Thursday, 24 November 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like ..... Autumn!

After a blazing hot summer and a couple of false starts when I thought winter was on the way and got all my warm clothes out of the attic, the weather has now settled down and we are now enjoying some spectacular scenery as Autumn has arrived.  Instead of describing it, I will just show you some pretty pictures:

Vines
Vineyards with Albère mountains in distance

Wild Olive Trees

Wild Olive Trees
Aloe Vera Plant


                                   

Who can resist a sign saying 'Help Yourself'?!  





And just in case there aren't enough dog pictures...










Monday, 18 July 2016

Too close for comfort.



There have been fires all over the department recently (due to wind, high temperatures and idiots with cigarettes) but this one was a bit close! It looked like a large bonfire to start with but definitely not the time of year for that so rang the fire brigade.  They arrived within 5 minutes but the fire was already out of control.  So scary to see it cross the road and burn the fields where we walk the dog each night, and the noise of the trees burning sounded like rocks falling down a mountainside. The 'waterbomb' helicopter hovered over the house but our pool is too close to the house for it to safely 'dip' into so it made several journeys to Lake Raho and back.  

By this time there were around 6 fire trucks but as the fire advanced towards the vineyard in front of us, and the smoke became uncomfortable to breathe, we decided to make some emergency preparations.  One of us put the sprinklers on, positioned hosepipes around the garden, opened the front gate and parked the cars facing the road ready for a quick getaway if necessary; the other one (I’m not saying who!) ran around like a lunatic filling a bag with IPads, telephones, chargers, make-up and a change of underwear! 


Luckily it has been brought under control now and we didn’t have to evacuate.  Looking out of the window all is normal in the garden and the dog is enjoying playing in the sprinklers.  I have never been so close to a fire before and had no idea of the speed and violence of the way it takes hold - and hope never to experience anything like that again.