We still have rain. We still have mud. Lots of both. With knobs on, as the (inexplicable!) saying goes.
The weird thing is, Spring has definitely Sprung, albeit a very soggy and windy one. The snowdrops are out in full bloom. There are a few catkins on the hazel trees. The elder outside my study door is coming into bud, the birds are twittering of a morning, and a pair of sparrows have been busy in the nesting box on the wall by my study windows. Plus (intake of breath indicating astonishment) . we have a daffodil in bloom. Just one, by the porch in the front garden - but a daff? In January? Like I said - weird.
The winds have been visiting, their strength varying between mildly annoying to outright keeping the household awake at night. (Well not Ron, he's quite deaf now so sleeps through everything.) When storm Eleanor stomped over the southern horizon, totally uninvited, she hung around making a huge nuisance of herself from about 2.30 to 7.30 a.m. Apart from the windows rattling, I lay there wondering whether any loud bangs or crashes indicated something falling down, being blown off or ripped apart. The house juddered once - which considering it is stone built with walls varying from between one foot to three feet thick is quite something. I figured it has stood here in one piece since 1769, however, so wasn't about to go anywhere.
Come morning, no damage, discounting the huge bang that rocked the house, shaking the ground and ripping through the sky. Yep. Lightning strike. Fortunately it sounded worse than it was, although I don't know that British Telecom or our new neighbours, the 'Up the Hills', agree. The strike was to the box atop a telephone pole in the lower part of the main lane. Miraculously it did not affect our connection.
There has also been flooding in North Devon. We have been fine, except for one night in mid-January. Most of the flooding was caused by rivers bursting their banks, and there are rather a lot of rivers here in Devon, the main ones in our area, the Taw, the Mole and the Bray, rising on Dartmoor or Exmoor.
At South Molton, our nearest town, the River Bray decided it wanted to go walkabout (or should that be runabout? Floatabout?) Not too much of a disaster since it was a Sunday. Farm vehicles and larger cars and vans could get through the awash road, but not ordinary cars.
Problem. Ron's car was parked in South Molton for the weekend as he had gone off on his annual trip to the Pigeon Fancier's Show, their Event of the Year at Blackpool. He does not have a cell phone. There was no way I could warn him 'don't drive home. You won't get through the floods.'
However, after tracking down someone who had someone else's phone number I got through to the coach which was en-route home. The plan was for Ron to phone when he reached town and son-in-law Adam would go and fetch him in his higher-than-the-floods truck. As it happened Ron followed Adam home via a convoluted back lane route. Thank goodness for SatNav!
One adventure ends then another begins…
Kathy called me to request assistance to bring the ponies in. They were all being idiots (because of a blustery, cold wind) and were playing her up. Don wellies and raincoat and up the lane I trudge. What's that noise? Sounded odd.
I judged it best, get the neds and Donk safely in then go and investigate with Kathy, my sight not being too good although my hearing makes up for it.
Something fizzing and crackling amongst the tops of our 'Down-the-Hills' neighbour's trees? Good grief! Sparks! A mini-firework display from the overhead electricity cable. Yikes!
Fast forward a little over an hour. There were half-a-dozen or so big, burly fireman with their rather large fire engine parked outside our stable block, and West Country Power assessing the problem, which turned out that the pole itself had shifted, part-toppling forward and the 11,000 volt-carrying cable was having a disagreement with the trees - which, thank goodness - were so sodden from the rain that they didn't catch alight. If they had
done so, I would now be describing a very serious situation and major damage.
As it was, cups of tea were duly supplied all round by us, then the firemen left West Country Power to it, 'it' being the old pole removed, a new one replaced. All of which took about five hours, in a semi-gale wind and periods of pouring rain at night. Oh, and all the electricity in the vicinity of our village turned off.
Still, it was rather cosy for us, knowing there was now no danger of fire or falling cables. We sat as a family around our blazing log fire drinking red wine and bathed in the gentle glow of candle light.
So, that is my
story for this month.
March is Women's History Month - her
story - but I've featured the Women of Arthur
on the February 2018 home page for three reasons;
- I have written an article about Arthur, his women and children as pertinent to my Pendragon's Banner Trilogy
- I was highly honoured to learn that a wonderful lady is writing her university thesis based around my Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, and that her very talented daughter had sketched the 'Women of Arthur', and lastly
- The German translation of The Kingmaking
is now released. I am delighted with the cover, and sincerely hope that German readers will enjoy the novel in their own language. Parts Two and Three will be following soon.
Speak and/or read German? Here's the link to Amazon Germany
The past: where History and Herstory become united as darn good fiction.