Return Of The Deluge

This morning I walked down through Minstead some way past The Trusty Servant until, finding the road impassable without wellies, I turned back.Pool across road 12.12  Driving through this particular pool later confirmed that my decision had been sound.

I described yesterday as a respite from the deluge.  It was a very brief one.  Relentless rain that had started up again in the night persisted during the day.  Lichen 12.12Moss and lichen thrive in these conditions.Stream down road 12.12  I waded the streams, supplied by swollen ditches, that were our village lanes.  Drains were blocked and new pools had appeared. Blocked drain 12.12 Never mind, much of the mud was now washed off my walking shoes.

No animals were abroad.  Even Primrose and Champion’s field was empty.  I do hope they had been removed to somewhere warm and dry.  I saw no birds.  When we drove through the village this afternoon we had to negotiate the rear ends of seven cows with their noses in buried in hedges.

The Mobile Library was bravely and optimistically stationed opposite The Trusty Servant.Mobile library 12.12  The Local Authority Library Services are some of those facilities much reduced by economies since the recession, so it is good to see one still available in such a remote area.

On my return I met Dave on his way for his newspaper.  We stood in a pool and chatted for a while.  We couldn’t get any wetter.  That is, provided we continued successfully to leap like schoolgirls over a swirling skipping rope, every time a car went by.  The tsunamis they threw up had me reflecting on Hokusai’s great wave painting.

Jackie then drove us to Shelly and Ron’s where, together with Helen and Bill, we were given a plentiful salad lunch before I went with the three sisters to Walkford’s waterlogged Woodland Burial Ground to place a Christmas wreath over the interred cremated remains of Veronica Rivett, Jackie’s much-loved mother and my lovely ex-mother-in-law.  Woodland burial grounds are places where people are laid to rest in natural surroundings.  Here there were some graves, but generally the much smaller plots contain ashes marked with a simple low-level labelled post.  Natural wild flowers are allowed to be seeded and to grow over these areas.  In other sections than this one people may also plant trees.  At the entrance to the site a row of silver birches stands in a new pool where, as we were leaving, Wellington-booted children spuddled about, disturbing the ducks which had been enjoying a change of scenery from their lake.  Afterwards we settled with coffee and mince pies to watch Ron’s holiday videos until it was time for Jackie and me to leave for the Chichester Cathedral Carol Service.  On the A35 we encountered the first flood warning sign either of us had seen actually alerting drivers to a real flood.  This caused a bit of a hold-up.

After a brief return home Jackie drove us through swirling rain to Chichester.  Fortunately we arrived in the town half an hour early.  This was lucky because it took us twenty minutes driving around trying to find a way into West Street where we were to park in the Prebendal School staff car park.  When we did manage that we couldn’t find the car park.  The entrance to this, in darkness, was tucked between two tall buildings.  Jackie waited in the car in the street while I went hunting for it on foot.  This was conducted whilst on the phone to Ian seeking confirmation that we were in the right place.  He, Becky, and Flo, who were caught in traffic, did not arrive until exactly the start of the service, when we were esconced right at the front of the Presbytery.  We didn’t see each other until afterwards.  It was a privilege to have been invited to listen to such a beautiful choir in such a splendid historic setting.

When the service was over we all ate at The Old Cottage, a surprising name for an Indian restaurant.  The food was excellent and three of us drank draft Cobra.  Becky had diet coke and Flo drank apple juice.  We had a very enjoyable time, after which Jackie drove us home in 42 minutes.  Since Becky’s family will be moving to Chichester eventually, this was a rather encouraging journey for the future.

One response to “Return Of The Deluge”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.