Saturday, 22 February 2020

The Countrywide Floods

I am in the middle of the most mundane of tasks -  spring cleaning the house, but alas I'm rapidly running out of momentum.
Beatrix Potter wrote in her book, The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse, "a most terribly tidy little mouse always sweeping and dusting the floors." How I wish that I too had some of her enthusiasm and zest.
I do, however, keep reminding myself of just how fortunate I am, that is compared with the thousands of people up and down the country whose homes have been completely flooded and wrecked over the last couple of weeks. How do they manage to remain on an even keel in the face of such adversity? Dirty, muddy water, containing sewage, swirling into their homes, damaging the flooring, the furniture, the electrical goods, and destroying precious family keepsakes.
Many of those that have appeared on the news have shown extreme stoicism in the face of cleaning up their homes. I saw that same strength too from those who were interviewed in Australia following loosing their homes in the recent bush fires. As in this country, many of them have not only lost their homes but also their livelihoods too. 
One of the places that has been severely hit with flooding is the quaint small town of Tenbury Wells. Some of you might recall that we visited the town last summer to see their unique little Pump Room and Spa building, given the curious architectural description of "Chinese Gothic". 
I don't know how this building has fared during the deluge, but I do know that one lady from the town was swept off her feet by the suddenness of the advancing flood waters and sadly lost her life. 
My photo above shows a small water culvert running off from the main river. It is a long way down from where I was standing and also well below the surrounding buildings.
This image shows that same small culvert (white/blue arrow) following the flooding. 
The main road over this bridge crosses the River Teme and leads on down into the town. It is hard to believe that the river overflowed the white parapet of this bridge. Thus enabling it to deluge the town. Although rain in the vicinity was responsible for much of the flooding there was also a huge increase in volume to the rivers caused by water joining them from tributaries originating in the Welsh mountains. 
As winter turns into spring, snowdrops symbolise sympathy, purity, optimism and above all hope. 

43 comments:

  1. Those floodings are awful to see on television. It must be such a devastating disaster to experience this.

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    1. I don't think that it is something that I could cope with - I would definitely be devastated.

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  2. I noticed that as well, how brave people are, hardly any tears, despite being flooded on a yearly basis but they must reach a tipping point if this extreme weather continues. Picturesque towns with nearby rivers, scenic gems for tourists in summer, seem to be in the front line now.

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    1. We live 700ft up on the very top of a hill, and sometimes consider moving, but now I think that we will stay.

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  3. Good afternoon Rosemary,
    Also in Holland the floodings in your country are in the news. Terrible to see it. And terrible for those who are dealing with this floodings. I hope the weather will be better soon.
    Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Today the sun is shinning brightly - one must always be ever hopeful.

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  4. I am not sure how people ever totally recover from events like this, either in terms of the restoration of their property, or mentally. By way of contrast, however, there is a section of the Mississippi River along the Iowa/Illinois state line, which floods annually. People have lived there for generations and proudly show you the water marks from the various inundations in their houses! I used to have to visit the area for business reasons many years ago, and it was a point of pride almost when you were invited to someone's home.

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    1. Many of these people have been flooded several times but sadly their properties were not built to cope with flooding. Tewkesbury Abbey which is in a town in the valleys not far from here has regularly been surrounded by floods ever since it was constructed by medieval builders, but this famous abbey never floods. The medieval builders who constructed it built a perceptible mound on which to build the abbey, and to my knowledge it has always saved it from being flooded over many centuries but the properties surrounding it always flood - our builders today should learn lessons from their medieval predecessors.

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  5. Plenty of people are good at putting on a brave face when it's required, but that doesn't mean that they don't shed plenty of tears in private - and in my experience they are the ones you really need to worry about. As for the spring cleaning, as a friend of mine used to tell his ever-tidy mum, "Mother, the world is made of dust!"

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    1. I am sure that you are correct about people putting on a brave face for the cameras - if it was me I would be devastated.
      Your friend is right of course correct re: dust, but if I don't tackle it, no one else will, and there would be even more be next year. However, I will happy, hopefully by this time next week.

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  6. It's all so very sad to watch people's homes devastated by weather conditions which can be so severe, and often quite unexpected. We were damaged badly in Hurricane Fran years ago, with less damage in other hurricanes which came far inland unexpectedly - we are actually 2.5 hrs drive from the NC coast! My cousin lost her home and everything in it in the Northern California forest fires in 2018. How does one move on after something that tragic. My heart goes out to the people in the UK now dealing with the rain and flooding, and yes, please stay up on the hillside dear Rosemary!

    Now the painting and flooring is done I will be starting on the 'spring cleaning' . . . . . . . . . but first will wait until the snow melts, haha!
    Love to you both - enjoy the weekend which will hopefully bring some better weather.

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    1. I wonder how your cousin was after loosing her home? I think that would possibly not want to own my own property again if that happened to me, or any possessions either.
      Glad to learn that your bedroom is going so well, and I know that it will look stunning. I was surprised to learn that you have had a snowfall!

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  7. Dear Rosemary,
    Thank you for the reminder of how insignificant our complaints are. So many people lose everything and now so many more families will be affected by a new disaster, the Corona Virus.

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    1. Dear Gina - these days it feels as if the world goes from one crisis into another almost continuously. The Coronavirus, although relatively mild for most, appears to have an adverse effect on those of us that are getting older. We have decided not to organise any overseas trips whilst it is rampaging around the world.

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  8. Thank you for showing flooded areas in sunnier and drier times. I'm also about to start spring cleaning, I know because I keep noticing all the dust, which was invisible to me all winter! We'll see how long before I'm tired of noticing, and dusting!

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    1. I wish you good luck Barbara - cleaning is my most unfavourite thing to do, but I know that I shall be pleased once I manage to finish. Hopefully by then some much better weather will be on the horizon, and we can go out enjoy it.

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  9. The photo of people paddling makes me yearn for the Summer.

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  10. I am so sorry for all those both in England and Australia who have lost their homes or had them damaged so badly. It is just heartbreaking. It is a relief to hear you have not had flooding. I have been thinking about you reading about all the rain there. XXX

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    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts Catherine - we live very high up, and fortunately our valleys did not flood. I would find it very difficult to cope with something like that, it was bad enough for me simply changing over the computer!!!

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  11. Hello Rosemary, I love walking in nature and hiking along small creeks or rivers, but I have tremendous respect for these places at flood or snow-melting time. The tiniest brook can become a raging and very dangerous torrent. I feel sorry for the people affected by these floods because I know the power of water. I suppose that if you build in a flood-prone spot you know what to expect, but it seems recently that bizarre weather conditions are creating situations not previously encountered.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - we are all so helpless in the face of mother nature - flooding, fires, hurricanes etc. When we lived in Scotland many years ago we had to cope with a hurricane which reach 134 mph in the middle of the night. The roar from the storm was so loud that we had to shout at each other to make ourselves heard - it was really, really, frightening.
      It certainly hastened our departure from Scotland, even though it is a country that we love.

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  12. Flooding is so unimaginably horrible. My heart goes out to all those affected by it.

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    1. Mine too Debra - it must be a terrible scenario to endure for those to whom it has happened.

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  13. So much bad news and so many threats . In the Italian papers and television they are continuously talking about the 'corona virus' spreading , and the danger. It is sometimes hard to keep strong and optimistic , but I believe that when you are struck with disaster you find forces within yourself , that you didn't know you possessed.

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    1. I think that you could be right Jane - thinking about what might or could be can be worse than knuckling down, and actually getting on and dealing with difficulties.

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  14. Our river has flooded a couple of times in recent years during the spring, but most of the city is elevated well above the river level.

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    1. Most of our small towns have medieval origins and were built when climate change was not an issue as it is for us today.

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  15. I can’t even imagine. I have friends who lost their homes in Houston to Hurricane Harvey. It wasn’t do much the material things they lost, but the family heirlooms , photographs etc. they they were heart sick about.

    I need to Spring clean here too. Dusting is the thing I detest and our book shelves and baseboards are calling out to me.

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    1. I can understand that the loss and distruction of precious family possessions must be really difficult.
      I am halfway through the cleaning task i.e the upstairs is finished but the downstairs still needs tackling. With luck, hopefully one more week should suffice to get the job done.

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  16. The floods and devastation have been shown on our newscasts here, and it's truly terrible. Fires and floods wreak such havoc.
    Good for you for spring cleaning already. I'm looking at my home and thinking that I must get a few things sorted out and begin cleaning. I did some work over the Christmas break and that gave me a bit of a head start.
    Snowdrops, and now daffodils are sure signs of impending spring.

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    1. It appears to be a fact that when most of us are faced with difficult situations we actually knuckle down and get on with it.
      I am half way through the cleaning job, but can't wait for it to be all over and finished.

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  17. Floods thee, drought here, Drought, fires then floods in Australia. What have we done to the world.

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    1. It appears that no countries are really taking the current situation seriously, they are just all playing lip service to what is going on.

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  18. Dearest Rosemary,
    Yes, the powers of water can't be underestimated! We have had so much rain for so long that the soil got completely saturated and water got pressed up from under the homes etc. We too had to run our wet vacs and I had to stay up for 3 consecutive nights... slept on Friday from 7:00 till 11:00 and had breakfast and slept some more till around 15:00 but not a good feeling. Even though the water was clean (not that I would drink it!), the entire tiled area needs thorough cleaning. No damage though, we're lucky.
    We crossed the newest bridge over the river last night and could not believe our eyes, that was after one day of sunshine and no rain... it looks like a lake and surrounding areas completely flooded. No doubt many homes have had lots of water inside... Sad, as that water is dirty!
    Yet people overcome this over the ages by working hard and knowing that they're not alone... Helping each other and trusting God!
    If I only look at what Pieter's Parents had to live through... strong people that knew their reward would be after this short earthly life.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - I was sorry to learn that you have been experiencing lots of surplus water from the heavy rains too, but thank goodness you had some wet vacs to hand enabling you to keep things more under control. The floods here have been horrific for so many people, and now it will probably take them about 18 months to dry their homes out before they can be redecorated and lived in again.

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  19. Dear Rosemary - I’m sorry I didn’t know about such severe flooding across the UK. .Nature has both beneficial and violent faces. Torrential rains and flooding do often happen in my country but recent news was almost all about the novel coronavirus which unfortunately entered to the next stage. Both the government’s ability to control and each citizen’s attitude are tested.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - the coronavirus appears to be slowly growing as it stretches its reach further and further around the world. The good thing is that as long as you are fit and healthy it doesn't appear to be a danger, but unfortunately none of us know just how each of us would react to it.

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  20. It's heart breaking :( There seems to be nothing but bad news of one sort or another. Take care. Best, Jane x

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    1. I have reached a stage when I quite dread hearing the news each day - roll on some lovely warm, sunny weather, and goodbye bad news.

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  21. Your Snowdrops are lovely...
    Seems like the World is definitely in turmoil...
    Enjoy this last week of February!!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Linda and hope all is well with you. I am beginning to think that I have grown too old for this world.

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