Did our weekly shopping this morning, including a visit to the chemist for the aged FIL. Fortunately they were out of stock of the heavy items, and LSS put her foot down, saying we were NOT coming back in the afternoon to collect these; they could jolly well deliver them.
A suitably chastened chemist agreed that they would be delivered tomorrow, by post.
Upon our return home, LSS went to the aged FIL to deliver his shopping. The sky had clouded over and there was a constant thundering noise. I had just started mixing some lime render for the pantry when a) the electricity cut off and b) there was a sudden storm. I stood by the kitchen window looking out at the lashing rain, which the strong wind was driving horizontally. A few hailstones fell as well, but this didn’t last long.
Much to my surprise, ten minutes later LSS screeched to a halt outside and dashed indoors. “Are you all right?” she asked. “Er, yes, why shouldn’t I be?” was my surprised response. “Because we’ve just had a tornado. The other farmhouse was hit, there are trees down everywhere, and there aren’t any tiles left on the roof.”
I jumped in the car with her and we scooted over to the aged FIL’s house. I found there had been a slight exaggeration; there were about twenty roof tiles missing (which of course meant that the rainwater had poured into the upper floor and was now dripping from the oak beams into every room). Buckets were scattered everywhere, catching the drips. One of the outbuildings was worse off, a 3-metre section of ridge tiles were missing, including a fairly large area of surrounding roof tiles. A large oak tree had given up the contest and was lying on its side in a field, several broken branches had flattened the fence surrounding the kitchen garden, and a tree had fallen across the access road. I drove back to La Darnoire to fetch the chainsaw and cleared the road. Branches were removed from the fence, and then I assisted in sweeping up a lot of fallen ceiling plaster.
Crisis over, I left LSS telephoning the insurance company on behalf of the aged FIL and returned home, where I fished out several large branches from the fishpond. I discovered that the scaffolding had blown over, but there was no other damage.
Wildlife diary: Whilst removing the branches from the pond, I discovered that the duck had returned, and had constructed another nest in which there were ten eggs. Hopefully she has better luck with this batch.