Friday, 5 March 2010

Tempête Xynthia

Hooray - we've got our phone/internet line back at last. Four days without connection seems like ages.

We were actually very lucky after the BIG storm - Tempête Xynthia - that swept through many parts of Europe on Sat/Sun last. LPM was unscathed save one solitary roof tile on the barn. We lost our electricity supply but only for 9 hours (some folk were off for 48!), two large old trees came down on the drive but Ben and Jean-Yves made short work of them with the chainsaws and tractors leaving us lots of nice firewood once they season, and of course we lost the telephone connection as aforementioned trees fell on the cable and snapped it.

Together with the wind was torrential rain and our pond was almost overflowing. A neighbour said that they'd never seen it so high!

Fortunately La Chapelle du Bois is on a hill but the valley floor below us was completely flooded when the rivers burst their banks. It was surreal driving across the flooded fields on raods that were completely dry. The roads in the UK would have flooded too as there the rainwater is dealt with by drains in the road surface. Here however, there are fosses (large ditches) at the sides of the roads that deal with all the water and it was these that took the brunt of the water force, leaving the roads still passable. It was weird.

The storm took the roof off the swimming pool complex near Le Mans where the boys go swimming (and had been going that Sunday, except we couldn't get out as the drive was blocked!) Now I know that I've said it's a wee bit warmer here than in Scotland most of the time but it's still not warm enough for open air swimming yet!

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