Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It never rains but it pours

The weather has been very odd here for the last few days, with spring rain unexpectedly turning up after three months of early summer, in the form of storms and torrential showers.
Last Saturday we had 8cm of rain in less than an hour (the most I’ve ever seen) which started about an hour before the guests were due to arrive in the gites…
Ever seen that much rain in such a short time?Mrs B started off dancing around and singing in the rain because the garden was at last getting watered, then within about 15 minutes the streams started to appear, followed rapidly by rivers, and a deluge shortly after…
Although we live more or less on top of a hill the field next to us managed to pour about a zillion gallons of water across our courtyard – and in no time at all we were trying to make sandbags and dig trenches to stop the gites filling with water, while we got completely soaked from head to toe.
Of course, by the time the holidaymakers arrived the sun was back out, the streams and flashfloods had disappeared, and we were both stood in the courtyard soaked from head to toe and completely bedraggled. Must have been quite a startling sight – I’m surprised they didn’t turn straight round and drive off again.
Funny thing is the downpours are extremely localised, so people who live just a few kilometres from here had a perfectly lovely sunny day, and are still complaining about dried out gardens.
The people staying in the other gite came across one of the downpours last week when they set off for a six hour canoe trip along the Dordogne. Apparently they enjoyed blazing sun for four hours followed by torrential rain for the last two hours.
They tell us they were rather wet when they got back, but at least they have an amusing story to tell people – which is of course the main goal of a holiday here, or so we like to tell people whenever there is a disaster.
PS if you are arriving in the south of France this week you will be pleased to hear the worst is behind us – check out the weather in France just before you set off – but you might like to bring your wellies just in case and a big umbrella just in case…

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