer and anything too extreme will usually pass us by. And so when the thunder rumbled around the hill on a brief tour yesterday morning and left a sprinkling of rain in its’ wake we imagined that was probably that and began planning our next session with the rotavator . This morning’s clouds were a little heavy looking but nothing really happened until 2 o’clock when the gentle showers stopped toying with us, a celestial voice shouted “see how you like them apples!’ and the heavens proceeded to empty the contents of Niagara falls onto our little homestead.
Within ten minutes the pump which in theory keeps our tea-room dry and cosy had given up the ghost and yet another family of snails was removed from their home in the pipework to the accompaniement of curses and threats of extinction from a murderous looking and very drenched Mr H. The fleet of buckets we keep at the ready for such rare emergencies were already all in action in the shop and the fabric showroom where a couple of small waterfalls were busy dowsing rolls of expensive silk in a most playful manner. Upstairs in the bedroom an impromptu water feature had appeared and set to work pouring from the ceilling and through the light fittings in the workroom narrowly missing the computer desk and leaving a delightful mess on the newly refurbished wooden floor. With no more towels or buckets left to distribute we stood in the doorway of the barn, watching the re-enactment of Noah’s flood and listening to the delighted croakings of our happy little friends the frogs.
Forty minutes later it had all stopped. The considerable pond that had formed on the edge of the courtyard had miraculously drained away, the birds were singing again and the cat had ventured out to remind me it was way past his meal time. By tomorrow life will be back to our version of normal; the floors will be mopped and dry, the twenty seven towels washed and returned to the linen cupboard, the gravel which was pressure washed into a large dyke accross the courtyard will be raked back into place and the buckets will be emptied and restored to their emergency centre in the barn. Many people when asked what they would do with a lottery win or an inheritance opt for the world cruise or the Ferrari supercar. Personally I’m planning on a new roof and a small share in a bucket manufacturing company…..
ALL PHOTOS © JANE MORLEY