The curious disappearance of the completely unmemorable Cornetto!

I know that I said I would aim to update my Blog just once a week and generally that will indeed be the case, but on some occasions there will be stories that are more topical or time critical and on those occasions I will undoubtedly update more frequently.

It’s July and in central, rural France, that usually means saying hello to some pretty crazy weather. This year, it seems, will be no exception.


Our weather during the weekend just passed has been boiling hot with what felt like 100% humidity, whereby it was absolutely necessary to stand continuously in front of a fan on full blast whilst wearing as little as was absolutely possible. Unfortunately it is not possible to wear ‘less than’ nothing, even though at times I was sorely tempted to try and remove my own skin in my more desperate attempts to cool down.

Wearing just nothing was also not realistically an option since we had house guests and I’m sure the only thing worse than seeing me walking around dripping with sweat in whatever minimal attire I could bare to wear, would have been to see me walking around dripping with sweat but naked (or should that be butt-naked), so obviously I rather obligingly elected to wear clothes despite that they clung and stuck to me like a suit made entirely of clingfilm and no amount of cool showers or fan utilisation could prevent me from bursting forth from every pore!

As both a writer and an avid reader, I am aware of the yearning need to wish to describe such predicaments in a much more flowery way, for example ‘I was glistening with a sheen of light perspiration’ or ‘I had a radiant, dewy glow about my sun kissed skin’ but trust me, with all the literary romanticism in the world, there is nothing that could have adequately made my situation more attractive.  It was positively gross!

The blistering heat and stormy humidity also brought forth almost every species of fly in their thousands that clung expectantly to the wisteria that adorns the front of our house just waiting for any opportunity for the front door to be opened so that they could immediately enter the house uninvited and continue to buzz around and be the incessant pests that they are. So added to the sapping heat and already drenched in sweat, I was also rather vigorously engaged in the activity of chasing countless house flies around and attempting to despatch them with my trusty fly swat since they seem to be completely immune to the very spray that is intended to kill the little ‘offenders’ (insert your own appropriate expletive here).

In the rare moments that it wasn’t horribly, stinky, insanely boiling hot, we encountered storms the likes of which can only be described as ‘of biblical proportions’. On a previously sunny evening, in what seemed like mere minutes, the sky suddenly blackened to a deep foreboding hue, a ferocious wind kicked up and tore at anything that was not fixed down and a huge, torrential downpour was accompanied by hail, thunder and lightning. There was so much rain to the point of actual flooding; the drains were quickly overrun and the road outside the house was turned into a rapid flowing river, obscuring the bottom good few inches of the tyres on our parked cars and inside our home, we were not fairing much better either.

We raced around from one room to another with armfuls of towels and any tub, bowl or pot we could find to catch the water that had started pouring in through the window casements. Obviously, this has never happened before else my brilliant ‘fix anything and everything’ husband would have already remedied the situation.  I think on this particular occasion, rather than the vertical, stair rods of rain that we more usually experience, the rain was practically horizontal and the wind must have been blowing the torrential, relentless curtain of it in the exact direction of the front of our house to find every tiny little crack and fissure; and find it, it did!

Thankfully, after about half an hour and a colossal amount of rainfall, it abruptly stopped and within minutes the road was once again clear, the ‘drip, drip, drip’ into various containers around the house eventually ceased and we were left with just a mountain of soggy towels to be laundered.

I am, of course, aware that a few puddles to mop up and a pile of soggy laundry to be attended to is considered ‘getting off pretty lightly’ in the face of what nature can often serve up when it chooses to.

My dear, late father used to live on the banks of the river Cocker in Cockermouth, Cumbria and as such was in one of the worst hit areas during the floods of November, 2009 in which he and so many others lost many, many irreplaceable possessions.  Six to eight feet of water in your home will generally have this effect.

So, yes I fully appreciate that what we experienced briefly on our Saturday evening, was nothing more than a minuscule, insignificant inconvenience and a trifling interruption to what would otherwise have been an evening spent sipping chilled Cava and chatting with our friends.

Instead ‘life’ threw us a very slightly curved ball and rather than enjoying our post-curry Cornettos at a leisurely pace, we were forced to run around the house with our ice-cream handicaps thwarting our efforts, whilst distributing spare towels and tupperware dishes and checking for the fourth or perhaps the fifth time that the two Velux windows in the attic rooms were absolutely, positively, definitely, unquestionably, firmly shut.

As we speak, I am still not entirely sure what happened to my Cornetto that I had most definitely started prior to the event.

I had expected, during the course of the subsequent days, to find a disgusting melted pool of ice-cream and chocolate and mushy cone somewhere in our home, perhaps in the airing cupboard where I was rapidly employing the ranks of spare towels or in one of the kitchen cupboards where the tupperware is kept, or maybe lurking on a windowsill or a mantelpiece.

I imagined that I had perhaps absentmindedly discarded it somewhere whilst attending to the various leaks that had sprung forth but in reality, in our brief period of chaos and excitement, I must have just gulped it down with absolutely no finesse or recollection what so ever of doing so.

I can only assume, therefore, that it must have topped off my overall ‘glamour’ this weekend, a make-up free, sweaty, neat-freak, charging frantically around with a Cornetto sticking out of her face like some bizarre biscuit beak!

Thankfully everyone was either too busy helping or too busy filming the Monsoon that was occurring outdoors to have documented it.

I’d hate to think of that particular image being shared on social media!

Thank you for reading and visualising this particular sweaty experience with me. With fond adieu.

The Virtual Recluse

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