Last Friday was an eventful day, full of surprises. Let me explain.
Our house sit host Andrea has been back home for a couple of weeks and on Friday, she was due to return to Zurich for work. The plan was for us to drive her to Brignoles to catch the 2:20pm bus to Nice.
We had had the morning relatively free as we didn’t need to leave until 1:15pm, so we all spent a bit of time working in the garden, going over some maintenance such as plant watering as the weather is so dry.
I should just explain here that Lucky, like all cats, knew that Andrea was leaving and was just a little bit hyper all morning. For example, whilst in the garden, Lucky was keeping an eye on Andrea as well as an unlucky bird that she caught, and killed unfortunately. Andrea tried to stop her but in vain.
At roughly the same time Eric spotted a snake hanging out in the garden pond; it was about 2 feet long. He was so excited he called me over to take a look. I’m not overly keen on snakes, especially ones that are alive, but I did go and take a very careful look and took a photograph. The first picture isn’t great but you might be able to see a small fish tail sticking out of the snake’s mouth….
After those two bits of excitement, we headed back into the house to find that Lucky’s digestive system couldn’t cope with a rather large breakfast of cat food and bird, and she’d thrown it all up on the couch cover. Yuk! Nothing for it but to scrape the lot up (for a tiny cat her stomach temporarily held quite a lot of stuff), and shoved the cover into the washing machine.
The morning was gone and time was pressing, so we loaded up Andrea’s car to drive her to Brignoles to catch the bus. We managed to drive the 1km (ish) into Cotignac only to be stopped by the Police. Hmm. Nothing illegal thank goodness but the road to Brignoles was being cleared for the Paris to Nice bike race. Unbeknown to us, part of the route was going through Cotignac, then through Carcès to Brignoles before the last leg to Nice. Exciting news if you didn’t need to catch a bus….
As the cyclists weren’t due for another 20 minutes or so, the nice young Policeman allowed us through on the understanding that our route to Brignoles took us through a village called Montfort. This we could easily do.
I need to explain the road route here. From Cotignac there are basically two routes to Brignoles. Unfortunately these routes join up half way to Brignoles and from then on there’s no alternative. It was at this point that we were stopped again, and this time we were not moving. At this point the bus was due to leave Brignoles in about 50 minutes….
Nothing for it but to wait so I got out of the car to watch the race, an excellent photo opportunity I thought. Every cloud has a silver lining…. In the end we waited for about 20 minutes. Time was getting short.
Amazingly within a few minutes of the last bikes and support vehicles passing us we were on our way and you know what? Even with us driving at an average 35-40mph we didn’t see one bike ahead of us all the way to Brignoles.
To recap, the bus was due to leave Brignoles at 2:20pm, and we had resumed our journey by 2pm. We were fully expecting to be held up again in Brignoles so whilst waiting in the car while stopped for the race, we had decided to drive Andrea to Nice, but when we arrived in town the roads were unexpectedly clear. Deciding to see if we could make it to the bus stop in time, we drove straight through the town arriving at the bus stop with 5 mins to spare – perfect!
And then we waited, and waited. Remember Eric and I waiting for a bus to Toulon that didn’t turn up? Same thing. Andrea managed to contact the bus company who informed her the bus had been re-routed because of the race, unfortunately in spite of her checking the bus website that morning to check bus times, there hadn’t been any notice about the change. Grrrr….
So, back to plan B, i.e driving Andrea to Nice airport when she had an idea and managed to find an alternative lift to the airport. Phew!!
So we drove back to Cotignac for a relaxing remainder of the afternoon. But the fun hadn’t stopped yet. Later that evening we noticed Lucky getting rather interested in a corner of the living room. You know the sort of thing, tail waving, pacing…. Leaning against the wall in the corner is a painting. Behind the painting was a very frightened rat.
Into crisis management mode, we scooped Lucky up and locked her outside. We then found a cardboard box and managed to get the rat into it. I’m not keen on rats but the poor thing was so terrified it was almost frozen in fear so getting it into the box was surprisingly easy. We then let the rat loose in the garden and let Lucky back in the house. She was not best pleased but soon forgot to be cross and fell asleep on the newly cleaned couch.
And she thought she had an interesting day……