Sunday, 29 November 2009

Water - water everywhere.











Such a contrast to yesterday - then it was warm, still and with bright sunshine; to day it is grey, windy and absolutely deluging with rain. We have already had one and a half inches of rain this morning and the field opposite, yesterday a sea of green, is today under water as you will see from the photograph. I went down the front garden path in the rain to take it, and got fairly wet in that short time.
We were going out to lunch but we cannot even get out of our lane as it is flooded at the top where it joins the main road. The River Ure is over at various places through the Dale, so even if we could get out we couldn't be assured of getting back again - too much of a worry, so we sit down at home to salmon steaks with lime and chilli and a parsnip gratin - very nice, I must say.
I sincerely hope that it is n't raining like this in Cockermouth and Workington, where last week's terrible floods were.
I was thinking about them this morning and trying to imagine the dirty flood water half way up our staircase - it really doesn't bear thinking about. Even if one had enough warning to move one's things upstairs, the mess left behind and the damage to the fabric of the house would be awful.
So I asked myself a question - assuming loved ones and animals were all safe and dry - what is there in the house that I absolutely could not bear to lose? High on the list would be family photographs - mostly of people, loved ones, long gone. Then there would be books - most of my books (and I have at least a thousand) I could probably spare, but those which belonged to my father I would hate to lose.
Then there are the ornaments and pictures. Many of my watercolours were painted by my first husband and are very precious to me - so I would have moved them upstairs away from the flood water.
That leaves other little precious things and I have chosen one or two with sentimental value to me.
First of all there is my buddha. He is made of alabaster and sits on the mantelshelf in one of our sitting rooms. He was the first thing my first husband and I bought together - long before we were married. He came from an antique shop in Lincoln in around 1951 and he cost two pounds and tenshillings. He had a partner - a reclining buddha, also two pounds, ten shillings - but we couldn't afford both at the time. I have regretted that ever since.
Then there is a tiny circular picture which I bought in Pompeii many years ago. The painter, an Italian lady, was actually standing in the house (Vetii brothers, I think) painting in situ. It cost the equivalent of five pounds and I bought it at least twenty five years ago. It has given me pleasure almost every day since - so money well-spent.
And, thirdly, there is my little ceramic doll. She sits on the window cill in the sitting room and was bought as a present by my sister and her daughter, many years ago. She is strange in that she has no face - her face is just flat ceramic - the potter said this was so that one could put ones own interpretation of the face. Underneath she has my name - Patricia - written to suggest that she is me.
Three little treasures - I would make sure that they were safe. The farmer and I always bring some small memento back from our travels - a paperweight from malta, a stone box from Grenada, a bull's head from Salamanca - each little treasure holds special memories.
But, let's face it, when all is said and done - in any emergency the only things which really matter are the wellbeing and the safety of one's nearest and dearest - including dogs and cats in that!
If it rains much more today I shall start growing fins. Have a good day.

17 comments:

Pom Pom said...

What an interesting line of thinking. I like your list of treasures. We don't have a lot of rain in Colorado, but occasionally we get huge snow storms. I grew up in the rain, though. Floods were always a concern. I like the way you turned your rainy day into one of important considerations.

Golden West said...

I was put in the same mind when we had California's worst wild fires within 3 miles of our doorsteps 2 years ago. The air was so full of smoke and ash, everyone was wearing particle masks and it brought to mind visions of the Apocalypse. Such an event certainly puts priorities straight quickly. Hopefully you and the surrounding neighbors further afield get some relief soon from too much water and that sunny skies and a chance to dry out are ahead. Best regards, Weaver.

Heather said...

I thought of you as I listened to the forecast and wondered if your area would have to bear the brunt of all that rain. Do hope you will be safe from flooding - as you say, it is too awful to contemplate. Most of my books are upstairs and I have too many treasures to rescue if I'm honest. There is the sampler worked by my mother-in-law's grandmother, paintings done by my mother's sister and many items of only sentimental value. I do like your little ceramic doll - she looks like a very well made calico rag doll at first glance.

Michael said...

No hoar frost yet Weaver, but plenty of cold, windy rain. The river seems to be dealing with it. How are your rivers?

Leenie said...

So sorry about your overabundance of rain. Too bad some of that wetness can't be funneled to Vancouver British Columbia to make snow for the winter olympics. And nothing like facing disaster to put priorities in focus.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

I think it is a good thing to know in advance what is of most value to you - so in a rush you don't have to stop and think - you know exactly what you want to save.

Water damage is terrible. I truly hope the water does not advance up your driveway. Stay warm, cosy and dry!

Pondside said...

You grow fins and I'll grow gills! The rain hasn't stopped here aince October. There's terrible flooding in lower areas, but we are up on a rock and the water rolls into the ponds and overflows downhill.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The things we cannot bear to lose are rarely the most expensive or rare. They are simply the things that make us, us.

The Solitary Walker said...

Lovely post, Pat, I so enjoyed it. Do you know, I think I could almost bear losing everything - books included - except a very few close, personal things - photographs, individual gifts, memory-laden artefacts...

Jane Moxey said...

I hope the rain slows down and you don't have to continue worrying about it all. That's not a very nice thing to contemplate - flooding, I mean. But how terrific that you've been able to identify the treasures that would mean the most to you if they were lost.
We lived in Malibu, California for many years and were often threatened by fierce brush fires. I had a box at the ready to throw in a bunch of things I had thought about. Photos and old home movies were at the top of the list.
Two years after we moved to the Pacific Northwest, that house was totally and quickly burned to the ground in a huge brush fire. That event, so far away, with all our precious things all safe in a new house, gave me pause for reflection about trying not to be so attached to physical things... but I'm losing that battle!

Poet in Residence said...

The Weaver of Water. Amazing scenes on Al Jazeera TV of the Saudi Arabia floods - 100 dead.
The weather's going bonkers!

Titus said...

Lovely Weaver. We were spared today, but it's biting cold.
After the usual, it would be the signed copy of Charlton Heston's autobiography for me!

Linda said...

In case of a flood, you wonder if it is safer to keep treasures in the attic. In case of a fire or strong winds the basement would be safer. We had the sewers back up in the basement once and we lost many precious items. I found I have been able to survive successfully without them. Weaver, people ARE the most important treasures and photographs too. Christmas decorations may be a consideration. Mold damage after a flood can be aggravating to deal with. Let's pray it doesn't happen. =D

dinesh chandra said...

The thinking process is always depicted the mind of writer , rain and snow I like very much but if there is shelter on head and bread and beer with chicken.
Your r so nice, god bless you.

Regards

Dinesh Chandra

Elisabeth said...

Here we long for rain, though not too much of course. The drought has caused the walls in the front of our house to crack and now the house needs underpinning. It has been a long and slow erosion, but of course flood and the destruction of loved possessions would be farworsewould be worse.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for your comments. The water is beginning to recede but some of the rivers are terrifyingly high - the noise they make is scary.
I intended to ask you all which object you would pick up in an emergency - but forgot. Perhaps we will do it as a meme another time.

Sapphire said...

I am a new follower and loving reading about your journey. Yes, the weather is certainly unpredictable right now. We just had 10*C and icy rain, where our normal pattern would be 30*C and a few scattered showers in the afternoon. I hope the rivers cease flooding soon - a bit scary to be home bound due to the weather!