Ever wondered why Sacha Distel snatched this song from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and sang it ever so suavely on his own TV show? Not just to show off his chic Gallic style and toothy white smile. Not even just to practise his perfect English while singing in an extraordinarily French accent. He was simply warning all us daft Brits, trying to get the message through our thick skulls that life in France is not all year-round sunshine and cheese-and-red-wine parties out on the wooden sundeck.
It rains in France. It pours in France. But how many of us expats think of that before we move here? All the British “Let’s Be Crazy and Move Abroad” programmes are filmed in the summer and I have never watched one where they didn’t choose the ‘away’ location. No wonder. All they see is the startlingly bright sun shining from perfectly blue skies. And all they hear are the cute little French birds twittering in the swishing green trees. Who wouldn’t want to move here?
But this is winter and I haven’t seen a glimpse of the sun’s shiny face for months now, and the only swishing sound around here is the rain running off our roof onto the slimy moss-covered deck below. Every single bloody day. Honestly. This is the worst weather France has seen for decades. I have lived here for the last three of them and cannot remember rain like this.
And the raindrops are not just falling on my head. They are soaking into my shoulders and chest and throat and lungs, making swallowing feel like a traipse through a field of barbed wire, and changing the ordinary act of breathing into an exhausting, debilitating coughing contest. I fear they have even dripped through into my soul, making me tired and depressed with a slouch to my step which is not usually there.
But on the météo tonight they promised us a truce. A ceasefire, a break, a lull in the daily downpours. I for one will be watching and waiting. And Sacha, if you can see us from up there, can you make those stupid raindrops stop falling. Please?
Photo courtesy of Audiophile