There is no denying it has been a tough week living in the wake of Ex Hurricane Ophelia. One side of the barn roof finally gave up the struggle, it wasn’t unexpected as there had been some damage in a previous storm and it being such an expensive job I hadn’t managed to secure it, I’m not sure what we will do with it but it will have to be tackled. It has been a week without electricity and that means our pump hasn’t been working and neither our stove or any of those other things that we now rely upon so heavily. I don’t know if I regret getting rid of the old wood burning stove that served us faithfully for so long but it seemed like a good idea at the time and with four kids we would never had enough hot water for our shower obsessed teenagers or the regular piles of school uniforms and dirty clothes that have to be constantly washed. The up side is they are a clean bunch so things could be a lot worse.
Having no electricity was kind of novel at first and no phone reception certainly opened up a whole new world of sociability. Board games and parlour games were dusted off and there has been some fun filled evenings of laughter but navigating by candlelight come with its own stresses. My wife has been amazing cooking on a one ring camping gas stove and we managed to roast a whole chicken quite successfully on the open fire, wedged between two metal roasting dishes but the recent heavy rain has put that on hold. Our family and friends have pulled us through letting us use their washing machines, charging electric stuff and even cooking evening meals, it is so heartening when people pull together for you like that and makes us thankful to having them so close by.
We seem to be in a small select group still without power, we are at the end of the line here and I think there are only about 20 or so of us this side of the peninsular still without electricity, strangely enough our phone line, which normally goes at the drop of a hat managed to remain in place during the storm even though some poles are at alarming angles along the side of the road. The kids were off school for the first two days and my college was also closed but we are back in the swing of things again even if some of the roads are now flooded by the constant rain. We are bracing ourselves once again as the unassumingly named Strom Brian is threatening our shores this weekend but there is little we can do but hang on and hope it all blows over and we can try to get things back to normal, we have to be thankful as there are some who got hit far worse than we did.
The garden fare reasonably well, we did lose a couple of bits and pieces, my favourite pink buddleia was split in half, the rose arch was demolished and I lost the winter broccoli but all in all I was pleased that the hedging stood its ground and protected the more sensitive parts of the garden. I won’t really find out if the saplings in the big field survived until next spring as they are leafless now.
The work in the polytunnels still progresses and I have my winter salads growing well and some turnips, Swiss chard, cabbages, kohl rabi all establishing themselves, the temperature has dropped recently to 80C this morning and it is definitely on its way down the scale but I am optimistic that we will see this period through and things will progress. By the way I highly recommend getting a headlight it has prevented me from falling over loose school bags and various other objects littering the floor around the house.
Hopefully my next blog will have put these storms well behind us and some kind of normality will have resumed.