Now that I am almost totally recovered from my latest bout of Foot-in-Mouth disease thanks to eating a lot of Crow, I can turn my mind and my writing to other matters of more immediate importance.

But before I do, allow me to say that Foot-in-Mouth disease has been with me always, sort of like cold sores or pimples which are hard to avoid getting at some time in your life if you are human. For some strange reason, I never learned to keep my mouth shut, or that Silence was Golden, or that words once spoken (or written as is often my case) could not be taken back, or any of that adult wisdom which is so generously spooned out to young-uns. This doesn’t mean I can’t keep a secret; I am actually an excellent secret-keeper. If someone says to me: “Please don’t tell anyone what I am about to tell you,” I will put the forthcoming information in the forget-it box and never recall it again. My friends can attest to that. But if you do not give me those specific instructions when you share something with me, you run the risk of it appearing in a conversation later on or –more likely- in a blog-post, a letter, or even in a posthumous diary my children choose to publish. Everything is fodder for the beast of creativity and when it lets loose, there is little room for contemplation of dire consequences. My kids, now-a-days, come up with TMI (too much information) when my telling of a story exceeds the proper amount of editing, because they are used to my always adding more details than needed.cof

Now, on to other things such as the weather. The weather has been more than ghastly. It has been frightful, dreadful, horrendous, hideous, grisly, revolting, repulsive and downright gross! Having completely skipped over the need to produce a few frosts to kill vermin and mites (we had but three days below zero in November), winter has proceeded to weep its eyes out in drizzles, in torrents, in scattered drops, in mizzling mists (sort of like the kind of moisture spray you can buy to humidify your face)… nonstop! Apart from making Salome’s and my daily walks a kind of torture by water, the extreme humidity has cofprovoked a very early spring.

Yesterday it rained almost all day –give or take an hour or two around noon- and today we have even more. The Weather Man announced that our region was on Orange Alert (which is about stage three on a Def Com scale of 4) for flooding and the map of France was 98% grey with raindrops all through it. Thursday we had what had to be the most beautiful day in a cofmonth, during which the sun pushed its way through the clouds for at least two hours and no rain fell. But before and after that it has been one storm front after another, accompanied most times by strong winds that uproot trees from water-logged soil, topple lamp-posts, and strew the streets with dead leaves and branches. Even the roosters and hens are oznorwater-logged.

It’s not even the end of January and the daffodils are coming up, the camellias are blooming, lawns are filled with dandelions and the white and yellow polka dots of paquerettes (usually not seen until around Paques or Easter oznorweek) and I just sighted several printemps (the definite spring flower) peeping out under the bushes in a flower bed and even a lonely violet. And the temperature, apart from seldom going below 9ºC, pushes up to 13º, 14º and 15ºC during the day even without the help of sunlight. It seems that if we had sun, we would have summer already! And then there are some who deny the problem of climate change (won’t mention any names because of oznorthat F-in-M disease which could catch up with me next time I want to visit my son in Los Angeles).

Every once in a while I pause in my writing and turn to glance out the window only to certify that the rain keeps on falling. Oh well, it is Sunday, after all, and I have a couple of good movies to watch, so… until it is time for Salomé to go out again, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain (to the tune of ‘Let it snow…’)


NUBES Y DIENTES DE LEÓN (AMARGÓN) 004 (2)Yesterday and last night Nature put on quite a show. There were high alert storm warnings for this area and around 8:30, when I took Salomé out for a walk, we had a thunderstorm, and I mean a thunderstorm, such as I had never experienced before: no rain, no wind, no lightening; just one peal of thunder after another as if all the thunder in the world had gathered for an evening melee. It was a crazy drum festival, a heavenly jazz session with only percussion instruments. Each peal of thunder was different from the previous one; some seemed to compete in intensity, others in length. I thought Salomé would be frightened but she wasn’t and we had a fascinating walk to the rumble-rumble of the clouded sky. Sometimes one clash of thunder would seem to fade into the following one as if they played together; other times there would be a brief space in between drumrolls

Then lightening had its turn around 3 a.m. when the skies lit up like a faulty Christmas connection with one bolt after another crackling loudly across the darkness. It was an awesome spectacle and this time Salomé did get frightened and readily climbed into bed with me, hiding her head under the sheet. With the lightening (the thunder, which images2HA81KGGseemed to have spent itself earlier, was absent) came the rain, torrents of water and high winds lashing out against the window which I had only just closed. It was a formidable exhibit of the forces of Nature and I watched, fascinated, as the flashes lit up the night sky again and again for over 15 minutes. Then it was over and Salomé and I curled up for a good night’s sleep.

This morning when I awoke there was sunshine pouring through my living-room window that opens to the East. For a moment, I thought that yesterday’s fracas had spent Mother Nature’s fury and we would have sun all day, but I was wrong. To the West menacing black clouds gathered and crept forward towards Salies. I picked up my umbrella and stuffed Salomé’s little red raincoat into my bag before setting off for the morning coffee.oznor

Sure enough, no sooner had we settled down at our table under the awning of Rose’s Café, than the clouds opened up. It was a good rain, not torrential and without wind, thunder or lightening, but steady small drops that promised to replenish the water table gently. It lasted the better part of an hour and then the blue opened up again over Salies and it wasn’t long before the sun came through.

I was delighted. This meant I could do my morning walk with Salomé and enjoy the cofbeauty of my surroundings after the rain. The air was cool but the sun on my back was warm as we set off. And I was right: everything sparkled and the atmosphere had been washed clean; every minuscule drop of water on every leaf and stem gleamed with solar energy suspended in the briefness of its existence. Pools of water on the pavement oznorreflected what lay above turning the ground into a spaceless sky, an infinite chasm reflecting the world downwards. I could have sworn the flowers were singing with their whispered voices as we strolled by.

Everyone seemed happy and we all wished each other a very good day as we passed. I hung my umbrella on a fence in order to photograph another occupant of the sidewalk, one that often –or perhaps always- comes out after the rain, and then forgot my absolutely useless umbrella until almost arriving home; I had to turn back and recover it which made my walk a bit longer, and definitely put the tired Salomé out of sorts. oznor

I was almost home, smiling and singing softly to myself, when a couple of fighter jets streaked across the sky above, out-racing their thunderous roar and leaving it to trail menacingly behind. I froze in my tracks and watched as the black metal birds disappeared into a distant cloud. It made me wonder…imagesRB2ZTKICEpilogue: Today I realized that I had forgotten to add the picture of the little creature that comes out after the rain, so here it is (above).


The day began cloaked in grey; high, even clouds covered the sky from side to side without a break. In the beginning, before being fully awake, it was hard to distinguish through the window if the day was cloudy, or the sky was just waiting for the sun to turn it blue. But yes, that day it was clouded, just as had been predicted the day before. Continue reading


 When you think that only Mozart is beautiful, there’s no room in your life for rap.

(Byron Katie, 1000 Names for Joy)

I listen to the birds outside the window, the sound of the wind in the trees, the chimes by the door as the breeze moves them and am delighted. A large truck rumbles by, clacking, hammering its way down the pavement, an adolescent zooms through gunning his motorbike for all it’s worth, exhaust open at top volume and murderous thoughts fill my mind. Continue reading