Saturday, 4 March 2017

Extreme weather

Yesterday, after two successful, official, meetings in SaintJean de Luz I found myself drawn to the beach in Hendaye.  It was warm and the recent high tides had washed up lots of driftwood.  I found myself beachcombing pieds nus in just a tee shirt (the first time this year).  Three hours or so later, having carried four boxes of wood up three flights of stairs I found myself on the other side of the border collecting panniers for our box scheme.  The wind had picked up so much that it blew my hat off twice and was blowing sand into my eyes.  When I got home most of the labels in my seed pots had been blown away.   So much for companion planting:  this year it will be speed-date  planting.   

That evening I forgot to bring my seed trays inside.  It pissed down.  Easily an inch and half of rain.  My seed trays (mostly fashioned out of discarded water bottles) were completely swimming in water. Not good.  ‘Duh I forgot something’.  I spent most of this morning punching holes into those bottles with a safety pin to let the water drain out.  Five hours later they look a bit healthier.  Sigh of relief. 

This afternoon I went to a meeting in Biarritz, thirty kilometres up the coastline.  It was sunny when I left.  It was pissing down with gale force gusts of wind when we arrived.    On the way back the ambient temperature increased from 6 to 12 degrees between Biarritz and St Jean de Luz - a distance of maybe 20km   I was out on the balcony in a t shirt half an hour ago.  Now it’s hailing.  I immediately bought the seed trays back in and in less than a minute my shirt was wet through. 

Today is Carnaval in Hendaye (it’s put back a week here: either so as to not compete with the events on the Spanish side of the border – or to allow the locals more opportunities to party).  I can already hear the marching bands bravely playing in the storm.  In an hour or so an effigy of San Patzar (the symbol of winter) will be put ‘on trial’ in the town square and then burnt (his guilt is not in question). I hope it’s not premature.  

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