Tornado Way

Yes we had a mini tornado this week. Actually, we only experienced a hail storm that settled like snow for a few hours but on our way into conversation class on Tuesday we saw the devastation, the mini tornado had clearly passed across the road ripping the tops of trees and toppling some, as well as pulling tiles off barns (and peeling back iron roof sheeting). Apparently when it was happening, we were told that some chevreuil (roe deer) had actually been picked up and bounced around (we hope none the worse for their experience, it probably beats being shot and chased by hunters as is usual this time of year).

tornado-1-3 tornado-1-2 tornado-1

We had a walk with Siena along the Voie Verte (“Green Way”), an old railway converted to a pleasant park-like walk, preferred by us at this time of year since it is relatively safe from hunters and mud. Now though there was a truck and digger removing the fallen trees and clearing the way. All quite exciting for us in the usually quiet rurality we have got used to.

I’ve had a sudden surge of work too, with three web sites to create and a computer to fix, and what with Delia virtual assisting and writing her 50,000 words this month too it’s all go. Also having hunted for a blanket box for several months, and after seeing a friend building one from floorboards; I am currently doing the same. It is sunny and dry, so sawing and drilling outside is possible, however it is currently zero degrees centigrade and I am writing this waiting for the sun to arrive on the piece of frosted lawn in front of the workshop (I can’t work inside it because it is full of garden furniture and cement mixer paraphernalia (for repointing the back wall this spring).

This is the first time this winter that the temperature has fallen below zero during the day. Although I think I would like a warmer climate, the contrast between here and the UK is that the blue sky returns much more frequently. Not necessarily warmer climes here, but definitely less cloudy and grey.

The morning walk with Siena has been frosty but clear, albeit marred by Siena getting tangled with a fallen piece of electric fence. The main effect has been an ongoing refusal to go within half a mile of the patch of field she had wandered into (where the wire had been). I’ll try and coax her in time… a healthy respect for electric fences is fine but a pathological fear would mean we’d never go anywhere since electric fences are the main way farmers contain their livestock here.

Talking of livestock – our neighbour Benoit has just got two geese. They are noisy and Siena barks a lot at them but they seem quite companionable. When we go out and come into their view they perk up and honk in a fairly friendly way. In fact it is possible to get a dialogue going with us and them honking back and forth. After their first night, I could only see one as I walked out in the dawn with Siena and when I found white feathers in the field I guessed that someone had had a foxy meal. Benoit bought another goose to keep the, now lonely, survivor company. Last week one escaped and, Benoit being away that day, Delia and I herded the escapee back into its enclosure. Benoit has now raised the fence a bit more with, yes, an electric fence – Siena hasn’t noticed it yet.

A week of Sundays


That’s what the post-Christmas week has been like. Working and living, as we do all chez nous, kind of blurs the distinction between days of the week and I like to demarcate Sunday at least by doing different “stuff”. This usually means, perhaps, reading, messing around with photos, maybe even, if the weather isn’t good, monging in front of the TV (or tablet if Delia is doing same and channel hopping, as is her wont). So we’ve had at least a week of “Sundays” and now today is actually Sunday it’s difficult to make it different. So I’ll write my blog.

We’ve spent the relatively balmy December days (mostly 12-15°c and fairly blue skies)  going for walks with Siena and even some gardening, making use of the compost at last. Today 2nd Jan is the first really wintry day this winter (unless you count the morning of sudden snow that, just as suddenly vanished before noon). Delia refused to go out in the cold driving rain so it’s just me and Siena (and she’s not overly keen).  Siena usually tugs on her way out but this time she was tugging to get home. Just the weather to binge watch a box set – Blacklist Series 2 I think!

I did spend quite some time sorting out my photos, as well as the web site for the photo club I belong to… on which I am currently running a vote for the best winners of last year’s monthly competition. You can look but if you want to vote, log in as “anon” with a password “tripe”, click on the right hand gallery to rate an image.

One special advantage to this time of year (and having a dog) is going out for the dawn walk. Here’s a shot of dawn the other day.


So,  hope the coming year holds happiness and good fortune for you all.

Don’t forget last week and next.