Wednesday passed with rain. Thursday wasn’t much better, but that’s okay because rain is a miracle!
Having bitched and whined about having an unexpected lodger at our housesit in Le Peyrail, Sarah received a very disturbing WhatsApp message from Eileen today. We are housesitting for Keith and Eileen (K&E) for the whole of July in Javea. We are really looking forward to being there as they are lovely people and have a lovely home. Rosie their “Fur Child” is adorable. While we were in Javea a few weeks ago they hosted friends and cousins from Australia so it isn’t uncommon for them to have people staying. But for us it all came crashing down when the text arrived.
To the word the message went like this.
“All is well here. Just thought I had better let you know that my cousins son, wife and 3 kids have asked if they can come over for a couple of weeks while you are here. I didn’t like to say no so hope it’s okay with you. They have promised to use the kitchen at times that fit in with your schedule. The kids are 4, 2 and 1. they are a bit wild but hopefully they will tire themselves out in the pool. Anyway enjoy France and stay in touch.”
Sarah said OMG. I said whats the matter? And so she read it to me. I then repeated things that went against the love I have for K&E. My heart started to tremble and I picked up the coffee table and threw it against the wall. I went outside and screamed “Thanks a bloody lot God!” Of course this was all in my mind. Seconds later Sarah received a follow up text to say “Only Joking!” It was just in time as Sarah was giving me life to life resuscitation and blood was starting to seep from my eyes.
I just love it! I love the sense of humour, the fact Eileen got us. It was perfectly delivered and I am humbled. God … did she get us … get me. I just love it. And of course it is all forgotten and there will be no retribution. (Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha……👹🤡👹!!!!).
Shattered and still trembling I wander down to the tack room to feed Oliver and the doves … then the paddock to feed the horses. During a previous storm a tree fell to the ground just missing the stable by inches. There are branches and twigs everywhere. Someone, probably Gervais, has sawn the tree trunk into neat sections. I decide to build a wall of logs so that they are off the muddy ground and have a chance to dry. In this weather its not easy, but over time they will dry out. Some of the logs have already sprouted new growth and I feel guilty not leaving them for nature to take its course. Beneath the logs I move they have muddy bellies and a new world of juicy worms wriggle and slither.
Wantan leaves for Hong Kong on a business trip for the week so Sarah drops her off at the railway station.
We have been here at Le Peyrail for 10 nights and this is the first by ourselves.
After feeding the dogs, later the cats, I settle for 10 minutes to work on my iPad. I hear a rustle and think it’s one of the cats and ignore it. A few moments later Sarah comes into the lounge from the kitchen and navigates to the dining table. She looks at me and asks what the noise is? Probably one of the cats jumped on a dining chair. I get up to have a look and there is a noise from the HP printer box. Des has made himself a little bed in it!
The phone rings. Caller hangs up. Normal.
We visit St Foy market once again just to prove that it isn’t really that good and end up at the supermarket. We decide to go to Lidl as it is on the way. Lidl have a minimalistic strategy to cashiers. It seems they open one till and wait until there are 10 people in the queue before they open another till.
There is water on the floor in the kitchen. Everytime we mop it up it appears again. An investigation in the cupboards under the sink doesn’t reveal anything. Water also appears in the bathroom. Again there are no obvious leaks. As a result there is permanently a towel down on the bathroom floor. In the kitchen it comes and goes. With all the rain I suspect that it may be caused by poor drainage.
The weather isn’t improving much, but I have to feed Oliver and the horses. There is something in the air and the horses seem a little unsettled. As they finish their feed a wind breezes through the meadow. I look up and the sky is black and I can feel the occasional drop of rain. The horses brace and I collect the buckets and return up the garden through the daisies to the tack room. And then it happens. The sky opens up and the rain is torrential. The thunder loud and the lightning hypnotic. I decide to wait it out as the rain fall is so fierce. I stand at the open tack room feeling the light spray of the rain after it has crashed to the ground. Then lightning. Then thunder. It makes me take a step back. I stand looking at the rain. Hypnotised. A curtain of water descends. My mind starts to wander and I think of the shed next door that I entered a few days ago. It was the one place Jo didn’t explain or take us on that first day tour. But as I was passing on my way to the tack room I glanced through an open window and made a mental note to investigate. I did and another Aladins cave was revealed. Most of the good gardening equipment games, tools, dumbells, a barbell, military pictures, drills and on it went. This was clearly Brian’s old place. Jo’s ex-husband. It is as if he just woke up one day and walked out. Perhaps he did just that. As I glance at the rain I fantasise. He is meant to be in Malta. What if he isn’t. What if he never left?! The sky gets darker. The rain louder and my fantasy deeper! I snap out of it otherwise I won’t sleep tonight, but can’t help myself looking for mounds of earth as I dash out of the tack room through the rain and up the garden to the main house. If I waited for the rain to stop I may be there for hours.
At the top of the stairs I catch my breath and find the wellington boot jack to relieve myself of the the muddy boots. The door to the lounge is shut and as I open it I realise that the house is in darkness and Sarah is standing there looking at me. There is no power. Sarah had been cleaning the inside of the car when it started to rain and so she dashed to the back yard to bring the washing in from the clothes horse.
As she entered the house the violent wind scorched through the house finding every nook and cranny. It took hold of the far door separating the kitchen from the 2 bedrooms and it slammed to a shut. The whole pain of glass shot out shattering to the floor. Sarah had only just finished clearing it up and removing the few jagged pieces left in the frame. Bugger!
The power had tripped the main switch box and fortunately it was a simply task of just switching it back on. All power and light returned.
The week finishes with Des smashing a wine glass. I pick him up from the kitchen chair and his legs dangle knocking a glass over and to floor. Clearly all his fault. The torrential rain the previous night has brought out the toads. Two of them are sprawled flat in the road. Victims of hit and run. They are the size of 2 fists. Brutal looking things. In Queensland, Australia, cane toads can be the size of a rugby ball. They have no natural enemies. Their toxin can kill most native animals that normally eat frogs. They therefore pose a risk to both native fauna and pets such as cats and dogs.
Until next time 🌏