Samhain left us quietly and October was pleasant, warm and perfectly well-behaved to the very end. That month has given way now to All Souls Day, the first day of November.
October may have been undemanding but November came in like a new born baby making himself known in a big way. I blame myself, I should not have badmouthed him in a previous post.
As you may know our cottage sits beside a mountain stream and we woke yesterday to an unfolding drama, heavy rain and rising waters; the field was awash in a big way, luckily for us the flood water was heading that way and not towards the cottage, not yet anyway. I had not heard the rain but it must have been torrential all night. I had slept silently and dreamlessly fully expecting any rough weather to arrive during the day but No, this baby had come early.
The waters are rising and even though it goes against the grain because it is a Sunday morning I must rise too, I dress quickly and don my wellies and rain gear. Once outside it is already dramatic, the sound of the wind, the roaring of the water and the extent of its spread. We know what to do now though, it is a race against time, experience guides us as we have been flooded before. Everything is moved, anything that could float away. We must move things before they are moved for us. In the past we have lost benches, tables, chairs etc. We rescue the mowers and the chainsaw from the shed; pots, tables, chairs, ornaments and bits and pieces I value, even the bird feeding station, all are moved to higher, safer ground.
It rains on, waters rush by and rise.
I have a great time then sweeping the leaves, both our own and those that have swept downstream in the flood. I clear them all and send them on their way further down the river. It was a job waiting to be done so I feel quite pleased about that.
We watch giant pooh sticks sail by and wonder if they will go left into the field and be future firewood or if they will go straight on and end up who knows where.
The wind is very strong and we wonder if any trees will come down anywhere, not here because we are in a fairly sheltered valley but we know if the wind is strong here then it will be very wild elsewhere. The bridge has been covered in debris, mainly wood and leaves and it strongly resembles Niagara Falls now but God willing the bridge itself will not move this time as it is now jammed against a tree. A new kind of island has appeared in the field and we know that the river course will be altered again. ‘Twas ever thus. I thank God it has made a good flood plain though and the cottage has not been put at risk.
Even so we phone the local council emergency line as the water is edging towards the back door, it is about twelve feet away but we know from past experience how quickly it can move. Even though it is a Sunday it is not too long before the sandbag angels arrive (Aren’t they wonderful? Full credit to our local council) and the men lay the bags snugly at our threshold and leave us some spares too.
Then at last everything calms, the rain eases and then stops, the waters recede slowly but not completely. We are safe and we can relax, We take the dogs into the field, going round the main road way and we survey the damage, wading through the floods we take a few more photos and then return to the cottage for a well earned hot cuppa.
November has settled now and like any new baby, this new month has quietened at last…..until the next time.
And today there is no drama, no excitement and the river too is quiet, she does not cry, she only murmurs.
Bye for now,
PS I am still reading Monty’s Ivington Diaries and have discovered that he too lives by a river, the Arrow, his garden is flooded sometimes and the water in the past has come to his back door. That is comforting in a way especially as he thinks it is a beautiful sight and considers himself lucky in that the flood water is clean and brings not rubbish or anything disgusting with it but only lovely silt to the garden. Dear Monty, he is a man after my own heart.