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Storm Bella

After such lovely weather for our “Christmas morning” wander storm Bella swept in on Boxing Day. To be fair, we didn’t have any big plans for Boxing Day anyway so they weren’t interrupted. Hubby and Mum-in-law were quite entertained with the wall-to-wall sport on TV, and I just pootled about the house and tackled the settings on my new tablet, a present from Hubby with a much bigger screen for video calls to the girls.

         Storm Bella didn’t announce herself with a huge bang, she breezed in swiftly amidst some horizontal rain so as the daylight faded we pulled together the heavy curtains on the bay windows, turned the lights on, turned the heating up and settled down for evening with Mum-in-law.

          I woke up briefly during the night, I could hear Bella throwing a bit of a tantrum outside but I just huddled down under the warm duvet and went back to sleep. Then, when I emerged from my cocoon this morning, Hubby waylaid me before I went downstairs…”There’s been a bit of storm damage in the garden”, he warned.

          The whole of Weymouth is built on clay, a trade off for being surrounded by so much water I suppose. Big foundations are fine, and there was no subsidence detected on, or rather under, our house when we had the investigations done before buying. However add-on’s, such as garden walls, do have a tendency to move. When “Building the Garden” one such movement was tackled on the left hand side wall. The broken blocks on the wall were replaced and the crack repaired, then the wall was anchored to the front and back of the flowerbed walls on their new foundations.

I obviously moved a lot of ground when I basically turned the Garden upside-down by putting the old smashed up paths and wall etc underneath the nice soil to create the raised lawn and during the time since then, there’s been a little “settling”, causing a few cracks to appear which are waiting to be filled and painted in the spring… With Hubby’s worried expression I was fearing the worst, imagining that the high winds had caused the side wall to topple down into next-door’s garden. A quick look from the back bedroom window reassured me that storm Bella hadn’t penertrated my defences.

          A little rubbish, no doubt from someone’s windblown recycling, was scattered around the garden and the cat had blown off the shed roof. The cat was ok, a little bent and probably carryingz few more scratches, but again a coat of spring paint would fix that. The two baby dragons had succumbed to the wind but had toppled onto the grass. Howevef, the two solar powered lights which were pretending to be rocks had blown over their respective walls into next-door’s gardens either side. They are back a little worse for wear and I’ve given up on trying to repair them. They weren’t quite as effective as I would have liked them to be so its no big deal really.

The main casualty was the rose next to the gate on the righthand flowerbed. This was the same rose that took a battering last year, I must remember to cut it back next year before storm season and not during. The rose itself didn’t get damaged this time and both arches were due to be replaced this spring, so again, no big deal that the arch has been broken. I’ve done a little damage limitation, I’ve taken away the buckled side of the arch and tied the rose temporarily up to the hook in the wall. I’ve ordered the new arches a little earlier than planned, and as soon as there’s a spell of better weather I’ll be out in the garden preparing it for spring… Can you see a hint of the spring bulbs in the bottom of the flowerbed ?

          More from before : Going’s on in my “Garden.

Stay Safe

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        There was a time when I didn’t leave the house by choice for days when it was raining.  Eventually I came to realise that it wasn’t the rain keeping me indoors, it was the way I looked at it.  I bought myself some large umbrellas, including an orange one, of course, and one designed like a giant sunflower.  I added to these my pair of wellies and ventured out into the weather with my camera.

          Upon moving to Weymouth, I found that although it didn’t seem to rain as often as it had in Oxfordshire, the strong winds here turn the showers into horizontal rain and render my large umbrellas not much more than useless.

          I bought myself a long waterproof mac.  It came with a detachable hood, but hats are much more my thing and far be it for me to pass up the chance to buy a new one, so I bought a rain hat to match my mac.

          With my hair bundled up into my hat, my coat zipped up under my chin and my feet protected by my wellies I set off out to brave this new world of horizontal rain.

          As the rain dripped off the rim of my hat and ran away down the outside of my mac, I waded through puddles in my green and orange wellies like a five-year-old, and if the weather was wet enough to wear my waterproofs to work, then I would wade in the sea on my way home.

          I was reminded of a blog from a friend in Norway where she often said “there’s no such thing as bad weather, there is just the wrong clothing.

          Since this new virus has been here, my confidence has taken a huge battering.  I work for a supermarket chain and so have been going to work throughout the pandemic as its been unfurling.  I am a creature of habit and so I have found it very hard to adjust to the new measures needed.  I only work three days a week,  but even staying at home for my four days, I find it very difficult to step out of the safety of my home into the “new normal” which has been created to keep us all safe.  I honestly think that if I hadn’t had to go to work each week I would have become some sort of hermit, retreating into the sanctuary of my home in the physical world, but retreating further into myself and rattling around in my head with the fairies, and unicorns until a time I felt safe enough to come back out again, if ever.

          The world outside is starting to wake up, stepping out into the new normal.  The things I long for, visiting with my girls, coffee and cake with friends, these aren’t the norm yet, but I can buy what I need, I can walk in the park and meet people out of doors.  Social distancing, it seems, is the way forward, washing hands often, using hand sanitiser, and standing in queues. And if face coverings and protective gloves are the right types of clothing to move this strange reality forward then so be it.

          I can’t fully embrace this new way with open arms, it’s all so different, with too many changes, but I’m going to just put one foot in front of the other and see how far that gets me, stepping out into the here and now, where the words “Stay Safe” have turned into a casual greeting.

Puddles in the park

          With the amount of rain we’ve had over the last few days we have puddles … Huge puddles.

          So … do we let the rain get us down?

          Not this time … We put on our hats, our coats, and our wellies and we go out to play. 

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          More from before : a dip into the archives for more “Flora, Fauna” and “Merryweather