Monday, June 2, 2008

Diggers and wet and mud

So life is returning to normal. We had a digger here the day before yesterday for a couple of hours to try to free the bridge. Of course it was hot and sticky but the water was freezing. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that came down the hill. A rock the size of two or three chest freezers, trees, a huge quantity of crushed and washed rock and lots of mud. Of course there were only two of us, myself and Angelo the guy who lives up the field behind the Vignassa to do the clearing up. The other two were not to be seen. This was particularly annoying seeing as how one of them has a digger which would have saved us two days hard graft. But we know our position in life and do not question it (much). Arrogance is an amazing quality and gets you everywhere as the two absentees have proven over and over again.

Still we got on with it, we had coffee and grappa and had a good moan whilst we were digging and splashing about in water and mud. Yesterday we did the road and the third neighbour did show up for a while. The little car port things where Angelo parks his car was full with silt, lovely stuff which we carted with my crawler and later with the tractor up the road to fill in the deep channels caused by the rushing water. It took us all day but the result is better than before. Well at least now it is. Depends if it rains hard over the next few days or not as to whether it lasts. The forecast is not good. Today we have had torrential rain again and we keep swearing at the sky. It’s not cold but we had to light the fire in the lodge (lovely grand name) to dry the washing. All this splashing around in freezing water and mud has got me a terrific cough which is turning to sniffles tonight. I feel really lousy. I did see a dipper though which I have never seen here so that cheered me up.

Tuesday we want to try to see about getting a geologist up here to see if there is any further likelihood of more stuff coming down. We’re going to have to redo the bridge from scratch because it has yielded underneath. It’s still safe and is not going anywhere but another surge of water might compromise it even more.

The night is still oppressive. The rushing of the river is not like the sea, it’s not comforting or friendly, it’s markedly hostile and it’s beginning to get on everyone’s nerves.

One of the B&B rooms below was flooded which I cleared and dried and we have left the door open for the last 3 days so the cats, all five of them, are lounging about on the beds in unaccustomed luxury and all facing the same way. I discovered that the drains carrying the water from the gutters on the roof couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of water so it was all spilling out and running into the B&B. I cleaned them out today and freed the pipe which was causing the problem. With such quantities of water though there’s very little I can do.

Everything is wet and muddy, all the flowers we planted are either rotting, being eaten by the hoards of rampaging slugs or just simply covered with mud. I still haven’t been up to Villar as I am curious to see what the area looks like but still feel I would be sightseeing the thought of which makes me cringe. But I’ll have to go soon though to pick up some wood we ordered and to take the crawler in to the mechanic as one of the tracks doesn’t turn so I keep going round in circles. Seems like something has gone in the gearbox. So it’s now almost 11 and the howler has just gone to sleep so now at last we can go too. She seems to know when we're too tired to resist her.
I keep spending ages on getting the font size uniform but for some reason after a while it changes and nothing i can do will get it all the same so i give up. You'll have to put your glasses on if it's too small.

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