The drought is officially over, and to celebrate this, the weather decided to organise a Torrential Rain Party on Friday night.
The thunderous sound of the rain on the roof was enough to keep me awake, despite the elephant dose of 'feeling sorry for myself' beer that I had consumed.
I had to work the next day, as The Hole Making Shop is rising to meet the continual increase in demand for hole-making products by opening on alternate Saturdays.
I left the boat to see the river higher than I had ever seen it down here. The Conservancy were clearly dumping as much of the water as possible through Baits Bite and onward to us to protect Cambridge city from serious flooding. (Have a look at Lucky Duck's blog for pictures and accounts of nocturnal heroics from James and Amy as the river rose fast and hard there..... the post is called Keep Calm and Carry On.)
I warned Jackie of the need for flood poles, but then had to scurry off to our workshop to clock-on for 07:00.
It was a worrying morning. I'm not allowed to make or receive calls while hole-making, but both Julie, the day's Duty Foreman Hole-maker, and Kerry, The Workshop Lead Grandmaster Hole-maker agreed to let me sneak round the back of No.6 R&D shed to get updates on progress at the mooring.
Jackie told me the situation was in hand: she'd roused our neighbour Rhoda from her slumbers with an 'all hands to action stations', and the two of them spent the morning securing the mooring's flotilla with scaffold poles borrowed from the E.A.'s work at the lock sluice, our Big Mullahring Mallet and no small degree of courage from Rhoda as Jackie swung same with gusto, biffing the flood poles in while Rhoda held them steady.
By lunchtime, when the part-time hole-makers left us full-timers to finish the day off, all was sorted. There was no need for me to ask one of them to stay on so I could nick off early to help.
So, top one Jackie and Rhoda! I felt a bit useless really, as the girls have the advantage of me in all other departments except physical strength, but had done perfectly well without me.
(Not that I'm insecure or anything, you understand, just aware that big ol' Dorset ploughboys like me are kept on not for our lightnin' wit, but because we is froightninly strong......)
I was shocked when I got back to see what they had contended with and prevailed against:
Our cats, China and Thomas, were far from amused by the situation.
The heron was, quite literally, having a field day, though!
Rhoda had to help Oscar, the feline Black Hole in the space time continuum, to shore and dry land so he could carry on his own hunt for The Higgs Boson. (Rhoda says he brought one in the other night. They are messy as well as massy apparently.....)
Sunday, however, was mercifully dry. The combination of that and the tides at Denver Sluice meant the waters receded very quickly. It's still squelchy underfoot, but we are no longer wading. The flood poles will stay in as a precaution, though.
I've a feeling we'll be needing them again, e'er long.....
River Lea walk
2 days ago