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Wanted, Ark, anything considered but must float...


We had a pretty terrific storm last night. The house was shaking and one of the dogs jumped my “don’t let the dogs sleep on the sofa” defence…a baby-gate at the far end of the lobby going out to the back…in pure panic…

The walls are close to a metre thick in places and it’s amazing how much they can vibrate when the thunder is directly above!

I got up this morning to find all my paths flooded, as the storm drain was overflowing, with water coming in under the doors and through the roof again.

The pond was so high that those darned koi had breached my plant defence walls.

I didn’t even know that it could get that full…it never has before…the water usually escapes long before now – so that shows how wet the ground is.

There were chewed plants and roots floating everywhere.

So, I’ve been out there, every time there’s been a slight let up in the rain… adding rocks…

The “hospital buckets” are getting pretty full now…of all the casualties as well as water. I’m hoping that some of these poor plants might not be too far gone…

The stream is filling up faster than it did in last spring’s rains…

…nearly up to the bridge now…please don’t let it reach the filtration outlet…

We’ve already gone orange and Haut Pyrenées has, since, moved up to red…

…and the forecast is not looking good…

Am prepared for the worst…

…but, flippin’ heck – it’s the middle of June!

And that was less than 12 hours of rain…

So, maybe an ark might be a better long-term investment…

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Oh Karen, poor you. What a dreadful thing to happen. I do hope the weather improves for you, what on earth is happening to all our weather. Have you lost some of the fish as well.

18 Jun, 2013


I don't know what's going on with the weather, Cinders...we only seem to get "extremes" these days.

No fish lost yet, thank goodness...because, much though I'd like to lose those koi, they'd wreak havoc if they got into the stream.

18 Jun, 2013


Oh my goodness! you have been having it bad. It must be heartbreaking to see your garden awash like this. It seems to be the 'norm' these days to have freaky weather, but that's no consolation to you is it? I hope things calm down very soon.

18 Jun, 2013


Thanks Waddy. We often get really wet Aprils and Mays...but, never anything this bad, this late in the year. June is usually my favourite month.

Oh, J! I hesitate to say this...but, I don't THINK the water can get high enough to wash them all out. The liner is just anchored by the stones...and, although they are cemented together, there's nothing but a back-fill of soil between the liner, the stones and the garden. The water has always seeped away, at a certain point, before.

Amazingly, the water quality looks better...sort of lime-stoney and not as "thick"!

18 Jun, 2013


Oh Cripes Karen!
Thats all you need.....

We have ghost koi and have a little wall around them, do yours leap?
These stand on their tails at times......

Agree with all said about the weather the last few years....someone thought all these giant wind farms may be a cause.......

Fingers crossed for you my dear x

18 Jun, 2013


I hope it doesn't get too bad! Would be a shame considering all your hard work.
If it isn't one thing, it's another isn't it? I hope your fish don't make a swim for it Karen :)

18 Jun, 2013


I think whoever coined the phrase, "It never rains but it pours", must have been Charentais, Pam...

...and, around here, the general consensus is, "Global Warming"...

Don't know if the boffins can find a way to re-freeze the ice-caps!

Mine are ghost koi, too. They jump, but, they'll only come to harm (which, universe forgive me, I've been wishing them, lately) if they do it at the small shallow end.

So, now I have to ask, if you don't mind...
...because, depending on your answers, I won't have to re-home them...

Have you got yours walled in in your (general) fish pond/water garden?

If so, do you have extra filtration?

I have enough space to "pen off" a deep area, just for them...they are quite lovely (except when they eat 50€'s worth of, very necessary, plants...and, in under three days!). They're so full that they can't manage the pond-sticks!!

Well, the rain's back now...and loudly. These may be technical questions tomorrow, lol! :)

18 Jun, 2013


Oh, crossed comments, Scottish! :)

All the neighbours have been out now, with much, "Ooo, law, law, lawing..."

Apparently, my house has, in the dim and distant, been under 80cms of water!!

Well, the chooks will be will Coco...

Might take the dogs upstairs tonight, though...Sadie can't swim!!! :)

It'll not get to that though...

18 Jun, 2013


We don't put plants in, and they do eat blanket weed but yes we have a complicated filter system wth a central vase overflowing with water and three little bubblers which are forever blocking up, or they are backwashing? the filters........I,m not technical I,m afraid,
The heron got the pretty koi but it was fun the other day to watch two koi chasing a mallard across the pond by nibbling his ankles. :0)
hope its just a shower....

18 Jun, 2013


The neighbours might be 'Ooo, law, lawing' but I bet that's not what you are saying ;)

Poor Sadie, upstairs will be best I think. Me being the pessimist would prepare for the worst then be pleased when it isn't!!

Do they do a carb only diet for Koi? That would save your plants!

18 Jun, 2013


I am, right now, Angie, (in place of exactly the language you're imagining!), lol!
Koi don't do carbs...well, they do - they do EVERYTHING!! And, at the moment, they're eating better than we do! And it's costing as much as us going out every night!!

I had a feeling you were going to say that, Pam...koi and plants just don't mix, do they? You were my last hope :(

So, now, they're going to a new home, to someone who will appreciate them...unless, they've already found a way to freedom overnight...god forbid, for the sake of the natural flora and fauna...

18 Jun, 2013


Oh Karenfrance, I'm feeling sooooo sorry for you. I've got my fingers, toes, arms. legs, in fact everything crossed for you! Hope it's not too long, before things return to normality, I can't hold this pose for long :0

18 Jun, 2013


Oh, sorry to hear this..I hope it has subsided sounds horrendous..all that work and new plants too..what a week you have had..You and your dogs must have been a bit scared,to say the least..chin up,luv,and have a glass of something nice:o)Keep us updated as to how things are going..xx

18 Jun, 2013


so sorry about all the rain your getting karen, its a real pain for you and your poor garden.
we dont have normal seasons now do we, all muddled up, either to much rain or none, hope it gets better for you soon xx

18 Jun, 2013


Thank you, girls!

Well...the forecast said, "storms in the evening", it was right there!!

Not going out, because it'll all be better in the morning...

The dogs are preferring to cross their legs, until then, too!! :)

18 Jun, 2013


Oh no! I'm so sorry Karen. I hope it's not as bad tonight. Flipping weather eh? I hope you manage to get some rest tonight. :(((((

18 Jun, 2013


Oh crumbs Karen, you do seem to have a thing about water and floods, I swear it seems to hunt you out no matter which country you are living in, I sincerely hope it doesn't get any worse for you, after all your hard work as well, I 'm crossing everything I can on your behalf, you seem to have yourself organised but lets hope you won't need your standby gear, keep your spirits up Karen and let us know how things are.........

18 Jun, 2013


It sounds bad :o( I hope it's better today, and that the flood water didn't get too high for you. We're supposed to get thundery showers here, but they haven't materialised yet.

19 Jun, 2013


I really feel for you. Last year our garage was under two feet of water and that was bad enough. But when it's house and garden... We bought and installed a pump which is kept switched on permanently; it seems to do the trick. Currently I too am sitting in a horrendous thunder storm and it's dark, dark, dark and chucking it down. According to the locals it's going to be torrential rain today...

19 Jun, 2013


How many Koi do you have Karen?
We have I think 9 (unless the herons been) they are quite big.
The pond is purpose built, triangular and block built to a depth of about 5',with a little 3 brick high wall around it. it was lined with waterproof concrete then painted. A couple of bad winters caused it to leak so out came the fish into a big blowup pool and him and a friend fibreglassed awful hot smelly job. :0((

Eventually the fish went back in and seem happy (except for the visiting heron)

Have you tried them on wheatgerm pellets? Supposed to fill them up but not stop in the gut too long, its a spring/autumn food really but can be fed all year.
I,m lucky in that the pet shop in the village buys big bags of animal feed and decant it into smaller ones, I think the last one cost about
£4 and lasts a couple of weeks. Its a tiny shop with a house attached, crammed with everything and is always busy, its such good value.

Pm me if you need a photo and I,ll email it

19 Jun, 2013


Hello everyone...thanks for all your concern

Well, it's morning...lots more rain last night...I don't know if it was stormy too, Karen, because I decided to wear ear-plugs. No point in another sleepless night, when I couldn't do anything about it.

There's a bit more water under the door but, apart from that everything still looks the same outside. So the levels haven't risen any further. Thank goodness!

Further south there are two departments, now, on red alert - but, we've returned to yellow as the forecast is dry for today. The rest of the week is another story...

I think it's this weather system that's on it's way to you Hywel. I hope that it'll have done it's worst before it gets this rate, it should've done...

Lol, you're right, Lincs...but, at least there's not likely to be any crocodiles in this water! There was mention of flood risk, in the deeds of the house...but, we honestly couldn't see how...we're nowhere near the river. We didn't think about run-off from the hill!

I think it might be time to get on to the department about digging that stream a big deeper...

19 Jun, 2013


Oh, Digginfit...are you getting it too? There's rain every day, here, on the ten-day forecast, except today.
The trouble is, once a flood has happened, you know it can happen again...
I really feel for you too. I hope it passes quickly and doesn't get too bad.

19 Jun, 2013


Hi Pam,

Weather permitting, I'm planning on de-canting the koi into a paddling pool, whilst I clean out all the sludgy mess they've made. There's only three of them, but, they just constantly eat. I have to buy Vitalkraft pond pellets, because it's all I can get around here...apart from goldfish flakes or daphne. All very expensive in the quantities now needed! A bag of pond pellets costs 8€ and currently lasts less than four days.

I'm not sure if I have the energy to install and maintain a separate pond for them, Pam... I feel a little overwhelmed at the moment, with everything I have already...but, they definitely can't go back into that one.
I'll see what OH thinks when he comes home on Friday. He hates parting with anything and there actually is a pretty good spot for another pond.

How much time and effort do you have to put into your koi pond, Pam. Is the filtration system expensive?

19 Jun, 2013


There IS sunshine forecast in Europe during the next few days, here's hoping it shines on you. It sounds as if you could do with time to get things shipshape again!

19 Jun, 2013


Perhaps another Koi enthusiast would like them?

19 Jun, 2013


Koi are particular!

They like it deep and even with our system (which they put in themselves) it has to be maintained and even though the pond is on the north side of the house and mostly shady its only clear in the winter,
Its triangular 14 slabs by 10 slabs is the right angle, the long side is lawn
Not cheap, I honestly don't know the cost, he bought the bits he needed separatly think......

They are fun in comparison to gold fish and not as much trouble (or expense) as the ponies and sheep we used to have........

19 Jun, 2013


I know, Pam. It was classic mistake when I put them in there...should've done some research first...

...but, just thought they looked pretty and bought them. Same with! (So glad I didn't get the ornamental sheep I saw - very nearly did...thought they would cut the grass for me...)

Maybe you could send a photo? There's a curved, raised bed right outside my front door, under two of the garden room windows...relatively shady and sheltered. It's been empty since the building began and something has to be done with it. Maybe it could be dug out, cemented and tiled with swimming-pool tiles...? Don't know if it would be big enough, though...or how deep I could go...

Oh, no! I was definitely set on re-homing them. I think you're right, Karen.There are lots of people who will take koi - specially if they're free to a good home...

...but, now, I'm thinking...please stop me! lol!

Thank you Xela...could, certainly do with some sunshine. It's hard to believe that it's summer. I hope that you get some of it too! :)

19 Jun, 2013


I will send a photo by all means if you pm me your email

But I think rehoming would be your best option, they are not like goldfish, and do need special treatment, if the filter failed whilst you are on your own......its a lot of money just for three fish.
Here there are specialist "fish shops" they may take them, even in exchange for goldfish an plants maybe?

In the bottom pond the goldfish breed (and get eaten by the heron), by comparison they are no trouble at all and positively like a green pond.....

19 Jun, 2013


Thanks Pam...I've already decided...on re-homing. The builder happened to come by this afternoon. It wouldn't be a straight-forward job, being in a corner of two sides of the house. So, a nice idea...but, l agree with you....totally impractical. I've enough with the pond I've got and the other animals.

They deserve to be with someone who really wants koi.

No specialist shops here, I'm afraid...but, it's a small community - I'll put the word out and see what happens.

19 Jun, 2013


Good decision Karen I think, a goldfish or wild life pond would be nice

19 Jun, 2013


You're right, Pam...that's all I really wanted, in the first place...I'm not a fish-keeper at heart.

19 Jun, 2013


Nor me really Karen, dead ones turn me over.....But I,m happy gutting trout or the like!
Its when they are floating. :0(

I. enjoy watching them though, the goldies down the bottom come rushing if you jump up and down on the decking

19 Jun, 2013


Me too, Pam...on all you say.

I have no problem dealing with fish for eating.

I love my pond...and, somehow, I've only lost three goldfishy fish in three years...I hate seeing them floating and having to scoop them out. I always bury them under a favourite plant.

I used to quite like when I had to wade in and they would suck my!

Gosh! I had forgotten the pond without koi. Even more reason to give the boys (?) to someone who will appreciate their different and special qualities.

So glad we had this conversation, Pam, thank you :)

19 Jun, 2013


So am I Karen if its helped you to decide x

Some of these have gold coloured heads and are slightly smaller than those that are silvery grey all over, I,ve always thought male & female but I do 't really know

19 Jun, 2013


I was going to suggest that you send your Koi over to us here - they'd be at home in our flooded cellar right now, but they'd probably get depressed by the lack of light down there, and it smells quite bad enough as it is! We, too have had weeks of grey skies and days of heavy rain, and just as they've mended our collapsed road so we can get out of the village again (it only took them 4 months) the whole bank 20 yards further on slid down and blocked everything again. Crops, boulders, mud and trees all over the place. I went off to the builders' merchant this afternoon, and was hustled into the office where I was offered hot coffee and a place by the stove. This morning it was 6°, and by lunchtime had only got up to 12° It's particularly galling when we've been watching Wimbledon coverage with added sunshine! Personally, I'm getting fed up with having to go round the house pulling plugs out of their sockets and disconnecting the tv aerial because there's yet another storm on the way, with lots of crashing thunder and spectacular lightning displays. To start with, the cats were all spooked by it, now they are beginning to take it in their stride. I am SO glad we don't have a pond to worry about as well.
Are you, like us, beginning to wonder why you moved abroad? I can't believe that a fortnight ago we recorded a garden temperature of 38°. Not sure which is worse.

28 Jun, 2013


Oh, Gatti...not you too...? I'm so sorry :(

I've been watching all the flooding in other parts of Europe...but, I didn't realise that it was Italy, as well. Flood damage is just so awful...and house insurance here doesn't cover all of it (roof and chimney leaks - although, if your roof is blown off, or if anything explodes there's no problem!). I suppose it's because we get lots of seasonal rain and storms coming in from the Bay of Biscay...but, this - it's just not normal, is it?

Still, the men from Angoulême have been out surveying the stream and the, it looks like they're going to do something...

Will they get your road cleared quickly?

It's 6° here too at this very moment...and drizzling...and, apart from a couple of days this week, we've had northerly winds making it feel cold. It's set to rise to 18° this afternoon...whoop de doo...

The météo says that it's to be better next week...but, I'm going to Scotland. At least I'll be acclimatised, lol :/

29 Jun, 2013


Flippin' eck, I always fancied living in Poitou- Charentes, not Deux-Sèvres though 'cos I thought it seemed wet ... always looking at properties there and dreaming ... unfortunately I can't swim so may stay put:-( What's the weather like there now? They say we're in for another 10 years of extreme weather don't they, let's hope they are wrong. Here they're talking about fracking to release shale gas ...something else to look forward to ...earthquakes and contaminated water! You gotta laugh:-))

29 Jun, 2013


It's not so much that we get flooded, K., - we're on too much of the steep slope of the mountainside - it's just the damage the water passing through does.
You're right, BA, at least we don't get the fracking, but we already have the contaminated water and the earthquakes. As a matter of interest, why have we got to laugh? Why? Why? WHY?
We have actually got cool sunshine at the moment - Huzzah! - and I'm washing everything possible in the vague hope I may get some of it dry enough to iron/wear. (Almost out of clean knickers and tea-towels).
Ah, well, on with the woollies and the wellies - I have courgettes to pick! Enjoy Scotland, K. It could actually be summer by the time you get back!

29 Jun, 2013


Gattina, if we didn't, we'd cry:-(

29 Jun, 2013


My goodness,'ve got courgettes?!?!
I've got seven foot tall tomatoes (with no flowers) and huge courgette leaves you could use to shelter under from the rain...but no flowers! My roses are all big rotten buds...

Lol...the washing...OMG...what have I got left to pack? Usually it's easy - my warmer clothes...but I'm still wearing them and I'm in the same boat as

Oh, never mind, there's always Primark! :))'s not normally like this in South Charente...honest. Granted, it's got the highest rainfall in France...but it's the second sunniest department...usually...honest... :/

The ancients are saying that it's going to be a rotten summer. They have a direct line to things which are beyond our ken...but, Cammi says that it has happened before and it'll happen again...just not any more often, he hopes...

29 Jun, 2013


Could you possibly tell the ancients to put a sock in it, then, please?
My roses are like giant soggy cotton wool balls, too. The early ones were lovely, though.
We've got baby green tomatoes, too, and burgeoning peppers (let's hope they actually get enough sun to ripen eventually) and the rain is doing wonders for the brassicas, french beans and fennel. The rocket, onions and the salad stuff have all developed snorkels, though. I picked our first cucumber today - it's almost 99% water anyway, and tastes that way, too. The melons have all disappeared. The single aubergine plant is about 4' high, and hasn't got a single fruit or flower on it. The broad beans were a terrible waste of space, but the parsnips, for the first time ever, hold promise of loads of scrummy autumn soups and winter roasts. British seed, you see - used to a soggy climate!

29 Jun, 2013

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