Sunday, 26 January 2014



...the water has come again, big time this time, right up to the walls of the house with not an inch to spare, except that it had to go round the corner of the house to get to the first door, and that it was going to do, and indeed got to within a couple of metres, but it ran out of spunk, thank goodness. 

It is surprising how the watching of the levels of the water can push the mind into a soporific state of being, such that it becomes a blank sheet. I suppose it is the inability to control the situation which gives this blankness. Like when Bonny (our ten month old calf) was given her wormer, and she didn't like the man-handling that Lester had to do to get it down her, so in the end she collapsed in a heap, thoroughly giving up with life, which only lasted for a few minutes though. It is surprising how a tasty handful of lucerne waved under her nose made her forget her upset. 

So it is fair to say that we did a bit of collapsing yesterday, but that was after I helped Lester get some of the fencing poles away from the rushing river's need to gobble everything up in its path. We have already lost the new fencing poles out in the far field. Wading through water which was nearly two metres deep in places was not an option to save them. (We have just had 280 acacia poles delivered, and put into place, ready to be pounded into the ground next week. We are separating the back field into smaller paddocks so the pigs can start rotovating for us, and the poles in the far field were to protect the two metre cliff which developed along the river's edge after the big flood of last year).

But we did not try and save the baby wood pile, nor the chunks of wood we spend all day cutting up from a tree which fell onto a portion of fence in the side field, tearing down the fencing line for about twenty metres. There was something dispiriting in seeing these hard won additions to our wood pile floating away. This week we are having five stairs (5 cubic metres) of wood delivered for when the Rayburn wood cooker gets into action. They shall be put in the courtyard. We have more rain forecasted. We expect continual flooding therefore. But we hope to retrieve the other wood which floated away. Normally things which have been floated off end up being nestled in amongst the trees of the woodland. Lester would like that wood retrieved. He bought a fangly dangly super duper man machine of a chainsaw recently. Crikey but it slices through wood like butter. 

He is building some super duper man muscles to manage the chainsaw and other jobs which he has undertaken now that he is the DIY head honcho. He has already repaired the damaged wall in the Middle Barn, (one river stone at a time, like assembling a jigsaw puzzle), and is getting the old lime plaster off the walls in the sitting room. He has managed to overcome his panic about the rather wide floor to ceiling crack in the wall and has been stalwart in his refusal to give up as he continues to change over from being an office worker type of man, to becoming a farmer and mender of an ancient house. 

However, he is not a happy man this morning. The river has torn down metres and metres of fencing in the main field, so that is another job to add to the long 'to do' list he has already. 

Last year's flood was a 'never in living memory' event according to the local people. I am not sure what this flood is going to be remembered as. Warm winters, that is the problem. Makes avalanches in the mountains. Rain comes. Lubricates the sliding snow. Returns the snow to water, some of which ends up passing by us. 

But the water did not come into the house. Porridge for breakfast today. Get the inner fires going. But lighting a candle first, and asking the Universe to give us a break, although perhaps that is a little bit selfish of me because there will be many who are worse off than us. Meanwhile, all the animals are under cover, the rottweiller girls are messing about in the water, and we are back on our feet, as is Bonny, who has already forgiven us for the worming incident. 


Jean said...

It's nice to see you back with a new post Vera, but I wish it was better news.
I do hope your wishes for the water to give you a break come true and that you come through this as cheerfully as always.
Bon courage.

rusty duck said...

Oh crumbs Vera.
Thinking of you and hoping beyond hope that the water stays out of the house.

Denise said...

And there is me complaining about a minor leak in the roof. Andy and I both hope your lakes subside and you regain all that wood you worked so hard to harvest and store. X

John Gray said...

I feel your pain albeit on a smaller scale
I have never known the field so flooded
Keep safe

Ohiofarmgirl said...

i loved this "which only lasted for a few minutes though." :-D

so sorry to hear about your flooding. hope everyone is well enough, tho. did you get your new stove hooked up? i cant wait to see how it works. :-D

Vera said...

Jean, with effort we are trying to stay upbeat about everything!

Jessica, thankyou. It might come to be a bit of a battle to keep the water out though as major rainfall expected over the next few days.

John, seeing the animals so soaked through wrenches at the heart, as well as the frustration of trying to look after them in thick, pea soupy, mud.

Denise, we did not have lakes this time, it was full on river flow almost up to the house. The water will go away soon. We hope!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

This rain is ridiculous isn't it. Our house is fine but our septic tank is not. The drainage pit which is sand dug into a clay pit is not! No where for all the water to go and we have emptied the fosse twice in a short period!
Take care and keep warm and dry. Diane

Niall & Antoinette said...

Oh Vera! Will keep my fingers crossed that the river will decide to leave your house be and doesn't come any closer.
All the water and mud are not good for either man or beast!
We have a bit of sun today but ...

Olly said...

Phew, I'm glad it stopped short of the house. I guess that probably rules out you ever finding the missing camera, though! Hope it is starting to recede, and that you can retrieve some of your wood.

Vera said...

Diane, our fosse is being slow to drain the loo and shower as well. Hope that it is not because it is full, but that the land is too saturated. Hope the wet weather is not getting you down too much.

Niall & Antoinette, we also had a few sunshine moments yesterday, and it did lift our spirits! But the mud....!!!!

Olly, I did find the camera! But it was most thoroughly dead! Still to find the wood though, but will save the searching of it until it warms up a bit!

Leon Sims said...

Now I understand your concern with our Blog background with all that water. Ours is a friendly water, one that allows people to entertain them selve during our hotter than normal summer. The bay has yacht racing, power boats, swimming and sailboarding amongst its many activities. Melbourne - our home on the bay is enjoying the water.
Stay safe Vera and I hope the water recedes soon. I remember last year's rising waters from your blog.

Vera said...

Leon, our river is a lovely patch of water in the summer as well, and I do really love living by the river, and would not want to move. I shall get over the water thing once we are past the wet season, and already I am working at looking at the river, which is still quite full, and pushing away the panicky thoughts. Looking at your blog yesterday made me realise that I was building a fear of water, which is quite understandable given that these continual floods are an unusual occurrence, but something which we need to get used to having the experience of. Vx