Viella Vacances Bed and Breakfast, Viella, Gers

Chambres d'hôtes & Holidays in the Gers close to Madiran, St Mont and Jazz in Marciac, SW France

Everyday Ramblings !

The day of the Temp�te

Posted by holidaysinthegers on February 13, 2009 at 4:52 AM

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Saturday morning I was woken about 4am by the most amazing noise. The overnight forecast had been for high winds and the region was on red alert.  We had braised ourselves by bringing in anything that might “fly” and locking shut all the shutters. I’m not used to sleeping in complete darkness and it was kind of strange not being able to see anything at all, so when I woke at 4am, I had no idea what was going on.  The winds were whistling through the shutters at a huge rate of knots and Prince was trying his best to eat the door into the rear lobby and hence into our room.  I let him in and went back to sleep. I woke later with a sudden jolt, “oh no, the piggies !” I thought. Struggling to stand up, let alone walk in the wind, I went out to check they were ok. Both doors to the pig house were wide open, but the pigs were safe and sound, if a little fed up, indoors.  Then  I saw it, or rather lack of it. The greenhouse/ poly tunnel had been completely destroyed.  The frame was still there, a testament to the concreting skills of M Cantelice, as we were to find out later when we tried to take it down, but the cover was ripped to shreds. Luckily, it hadn’t rained so I moved the lawnmowers and tools into the atelier.  I was just about to make a cup of tea, I am English after all, and the power went off. 7:30am, not good. No phones either (fixed or mobile).  10:00am, and we lost the water supply. Having already run out of gas for the central heating the day before, that made it complete. No heat, no power, no water and no phone.  Wonderful!!


The winds continued for much of the morning, but that didn’t stop Poppy wanting to go out.  If ever there was a dog who could sulk and make you feel guilty for no reason whatsoever, she is it.  Just how do you explain to a 2 year old lab/lurcher cross that she can’t go chase things today as she is more likely to fly than to walk ??  I ventured out early afternoon with the three of them. It was still incredibly windy, but at least you could take one foot of the ground with fear of being blown over.  Miraculously, other than the green house and loosing a few tiles from the atelier, we had escaped serious damage. Others in the village weren’t so lucky.  Trees were down all over the place. A couple of huge cedar trees had come down on to the roof of the old convent next to the church. They had only just finished re-roofing it a couple of weeks ago !! A neighbour opposite us had lost much of his roof as well as the whole of his garage and several roads into the village were blocked.  Later, we found out that in Riscle, a neighbouring town, a wall of a barn used for storing St Mont wine (12 million bottles to be precise) had come down and that somebody had to stand guard on the place all night to stop people stealing it !!


Up in the village, the mayor and his team were busy trying to assess the damage.  They had set up an emergency room in the Marie.  The place was bustling with people wanting to know what was going on and offering to help.   It would have been a great opportunity for the “new” bar owners, Gerone and Annalaise, to get themselves more known and integrated in the village. A roaring fire, mulled wine and cafetières of coffee and the bar would have been a great place for villagers to gather, but no, Gerone decided to shut up shop and take his family to the mother in laws; not the wisest of decisions as it turned out. All the other business, with the exception of the hairdresser, managed to open.


By the end of the afternoon most of the roads had been cleared of fallen trees, but still no sign of EDF.  Time to dig out those candles.


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