Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Streak Day 214 (Aug 2nd): Didn’t it rain!

2011 Streak Day 214 (Aug 2nd): Run - 2.4 miles, Time - 27min, Weather - in the early morning there were intimations of rain.

We left the house at 6:45 when the rising sun was obscured by clouds. As we ran we felt a few drops and the clouds looked ominous; would we be  caught by a deluge? No we were fine it never got heavier than a few drops - a little warning of what was to come later. 
The main amusement of the morning was watching a big articulated lorry trying to turn into the road to reach the Moutarderie. (Probably another satnav misdirection, as a look at the map would have shown that the obvious route was to approach it from the opposite direction). Anyway he tried to make this turning a few times before realising he was stuck and it was totally impossible. He then did something that made we want to applaud the skill of professional lorry drivers: he drove past the turning and then reversed down the narrow road, with all its snaking bends, to make his delivery. Bravo!
The Moutarderie is an interesting example of the type of food business that can be set up in a small village but yet attract visitors from miles around. It is on the map as one of the attractions of the region, selling not only its handmade mustards but also cold pressed sunflower oil (from the local sunflowers), local honey, and other gifty things. It is an example of how you need a combination of technical skill and business drive; something that might require two people. Originally it was just one man making his mustard and it might have stayed like that if he had not married someone with the drive to expand the range of the business and see the possibility of making the shop a destination.
Every year we have visited here the Moutarderie has expanded and is doing just that little bit better.
But back to the rain. I don’t want to leave you with the impression that the day was just heavy clouds and a bit of rain. It was far more than that.
In the afternoon we were returning from Cognac when a thunderstorm struck and the heavens opened - and that is a precise description. it was as if someone had taken a knife to a water bladder and sliced it so the water gushed out in one heavy lump. There were no raindrops it was a solid sheet. The windscreen wipers at their highest speed could not cope and it was difficult to see the road ahead as it had become a shallow stream. The wind came up and at one point a twig was wrenched from a tree and hit the car with an almighty crack. 
The journey was shockingly difficult. We couldn’t even stop and wait for it to pass as we were heading in the same direction.
Eventually it passed but later in the middle of the night there was another heavy storm that battered the roof and made sleep impossible. We later learnt that the rain had been so heavy that a barn roof had collapsed.
These holidays are not all about peace and relaxation - there is drama as well.

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