The house has just been flooded and I can think of nothing that could bring me out of blogging hibernation quicker. Coming home from work and shopping to find neighbours sweeping water out of the front door has that sort of effect on me.
A localised storm to end all storms hit us on Thursday evening. Hurricane force winds, chunks of ice and from what I have heard 2 inches of rain all hurtled from the sky in the space of 10 minutes. The drains blocked almost immediately and streams overflowed. All the water and mud from what seems like half a mountain came straight in through our front door and out the back.
Driving up the lane avoiding uprooted trees, the extent of the devastation didn’t really hit me. Nor did it when I brought my shopping into the porch and saw my mother-in-law mopping up the hall. A bit of water must have seeped under the door I thought. It didn’t really hit me either when I picked my way through the sediment and bits of straw still floating in the lounge.
It was only when I made it to the bedrooms and opened my wardrobe door that gale force shock kicked in. The shoes at the bottom of the cupboard were hidden in silt and muck. And it was the same in every room.
I don’t remember putting my shopping down. Apparently I left it on the floor in all the water and mud. Somebody kindly put it outside for me and when I found it much later the ice creams had melted.
I can’t say I cried. I made myself a cup of tea, found a mop and snivelled for the remaining two hours it took to get rid of the water and clean until the tiles on the floor were visible.
We were very lucky – the water hadn’t risen above the height of the plinths. The house had been saved from greater damage by our front door and a neighbour. When he saw the 15 inches of water accumulating in the porch he’d grabbed a bucket and started to bail. A team of us cleaned 12 hours yesterday and the house has probably never been cleaner. Today I will sort through all the damaged stuff which is out waiting in the garden.
At the moment I’m still in shock, but I hope that one day I’ll be able to laugh about it and say to the kids “It’s going to storm later, don’t leave anything lying on the floor…”