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The involuntary firebrigade, UFO’s and a sink-hole.

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Local news from the Côte d’Azur While I just turn a chicken leg on the barbeque, a Canadian flying extinguisher flies over me. “Did I made too much smoke?” is the first thought that comes up but fortunately; the shower with 6000 liters of water is not for me: they’re flying to a bigger fire, towards the mountains near Nice. I see it now: the sky there is orange black colored; luckily the wind comes from the sea towards the Alps, so we do not have to worry about it. This time. Life is getting more exciting on the French Riviera; for months we have been waiting for rain; all woods around us are dry like cork and a forestfire is just a breeze away.

The involuntary firebrigade, UFO's and a sink-hole.

You just have to be crazy to barbecue … or throw a cigarette peck in the grass. For clarity; our barbecue stands on concrete, next to the swimming pool with a water hose on the ground. We’ll hear that evening through Whatsapp that the fire at Nice even reached The Dutch tv. At midnight the wind turns and our house gets all smokey while firemen continue to fly until the fire at 04:00 is finally under control. And yesterday we had another hit; in Carros over 90 acres of land was burned plus some villas.

Every day, a red-yellow helicopter is flying in the sky above us, looking for beginning fireplaces. The municipalities require maximum caution and to have important papers and possessions ready for evacuation. And so we have become all members of the involuntary fire brigade: When we walk along the beach, we stare at the horizon, searching for smoke plumes. And yes, in La Colle sur Loup we spot big smoke clouds. Twitter tells us the fire department is on site and no aircraft is needed. That was different with the previous fire at Nice; it took 48 hours, 5 Canadairs aircrafts to fight the fire that took 120 hectares. Five firefighters on the spot had to be treated with respiratory problems. And the mistral wind keeps on blowing.

The involuntary firebrigade, UFO's and a sink-hole.

More breathing problems this weekend at Iron Man marathon, you know, the ultimate exhaustion battle that sports men in South France have been waiting all year long. Due to the strong wind, it was a rough swim over the sea to Villefranche, against the wind. I watched it from the boulevard, but a walking granny on the boulevard outpaced them all, so much wind. I can imagine you ask yourself at those moments, “What am I doing here?” There is of course no way back, you have to go through, otherwise you will never be an Iron Man. More forward thinking people but then on a road ahead, we saw the construction of tram line 2. Sturdy men of concrete looked like sheep in a sink hole; a spontaneous large hole in the road. That seems to happen sometimes and it was pragmatically solved by depositing two trucks of concrete. Crazy enough, the hole appeared again two days later, and now twice as big. And all the concrete is gone. The engineers stand for a riddle.

The involuntary firebrigade, UFO's and a sink-hole.

Another last puzzle than, even though I know the answer. This week, Jo and I saw a UFO. Do not laugh, I always believed in UFOs because it’s a bit arrogant to think that we are the only people in this universe or in any other galaxy. So there will be life somewhere else; probably smarter than man who pollutes his own planet.

It’s around 20:00 in the evening, from our terrace at 50 meters altitude in the air comes a black steel ball, from the sea. This black ball of about 30 cm cross-section fly on us, metal of structure but without noise. It was definitely no drone because you hear the engines. It was also no black hot air balloon, as it was going in a straight line. It was flying in a tight, straight line at constant speed across our house and disappeared towards the mountains. Jo and I looked at each other and started laughing: “Have we seen something strange now ?! Was that one, yes he, really ?! That was a very weird thing! Jeee, we’ve seen a UFO! ” Since then, we’re looking forward to a new “close encounter “of the mysterious black globe. For the time being, we only see firefighters.


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About The Author
Ab Kuijer

Radio, TV and advertising producer. Owner of an international marketing company. Lives in the South of France since 2006. Former President of the British Chamber of Commerce, later Riviera Business Club. Happily married to Jojo. Reads and writes 2000 words per day about different topics. With the Living on the Côte d'Azur platform, Ab and Jo together provide 'Good old Dutch' Service for buyers of real estate on the Côte d'Azur, Portugal, Mauritius, Italy and Ibiza.