I woke to that portent of doom, the sound of rain battering our bedroom window –
In the folorn hope the weather forecast would be proved wrong I caught up with a bit of blogging (sorry for those who have been kept waiting) & answered emails as the deluge descended relentlessly outside. Eventually, reluctantly, I gritted my teeth & steeled myself for the weekly Sunday chores; in a sense, oftentimes our busiest day.
Whilst I hope most of you enjoy a leisurely Sunday with a lie-in followed by a hearty breakfast, persuing the papers, snoozing in front of the telly & a nice roast dinner to round it all off, for us there are other things to occupy our time. True; I do occasionally indulge in the ‘Archers’ Omnibus on Radio 4 whilst catching up on paperwork, followed by that critical punctuation point in the week of the BBC’s ‘Countryfile’ weather forecast; but if I’m not working in the house or whatever I can generally be found up to my elbows in cleaning out the poultry houses, weeding the veg patch or mucking out stables etc, come rain, shine, snow or blow.
And today we were certainly getting the ‘rain’ bits & the ‘blow’ bits, as squally gusts of wind & water flooded the farm. Gloomily I watched as Tony’s repaired repair to barn roof worked loose, again. I grimly kept clearing the multitudious ranks of guttering of cloying dead leaves only to find part of the rear wall of the Long Barn pouring down water where the roof sheeting does not quite reach guttering & is now soaking the wall, inside & out; upstairs & down.
Back in house the acrid smell of oil which has permeated the place for last couple of days, was even stronger – & to my horror dirty black, sooty splashes obscured the colourful tiles & ran down the rear of the Rayburn chimney pipe in an unctuous black river – I only hope it’s simply soot mixed with the sheer volume of water which has fallen, but I cannot be sure. On checking upstairs in our little study I noticed a small, silver trickle of water leaking through the brickwork in the rear chimney stack….not exactly a good sign!
Outside, things were going from bad to worse as well: the lambing shed had flooded; the poultry arks could do with advice from Noah; the repair to the roof of the milking parlour was weeping fat droplets onto our milking equipment (as was the back wall, being down hill); the garage was wet; even one of the new stables had sprung a leak in the top of the roof, overwhelmed by the water.
I ploughed on regardless with cleaning out the poultry houses, getting thoroughly soaked & miserable, rivers of water trickling icy tears down my neck & into eyes, nose & mouth as I shovelled smelly rivers of damp duck poo & slipped & skidded across the sodden garden. Whilst it’s never a job I can say I enjoy it was almost a relief to retire into the relatively dry environment of the poultry shed to clean out the hen house although the floor was rapidly accumulating puddles in the puddles, as well. Meanwhile the horses’ heavy hooves had churned what was only last week verdant pasture, into a sticky, horrible mudbath.
By the time I’d finished as much as I could achieve & fed, watered & bedded down the hungry hordes, it was pitch-black dark outside (much as the sludge slipping down the inside of the Rayburn chimney & currently asphyxiating me). I could not see either of the rivers which cross our boundaries; but they were by now roaring like angry lions down in the valley, frightening even though we appreciate it would literally take a flood of Biblical proportions, to directly affect the farm (although the rain is doing that very effectively in other ways at present).
Well; as the old saying goes, it never rains; & here, it’s certainly pouring……