Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The earth moved on Sunday night. You might think this would be cause for celebration...or Handyman at least punching the air with macho glee. For once, it was nothing to do with him and everything to do with the epicentre of an earth tremor in Barcelonnette, 100 km north of here, which measured 4.9 on the Richter scale.

We were asleep in bed when I awoke to the sound of a low rumble, which is not an unusual sound in our bedroom after he has partaken of a Kashmir curry. But the doors started to rattle and I assumed the cats were playing a particularly vicious game of cat and mouse, with the mouse on the losing team. Handyman woke with a start and shouted out 'what the @&£! is that?' as doors shook, windows rattled and Livvy rushed into the room in terror to say that the whole house was moving.

Thirty seconds later it was all over and my chief concern, having spent five months renovating the pool was that the entire pool terrace might have collapsed and fallen down the valley. Because that is the kind of thing that happens chez Kershaw. Last time it rained heavily, we lost a wall in the garden but fortunately this time there was no damage.

If there is ever a good reason to buy a house on a steep hillside that has been underpinned, this is it. We stood firm in the face of adversity. It's the second tremor in a month, so we have to hope that there isn't a biggie waiting in the wings.

With the snow pretty much gone and temperatures reaching 22 degrees in the last week, spring has truly sprung, the skis have been put away for another year and the pool terrace is days away from completion (I keep saying this but it really is true) with the grand refilling planned for Saturday. The tiling is finished, the plants are planted, the loungers have been dusted off as you can see above, and the water levels should be perfect just as the first rain for weeks moves in on Sunday, so any idea of laying beside it admiring five months of blood, sweat, stress and tears will have to wait a little longer. Am excited beyond belief, which illustrates just how dull my life is at the moment.

The highlight of my week, apart from an illuminating chat by Chris France at Premier Mardi, was a chat last night with the singer Anastacia, who seems like a very down to earth girl, and who has been through hell with her health but come out fighting and still smiling. Oh and the re-opening of Michelangelo tomorrow after their season closure, which is music to Handyman's ears as it puts the bar back into Bar sur Loup and means Friday night off supper duty.