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).

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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.

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