Archive | July, 2013

Thunder & Lightning (when the weather breaks, boy does it break)!

29 Jul

Last night we had our second overnight storm in a row. And what a row it was! At about 3am, the thunder and lightning started. It was then followed by a torrential downpour which combined with high winds caused havoc here.

Of course Nettles had already disappeared behind the gas bottle cupboard in the kitchen. I could just make our her little frightened face as I eventually found where she was hiding! Meanwhile we rushed round shutting the windows, to stop the now horizontal rain from flooding the flat.

It was too late for sister Louise, who has taken to sleeping on a mattress in the main factory area, by the veranda. She awoke to find herself completely surrounded by a lake of water several millimetres deep!

The storm lasted about an hour; we lost the electricity supply for a short period. And then all was calm and we managed to go back to sleep. Even Nettles came out of her hidey hole and joined us on her bed in the bedroom.

This morning we saw the evidence of last night’s drama as we drove to the tip. Living in the footholds of a mountain (The Black Mountain) means that all the flood water rushes down past the factory. It has taken a considerable proportion of the Tarmac on the drive with it. Out in the village, a team from the Mayor’s department were busy clearing mud and small rocks off the roads.

But apart from that, the damage is limited. The rivers don’t appear to be that swollen, which is a blessing. Now at least, the weather has broken and it will be a little cooler for most of this week – a much more temperate 26C instead of being in the mid 30s.

Demolition time (but what a mess)

21 Jul

The builders working on the new apartments above ours have decided now is the time to break out the bricked up windows. They’ve chosen the hottest month so far to do the work.

This is the first window cut:

20130721-220504.jpg and look at the steps below

20130721-220549.jpg Then they did the second window

20130721-220621.jpg and made even more mess

20130721-220651.jpg So our main task is to shovel up the rubble (called les gravats in French) and take it in the trailer to the tip.

I feel a lot fitter but working after 11am is not possible. It’s just too hot! Another cold tomato juice please!

The story of the overloaded trailer

10 Jul

After a three week break in the UK, we returned to The Peace Factory on Sunday. We wondered what had been going on whilst we’d been away! A lot, as it happens.

A volunteer had demolished a couple of walls on the second floor. He’d removed the rubble, a bucket at a time, in the lift and had loaded it into 1.5 tonne ‘big bags’ until they were full. On the trailer. Until the trailer was full!

So now we had about 6 tonnes of rubble on a trailer with a gross weight of 1,500 kgs! Being towed by a Fiat Tempra!

So we had to remove at least two thirds of the rubble by hand.

20130710-223939.jpg Here’s me falling over after attempting to pull half a tonne of rubble down the ramp!

And when we eventually got to the council dump, three of us had to move the rubble by hand. I wore out a new pair of gloves and it took over an hour!

A lesson learnt? I hope so. Closer volunteer supervision required! At least we now know that making Trish responsible for the volunteers is a good idea – except when she goes on holiday!