Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is it wet out, luv?

I had been thinking of making Jamie Oliver's Toad in the Hole this evening. I'd got a nice piece of sausage crying out for the Toad treatment. Unfortunately we'd used up all the eggs. Necessity being the mother of invention, we had steak instead.

The boys were high with excitement this morning hoping, since we are on an Orange weather Alert, for a meteorological catastrophe. In which case they wouldn't have had to go to school. They have simple wishes. We're in the middle of September storms with dramatic thunder, modem-unfriendly lightning and torrential rain. The news this evening had evidence of excessive water all across the south of France. It made me wonder about a friend of mine who is doing the vendange near Beziers in a tent.

Living on a slope, it gets very exciting. Water hurtles down to the bottom where, if the drains aren't blocked, it disappears, or, if the drains are blocked, pours straight into the houses in its way. I had looked at one of those houses to rent and wondered what would happen... I don't think it has yet, but you never know...

Streams turn into angry rivers charging, swirling, tumbling dangerously along ditches until they inevitably overflow onto flood plains which hopefully have not been built upon. The rain carries with it debris from trees, gravel, branches, sand, rubbish and so on and deposits it neatly in the middle of roads, or blocks drainage channels, causing even more flooding and chaos. If you're home and dry and in no danger, it makes for an entertaining view.

The number of times I've had to nurture my car through inches of water on the road, praying the it doesn't conk out on me and leave me stranded with a mobile phone whose battery is invariably low, doesn't bear thinking about. I'm now quite the pro at negotiating flooded roads through sheet rain.

Blind, with one hand tied behind my back and balancing a biro on my nose...

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