Monday, 10 February 2014

A belated start to 2014.....

And an unconscionably long time since the last time I wrote anything.

Christmas has come and gone, I had a fabulous fiftieth birthday party in January, much work had been done on the Alvis engine and it has been raining continuously for what seems like forever.

(Only the first three items above will be news to you if you are on the Somerset levels, or latterly, the Thames valley, where Datchet is submerging as I write....)

Down here at The Parish, things have been fairly quiet. We had a bit of a scare on Christmas Eve when the whole field flooded up to the floodbank. Calls were made to the Enviroment Agency who assured us there was 'no problem: the sensors at the lock detect no abnormal water levels'. So we rescued three of our landlords sheep from a patch of grass surrounded by a foot of water and called them again. This time an incident number was given, an engineer despatched, the faulty level sensor repaired, the sluice gates opened and normality was restored.

We were due in Bournemouth for Christmas, so our orderly packing of the car with cases, cats and other belongings could easily have been construed as an evacuation. It wasn't. We'd put flood poles in, slackened our lines, helped Rhoda do the same to nb Malus, then did poles and lines for a couple of other boats here whose owners were away. With no more to be done, of we duly popped, returning a few days later to find everything as we left it.

Since then, the rain has continued unabated. Somerset has vanished beneath the waves. If only The Environment Agency could channel some of the hot air spouted by Lord Smith in a south westerly direction, the drying effect would probably solve the problem overnight.

(Actually, what really got my goat about this particular individual is that he said, during his less than timely visit to the affected area, that he wouldn't resign as there was 'much work to be done'. Too right, chum! That's because it wasn't done before, on your watch, which is why you should resign.........)

James and Amy on nb Willow have blogged about conditions in Cambridge.

Here's some pictures of conditions out here at The Parish and the nearby lock and weir yesterday.

The black line is on to Pippin's stern. The combined weight of Malus and Pippin being blown by a wind right on the beam pulled the mooring post clean out of the sodden ground yesterday lunchtime. I had to dash back from a luncheon at Cote restaurant Cambridge to help secure them both. Luckily, I hadn't ordered.......

An impromptu lake forms by the lock

Getting on and off requires wellies. Jackie kindly fetched mine from the car......

Though the level has dropped considerably overnight, we are still on red boards and the lock remains reversed.
That's quite a flow of water.
There is normally a drop down from the trees to a concrete jetty with mooring points for boats waiting for the lock............


The sun has just come out!

The rain has stopped for at least ten minutes.

If this carries on, what's the odds of a hose pipe ban by tea-time?

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