3 November 2010

Rain, Rain, Rain

The rain clouds arrive

I write this at least once every year – “I’ve never seen rain like it”, and guess what, I’ve never seen rain like we had at the weekend and as I write this on Tuesday afternoon, it’s still chucking it down. I reckon, since it started last Saturday evening, we’ve had about six inches of rain and I’m just so glad we live on a 30 degree slope otherwise we’d be up to our necks in water.

We saw it coming of course on the meteo (weather forecast). We had guests arriving on Thursday (delayed to Friday because of the French strikes) and we had a good look at the incoming weather so we could plan our weekend, but the rain scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and Monday meant that we had to use our time wisely. As it was, a long lunch on the terrace on Friday in blazing sun was a great start to the weekend (Phil even braved the 15 degrees in the pool !) and then lunch just continued into dinner in the kitchen with the patio doors flung open wide.

Although Saturday had been forecast to be rainy, the day started dry albeit with heavy black clouds gathering over ‘Cupples Mountain’. We could see that the coast was in sunshine so we piled into the car and drove down to St Laurent du Var where we had a delicious lunch in the Beach Club but as we headed back to the car, the wind started to blow, always a sign that the rain is not far behind.

We were lucky though in that it started raining just after we’d arrived at a friend’s house for dinner. And it rained and rained and rained, and it’s been raining ever since. And when I say ‘rain’ it’s like tropical rain – big, heavy spots which then join up until it’s literally a wall of water which is coming down. I reckon, we get as much rain here in a year as Glasgow gets – the difference is we get it in a few heavy downpours whereas Glasgow has a 365 day a year drizzle! I’m so unkind to my former city!

Anyway, it rained all Saturday night, and on Sunday morning when J and our guests went to church, it got even heavier. Tan’s pool was rapidly filling up to a point where it would overflow the edges, my gravel path was being washed away and the rain was so heavy I couldn’t get wood for the fire despite the wood store being no more than a few feet from the front porch.

Needless to say Sunday was spent with our guests and some friends in the kitchen eating and partaking of a glass or three of some nice wine whilst we looked at my drainage pipes simply giving up trying to get rid of all the water. When J took Nicky and Phil off to the airport later that afternoon, she returned to say that there had been quite a few landslides with boulders and other debris all over the roads.

Our Usually Dry Stream
On Monday after I retrieved my washed-away gravel and filled in the holes in my drive, I wandered down to our normally ‘dry’ stream and it was a raging torrent (see right). J had said that when she had returned from the airport the previous evening, the stream had actually risen to the point where it was flowing over the road – unbelievable!

The Nice Matin had reports of quite a few houses being affected by floods and landslides and one of our friends whose house sits below a chateau previously owned by Michael Schumacher no less was inundated with water when one of the chateau walls burst. The River Loup was higher than I’ve ever seen it and the roads were still running with streams of water trying to find its way downhill.

The River Loup

No matter – once the clouds go on Wednesday, we’ll be back to normal, having lunch on the terrace and wondering what all the fuss was about.   

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