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.