Flaming June…or should I say ‘flooding’ June?

Usually I would be sharing a blog post about reading skills, writing skills or English grammar, but this month is an exception. I don’t usually write about personal stuff on the blog, but this month definitely warranted it.

As some of you already know, June has been a very trying month for us. On the 4th June after several weeks of heavy rain, the heavens opened and enough rain to fill a swimming pool or more emptied itself into our house in France. The water came pouring down the fields, off the lane and into the house, flooding the ground floor.

The day before I had dropped Andy off at La Rochelle airport, to go back to the UK for some supply teaching. The next day I was alone when the deluge hit. I didn’t realise how scary a flood could be and how soul destroying too. I’m used to seeing items on the news about places being hit by floods, but never imagined it would happen to us. And it was very scary! The water arrived very quickly and with such force that it knocked over a large fridge in the kitchen and moved various bits of furniture, including two large sofas. The worst part was seeing all of our personal belongings floating around in 50 cms high water; books, cds and dvds.

You can just see in the photos the ‘tide mark’ where the water rose up to. These pics were taken after the men had started to pump out the water. The water rose high enough to take out the phone line and our electricity, so after several unsuccessful attempts to call for help I started to climb out through the living room window, only to be met by my neighbours coming down the lane. They were unable to get to me through the front door, so I waded across to them through filthy water and to safety.

Our French neighbour Evelyne was the next on the scene, quickly followed by Michel who had called for more help. Moments later 3 white vans arrived and a group of middle aged farmers jumped out and started to pump out the water from the house. The pompiers were busy helping other people in the village.

The following day after a visit to the insurance office, I drove to the airport again to collect Andy and to return to find that the local news team had been to the village and had filmed inside our house! You can watch the video clip here:


Over the next few days, Andy & I emptied our sodden belongings into the garden and the kitchen walls started to grow an interesting array of mould spores. I started to wash the floors which were covered in dark brown sludge and debris from the fields.

Along with the shock and upset of being flooded, being without a phone line and internet for nearly 3 weeks was a test of patience and especially as our business, Blackhen Education relied on the internet. It just goes to show how dependant we have become on the internet and technology!

Luckily the weather has changed for the better and we now have brilliant blue skies and wonderful hot sunshine. As we wait for various quotes to come in and for the house to dry out, I take a moment to reflect…. It’s amazing how quickly life takes over again and things start to return to normal. If there is one thing I have learnt from all of this it is, don’t underestimate the power of nature!

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