Wednesday, July 26, 2006

after the rain and the hail...

... not one to be put off, I went back to the volcano yesterday and spent a jolly evening in the company of a dozen onlookers and "ole smokey". The magma output of the volcano has increased somewhat but it is all very "controlled" and even the prefecture is thinking of letting us plebs get a bit closer - if you must know, the view-point is some 2300m from the oozing cone.

Even so, it is rather spectacular at night and yesterday one was thoroughly indulged with clear skies and sunshine...

... the only thing that spoilt it was an intriguing, and retrospectively amusing, case of reincurring dysentry - but I've no photos of that.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Little light of love

...went back to the volcano last night and, although there was plenty of drizzle, cloud and cold, here is proof that there are moments in life when one just needs to sit and ponder.

Trouble being that it is all noise and bleeding progress this side of the rainbow.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Oté la volcan a...

After a couple of weeks of waiting, nose-picking and gazing forlornlessly at a clear sea and cloudy sky the Piton de la Fournaise has once again announced its presence by erupting; and proving to the world that politicians, "prefets" and all are skummy, lying and manipulative - but, Hey! More of them later let's get back to heat, fire and flowing magma...

I went to the crater yesterday and arrived to find the viewpoint of the "enclos" in full cloud with an accompanying radio interview with one of the prefets minions saying that the weather was awful, one wouldn't be able to see anything and, besides, only people rich enough to have helicoptors have the right...

Of course this was all bullshit and I spent a jolly afternoon walking along the crater of the "enclos" an enjoyed lots of sun and a splendid view of the small but beautiful eruption. I was even happier today to discover that the "Journal" had also been listening to the prefet and came to the same conclusion as myself - link. And now, I must say that agreeing with the "Journal" is not something that I do lightly...

Whatever, I stayed by the eruption ( but not near enough that one didn't feel the cold) until way after dark had fallen and the sound, sight and smell made for a rewarding volcanique bbq even if the only nourishment was a thermos of hot soup that awaited patiently in my car - talking of which, on returning to the car I discovered it was ice shrouded - talk about out of the frying pan into the fridge!

If your optic tastebuds desire more - as if my photos weren't enough Ummmpf! Try my site, or, you can always try the "Journal", Image Press Réunion, or the Observatoire - Well, what do you expect, they pay people for their photies ;-)

Oh! And apparently the seismic activity, along with the eruption has diminished today so I'll just have to stay at home with a bottle of wine and whine - more of that later, have a jolly weekend.

Monday, July 10, 2006

World united?

I was thinking that I could get away from talking about football and the world cup if only because it doesn't interest me in the slightest. However, even living 10,000km from France the support for the national team has been inescapable. The islands' two main newspapers have written about very little else these past two weeks and, of course, this was all to culminate in a huge party late last night. Well, youse all know what happened even if I don't see what all the fuss is about - and I thought that hysteria was a supposedly female infliction? Hysteria, histrionics and bad acting seems to sum up the world cup, but then how would I know if I didn't watch it?

The point of all this dribbling drivel is that the rolling surf of nationalism that necessarily accompanies international sporting events has brought a seemingly odd surfer to these parts. Seemingly odd because one would have thought that on an island where the majority of the population are "metisse", and proud to be so, would not attract those from the far right of French politics...

...Marine Le Pen - she who be the daughter of the father, arrived amidst the blue football fever to encourage the faithful and probably have a bit of a holiday. What is odd, and strikingly so, is that to an outsider "La Réunion" is the melting pot of seventies pop songs and lacks the racism (so I am informed) of other French departments such as Martinique and Guadeloupe. If so, how does one explain the 8.1% of the vote to the FN in 2002? I dunno! Yet Marine was given an hour of air time on Radio Freedom when she found time to escape the Creolia Hotel and avoid the thirty or so demonstraters who had decided that there are more important things in life than the footie!

photo source Imaz press Réunion

Of course, there were certain comparisons to be made between her visit and that of the recent chikungunya epidemic - “Non au virus Marine Albopictus

photo source Imaz press Réunion

All this must have something to do with the presidential elections next year and although one might argue that it is best to keep politics out of sport, (or is that sport out of politics?) they do both have their fair share of theatricals, tis only a shame that there ain't no red card in politics. Still, not one to always demand the last word, I'll leave that to Marine - Marine Le Pen : “Zidane a bien réussi”...

hot rock mantis