Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Rain, wonderful rain.

The weather can be a difficult thing to live with,  Over the last months there have been the harrowing accounts of the floods in Pakistan and other places, while here in my little corner of France I’ve been watching the skies searching for a rain cloud.

We’ve had around 3 months without rain;  all the irrigation ponds have been drained to try and save the plum, maize and sunflower harvests.  Farmers such as I who have no irrigation water have just been crossing fingers.  My neighbour harvested his sunflowers 2 days ago.  All of the flower heads were at least 50 percent smaller than I would have expected them to be.  Watching the combine harvester going round the field I was taken by how few times it made the trip to the transporter to discharge its load, and it wasn’t a large combine with large holding tanks.

In my own case I’ve been looking at my soya crop; the field is quite yellow and the leaves are falling off the plants.  The soya beans themselves are about the size of small petit pois so I think I’ll be lucky to break even on the crop. Such are the joys of small scale farming. Thankfully the weather has broken and the rain, about 30mm of it, has fallen steadily over the last 48 hours.  The ditches are still empty and the rain is soaking into the soil and not just running off the surface.

So what to do on a rainy day?  Well life is never boring here, there is always a new skill to learn and for my son ‘A’ and I yesterday it was tarmac-ing.  My friends ‘A’ and ‘R’ had been given a pile of tarmac in exchange for the department appropriating some of their land to store tarmac while they were patching the road, and a working party was arranged to get it laid before it went off.

While it may not have been a totally professional job, all 5 of us (we were joined by ‘B’ who is on holiday in the village at the moment), felt the drive looked pretty good afterwards and there was even some tarmac left over to make a start on another hard standing area.  ‘A’ put on a wonderful lunch and despite getting totally wet through the job took much less time and effort than we though it would.

P9070003 tiny

No comments: