Wednesday, 11 February 2009

In which, for a change, it rains.

For a change, this is not a post about snow! Although , having said that, there is still a fair amount around. Monday morning, driving into work was an interesting experience – it was misty, and the fields were still covered in snow, so everything appeared in shades of white and grey – ghosts of trees and sheep and cattle drifting though the rain.

It was an interesting day, in a not very interesting at all fashion…I spent much of it dealing with bureaucratic nonsense – primarily involving trying to condense and re-word information which has already been provided , to fit a slightly different format for a slightly different purpose. It’s not that I don’t see the need to keep an eye on how public money is spent; I just wish it could be done a little more efficiently – possibly, and I realise I am going out on a limb here, by 2 different departments of the same organisation actually speaking to one another! I realise it is a little extreme, but they could give it a try for a little while, and just see whether it works. In this particular instance it relates to a case which is an absolute train wreck from start to finish I don’t believe that it is a coincidence that the day we got snowed in and all local transport ground to a halt was the day I was supposed to be holding a meeting on this case. A meeting, I might add, which took me about 5 weeks to arrange. (And when I rearranged it as a teleconference one of the participants’ phone line came down halfway through the conversation.) It’s not paranoia when fate really is out to get you.

Having been threatened with further snow I was a little anxious about what I would find on Tuesday morning – however, despite the dire warnings from the BBC I found not snow, but rain, when I got up. It was interesting to me that despite it having rained for the best part of 24 hours, there was still a lot of snow lying on the pavements verges and fields. I suppose that this shouldn’t be a surprise – it’s been pretty cold, and the snow had had time to freeze and harden, but it is not what I was expecting!

It turns out that a side effect of all this rain and frost is flooding. Having seen that the river below Farleigh Castle had burst it’s banks (happily the water was in fields, not in anyone’s home, or blocking roads, although elsewhere roads were closed and no doubt homes flooded too) I was worried until I could get home – my house has had a history of flooding, and although it hasn’t happened recently, I can’t help but worry whenever it rains heavily.

The problem which I had stemmed from a culvert above and behind the house, which had a tendency to overflow and flood my home, and those of 3 of my neighbours, following heavy rain. After we were flooded for the third time, and I had proved to the local council that the source of the trouble was on their land, they put in a new drain, and in the mean time I had a wall built around the garden to prevent (or at least slow down) the incursions into my garden. I was lucky - the worst flooding I had was in my "conservatory" (for which read small lean-to made mostly of glass) - enough came into the main part of the house to require replacement of all the living room carpet (the first time) and laminate flooring (2nd and 3rd time) but not enough to damage or destroy my books, or soft furnishings. Losing a freezer full of food is annoying but it wasn't something which I was emotionally attached to. And yes, I have moved all my most precious books onto higher shelves, just in case!

I was deeply relived to find that my house remains dry and safe. But I think I am ready for it to be spring, now.

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