Saturday, 26 December
On the day our departure for Morgiou, we woke up to flood sirens sounding; it’s been raining all night and all the previous day. Last night (Christmas Day) Jim had to interrupt celebrations by going to move things from the ground floor of his house, afraid of flooding while we were away.
In the morning, the taxi arrived an hour early, and told us that the town was flooding, and if he left it any later, we might not be able to get out of the valley to the airport. Before we left, we drove down to Jim’s house to see how the water was. Barriers closed the road just before his house and we couldn’t go any closer. We had to go round a long high road over the hills to get to the airport. And even these high places were flooding. The motorway even had big lakes on it.
At the airport we kept checking the increasingly serous situation and wondering if we should go back to look after the house. But now the news told us that all roads to the valley were closed, so we wouldn’t be able to get back anyway. The taxi driver lived near Jims house and we think he may not have got home again after so kindly taking us. We were trapped now, we had to go on holiday. People all around us told of extensive and unprecedented flooding all over Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Once on the plane, we could see; the rains stopped – Paris, Massif Central Mont Blanc, Mont Ventoux sticking out of the clouds. The airport bus was difficult, – we couldn’t find where it went from, so finally got a taxi and Mr Party met us in Marseille to take us shopping at Sormiou LeClerq. This was very kind of him, but great for us. The roads as soon as we had got away from the gaunt prison of Les Baumettes started to get interesting, narrow steep completely dark road illuminated by powerful brilliant white lights. Our house in Morgiou is quite near the top of the village, you turn into a strange subterranean area before ascending extremely narrow steps to the house. It is good, pleasant and warm with interesting books and a roof top terrace to see down to the harbour, up to the hills and onto red rooftops and chimneys.