About Me

My photo
Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Born in the year of the Coronation, I'm a Baby Boomer. In April of this year I decided I too would have a Diamond Jubilee celebration and completely change my life and that of my Husband's in the process

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Lazy Summer Days.

The garden is still a mess and will stay that way until its possible to walk without falling over but we are safe and dry in our house and that’s the most important thing. Especially as Catherine & Isabella arrive tonight. I shall go to collect them from East Midlands Airport.

Today I have done nothing much, got up late and rested and played about on the computer.The next few days we will be busy cleaning and painting their new home.

Today is my baby’s birthday. Simon is 28, he was born in the middle of a heat wave and it was 90degrees F in the delivery room in Shrewsbury Hospital. He was a bouncing 9 pounds 15 and a half ounces. I think we’ll call that 10 pounds.

In the nursery he looked ridiculous alongside the other babies, with a thick head of red hair and twice the body size and length of the others. It looked like someone had sneaked a 3 month old child in there.

He also cried the longest and loudest and didn’t stop until he was 11 months old. Any thoughts of another child were quickly forgotten, I could never have gone through that again!

Messy Simon

He grew into a very, sweet, small child but as he got older developed an unhappy knack of being incredibly accident prone and forever getting caught in the act in any act of deceit, which small boys (and bigger ones) are prone to. He always knew it was just a matter of time before Mum found him out.

Simon Simon and his saxaphone

This year he is getting married and has achieved,  a very responsible, highly paid career and I’m very proud of him.




Happy Birthday. X.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Clearing Up.


Above is the sight that greeted me Saturday morning.

Its Monday afternoon now and all is quiet here, the brook is back where it should be and the chickens are safe, for the time being in their house. Their house had to be retrieved from 2 doors away where it was in the middle of a sort of ‘Log Jam’ of trampolines, next door’s Wendy House and numerous 6 foot Larchlap fencing panels.


A quick check of our garden showed we had gained a heavy wooden shed base, ; 0706210023 

 a large canoe, a golf bag, complete with balls, various beach balls, a greenhouse heater, fencing panels, 0706210018

plastic flower pots and a family sized paddling pool plus a ride-on child’s army jeep.

Everything is coated in mud 0706210014

and the lawn really shouldn’t be walked on, you just sink through it. Unfortunately, it was necessary to walk on it while we set the chickens up with a home again. As part of the lawn is a very steep slope ,the inevitable was bound to happen. Oh no! Not an earthquake on top of everything else…… No, just me going down on my ample backside!

Saturday afternoon we went to have a look at Hylton Road, where the BBC Studios are. The temporary flood barriers should have been erected here but the Environment Agency didn’t get them in place on time. I don’t know that they would have held this amount of water back but for the people living there, who have now been flooded out yet again, it would have been good to try! I'm sure that's what these poor people, who were just evacuating their homes thought

0706210006 0706210008

If Friday night was surreal with the Mayor and Leader of the Council walking through my kitchen, (thankfully its not an old house with a back passage, that could have made another news story entirely), then Saturday night was bizarre!!

Again I was cooking the dinner, when the phone rang. I answered it and it was somebody called Chris Vallance from BBC Five Live. He said he’d seen my Blog and could they have a Live interview from either me or Mike. I volunteered Mike, as that’s what he does best, well it’s the only thing really. He also wanted to use a photo of mine on their website. I had no objection to that and here’s a link to it. BBC Five Live

Mike did the interview and then the phone rang again. This time it was BBC 24’s Betty Redondo. I passed her on to Mike and he ended up doing another Live interview. They used one of my photos on screen while they were talking to him, which was exciting. Think I might have to start a career as a News Photographer.

There hasn’t been much to laugh about but yesterday I had to admire the fortitude of Anita Woodhouse, who did the most sterling job of reading out all the road closures on BBC Hereford and Worcester, for hours on end. Not once did she crack when she read ‘and in Upton Upon Severn, Minge Lane is only accessible from the bottom entrance’

The forecast is for more rain, I hope it isn’t going to be much. I realise how very lucky we have been compared with so many people who are having the most miserable time, many without, homes, water or electricity. No matter how lucky I might have been it still doesn’t alter the fear a massive body of water, rushing passed your house generates. The knowledge that there is nothing you can do against this unstoppable force, other than just hope for the best is mind altering.


I didn't have time to upload this before now but this short clip gives some idea of the force of the water. It was just a short distance away from our house.



Saturday, 21 July 2007

The Aftermath



The above pictures are of the brook at the bottom of my garden, last weekend.


Apart from some aches and pains and a few bruises, from the chicken rescue, I’m OK today. I’m grateful that my home is safe but the devastation that I am hearing about today is almost unbelievable.


This is how the gardens were looking by the time I'd finished rescuing the chickens, I have to realise now I had been putting my own life at risk. That is next door's large Wendy House. Those posts you can see are holding six feet tall fence panels.

I’ve just heard Mike on his Radio programme talking to a lady who is stuck on a Narrowboat on the River Avon, they are tied to a post in floodwaters and are in fear for their lives.

I could cry for all the weddings that aren’t going to happen today.

Last night the flood waters made it up onto the patio, this meant the chickens had to be moved into the garage.


Thankfully I never followed up the bee keeping idea, that's my beehive floating by.


Our road was flooded at the lower end and the end house was in danger of being flooded, people were trying to organise sandbags.

I've heard this morning she had about a foot of water in but Malcolm, our neighbourhood Super Hero, got her carpets up last night and has been helping mop up this morning.

By the time I started cooking dinner it was very late. Mike popped next door again to see if Becky was OK, as she has three children, one only a few months old. Her husband is stuck at his place of work in Gloucestershire.

Mike walked back in and called “Stand by for the Mayor and the  Leader of the local Council.” Sure enough they then passed through my kitchen to have a look at our flood. I was at this time on my second glass of wine, tired, emotional and in need of food. My hair was still dripping wet. I think it was a surreal moment for all of us.

We missed a party in Cheltenham last night. Tonight we are supposed to be having a special meal in Worcester City. That won’t happen. We can’t get into Worcester, in fact we are almost cut off from the rest of the world.

Our personal flooding is abating now but the rest will get much worse. It’ takes days for the flood waters to pass down the River Severn from Wales. I don’t like to think how much worse it can get.

Simon is safe at his Dad’s but I’m not sure he will get here tomorrow.

What a happy start to the holidays!

Other photos :-

This is the road at the other side of the playing field, just yards from our garden.



. 0706200042

The Wendy House is now gone!


Nearly on the patio!

Friday, 20 July 2007

WTF is up with this weather!!!!!

I've been practising my Anglo Saxon this afternoon.


That’s not all I’ve been doing. Today is the start of the six-week Summer Break from school. What would you expect me to be doing? Sitting on the terrace enjoying a long cool G & T, gradually building up my tan for when we fly to Kefalonia next month? Yes, that would be about normal.


But….NO! We have had the rain from Hell here today. It hasn’t stopped once, not for a blithering moment and it hasn’t just been rain, ooooh no!


(Cue Marks & Spencer’s Advert with that bloody woman, with her, by now, annoying Irish accent)


“This is not just rain (breathy pause) this is S & M rain.” Only a Sadomasochist could enjoy this.


At 3pm Mike rang to say he was leaving Gloucesterimmediately. He had just finished his programme and knew I needed help dealing with the chickens.


At 5pm he still hadn’t returned and as I was talking on the phone to Flo, whilst at the same time keeping an eye on the garden, the conversation was brought to an abrupt halt as I saw the brook had broken its banks.


The chickens were rescued, one at a time, in a Sainsbury’s bag for life. They never knew the many uses these bags could be put to!


My girls are in the shed and the hen house, by now, will have floated somewhere, as has everything else. Never, in living history and probably since man has been on this planet, has this place flooded like this. I have probably used up a lifetime of swearing.


Mike finally arrived home, normally a 50 minute journey at 6.45pm.


The lady at the bottom of the road, who lost her husband in a house fire 10 years ago, is now just about to be flooded andshe has her 93 old mother living with her.


We are a bit higher up the road but I am not confident that we will keep the water out of the house. With previous floods its been a bit of fun and everything has been back to normal in an hour or two. We thought we were safe. We’ve had to seriously revise that idea.


It’s now 8.30 and its still frickin raining. We just walked across to the playing field, to try to assess the situation. The road that crosses the brook at that point is impassable, as is every road that crosses the brook. There were cars everywhere, roaring around, turning, trying the next crossing but were thwarted at each attempt. The area known as Dines Green is cut off from the rest of Worcester and I’ve heard many villages are also.


There must be so many people who just can’t get home this evening.


I’m waiting to hear Simon has arrived safely at his Dad’s in Mid Wales.


If I’m still here I will post photos later. I doubt I will get much sleep.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Merlins May Be Magical..but they're not Big and they're not Clever!!!

OK!…….So what’s with the weather? I really have had enough. The garden has become so over grown it’s almost met in the middle. The brook has been up and down like a whore’s drawers and there hasn’t been a whiff of a barbeque for weeks.

Two weeks ago, our neighbour knocked at the door and said, had we seen the clouds? We looked out and saw a bizarre circular formation above our houses.


By half past eight, it looked like this 0705200005 and then the heavens opened.

I had a disturbed night as the rain was so heavy most of the night. I got up at 6.30am and looked out of the office window and could see there was a little bit of water in next door’s garden, from the brook. I assumed it had spilled over a little in the night and was going back down now. I mentioned it to Mike and went off to the bathroom. A couple of minutes later, he came running back in and said we had to move the chickens as the water was coming up, FAST!

The annoying thing was, it was now quite sunny but the water was rushing up the garden at an unstoppable force. So, dressed in our dressing gowns and old shoes, we had to go and rescue the hen house complete with occupants, which was now half submerged. Wading up to our knees, we had to get them over a narrow bridge, usually this is done with an empty coop and we are able to invert it so the narrow top passes easily through the handrails. This time it was complete with occupants and so had to be lifted clear of the handrails. Not easy and slipping about on wet wood didn’t help.

On the way, I noticed our cat, Merlin, was sat on the bench by the pond. The bench was now encircled by water and I wondered why the stupid cat had gone through the water to get there. When we finished with the hen house I realised that Merlin might still be on the bench. I waded back down to look. By now there was a very distressed cat who was just about to be submerged by water. It then occurred to me. Every morning he goes to sit on this bench. It must have been dry when he sat there but the water came in too quickly for him to escape. It was a good job I’d seen him, the bench was totally submerged soon after I saved him.

This was taken from my office, Merlin sitting on top of the hen house after his escapade. He's still wearing a shocked look! 0705210018 The brook. 0705210011 Can anyone recommend some good plants for a heavy, moist soil? 0705210010

The brook went back down but a few days later we had another night of torrential rain. This time it came up in the middle of the afternoon. I was in the office and a neighbour came round to alert us. The chickens were still on the high ground, so perfectly safe and all the cats were in. Then I noticed next door’s Cairn Terrier, Merlin was standing in the middle of the flood and appeared to be stuck. At first I couldn’t understand why and called him to encourage him to move. I realised he was trapped on a raised bed and the water was rising up to his little fat tummy. cropped His owners were out and so, yet again, I had to go wading through the water to rescue another Merlin.

The floods have subsided now but the weather hasn’t improved much.

No trampolining today! 0705210017

Catherine and Isabella have arrived from Germany and we are trying to find them somewhere to live and a car for Catherine. They have been here a week and I can honestly say, I’ve barely had a moment to myself in that time, so apologies if I haven’t read your latest entries yet, I will get there, I promise.

Here is a short clip filmed this morning, I was feeling arty, so went for the watercolour effect.It’s a lovely mother and daughter moment.


Isabella asleep. 0705310004


A very special thank you gift for me, from Catherine & Flo, some David Austen Roses. 0705310008



And thank you for the all the lovely comments on my last entry.