Sunday, 6 February 2011

Best laid plans...

Today we were intending to meet friends in Ravenstonedale at the Black Swan Hotel for Sunday lunch. It is one of our favourite eating places, not least because it is such a beautiful journey there. The road goes straight over the top of the high Pennines, turns right at the Moorcock Inn and left at Pendragon castle - over the high moorland and into the dale. Even if you don't know the area, doesn't the journey sound lovely?

We set off at a quarter past eleven this morning along the high road through Wensleydale as we guessed the River Ure might be high. The weather here has been atrocious for the last three days - very high winds and horizontal rain. It was evident as we went along that the river, down in the valley to our left, was very high. In places it had burst its banks and was flooding the meadows; the sheep were all moving up onto the higher ground.

Then, as we approached the village of Hardraw, we saw a road closed sign to our left - which meant that Brown Moor road was closed - an ominous sign. We went on into the village of Hardraw and then down on to the bottom road and here we met a wall of water. We were able to drive through it, but only just. The road was under quite deep water and it was pouring over the top of the dry stone wall on to the road.

Sadly we turned round and came back. Thank goodness for mobile phones - at least we were able to phone our apologies. And as we ddrove back home we thought we should be grateful that at least it was not snow that was falling - unlike many places in the US at present. There is always another day to meet for lunch and the freezer yielded enough to keep the wolf from the door.

As I write this a few hours later, the wind has dropped a little and the rain has eased but in the field opposite the beck is full and fast-flowing and it is only a matter of time before that field is also deep under water too. But the water companies say we are short of water in the reservoirs, so they will be jumping for joy.


Heather said...

What a shame about your lunch date Pat, but at least you enjoyed part of the journey and got home safely. I can't understand how the reservoirs can be so low when we have had so much rain and snow. I suppose the consumption of water must have increased. I love the place names in your part of the world.

steven said...

hello weaver, it's really something to read of journey's interrupted by swollen rivers. hardraw - near hardraw force? stay warm and dry up in the dale. steven

Pondside said...

Too bad about the lunch date, but it sounds like you managed a cosy supper, snug at home. Our ponds are overflowing - I like to go into the spring that way, as otherwise we'd be dry mid way through summer.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a wild winter, everywhere, this year. I'm sorry about your lunch. "Left at Pendragon Castle" sounds like heaven.

Tom Stephenson said...

Like many English, I have been put off beautiful Wales by a few bad experiences with the locals. I'm sure it has changed for the better by now, but I can never forget being refused service in a small, Northern village shop, by the lady owner who had noticed that I had spent the night in a house alone with my old friend who happened to be a woman. After many bitter years of campaigning by the Welsh Nationalists, the people eventually decided NOT to have a devolved government of their own, so I lost quite a bit of respect for them as a result.

Pendragon Castle sounds nice!

mrsnesbitt said...

Thank goodness for the mobile phone eh Pat! Such a shame you missed your lunch date - Did you have to cook? Oh I would hate that - to get myself all ready to be pampered and fed, only to return home to cook!!!!! But - safety is paramont and we need to keep that in mind.
Hoping to have a lunch date with you soon Pat - the gallery in Richmond who deal with Mackenzie Thorpe? Yes - that's the one Pat. Once the weather is a tad more reliable I'll come through.

Gerry Snape said... that the dragon on the edge? We live in Penketh which I believe is the woods on the edge..the edge being the river Mersey. Don't you love words!

Titus said...

Yes, that does sound like a wonderful journey! Michael Moorcock Inn and Uther Pendragon castle... a land of imagination.
Sorry about the missed date, but thank goodness you stopped on the way there, rather than getting stopped on the way back.
I was in Dumfries with the children yesterday, and the Nith was a wave away from flooding the Whitesands. Unbelievable amount of rain in the last three days here.

angryparsnip said...

What a lovely journey of words...
Swan Inn, high Pennines, Moorcock Inn, Pendragon Castle and high moorlands into the dale.

Left at Pendragon Castle should be the name of a book.
Must use that idea...

cheers, parsnip

Jo said...

Oh, Weaver. That sounds harrowing. The weather seems dreadful in nearly every corner of the world this year.

After having so much snow here in Missouri, USA, they are warning of the spring thaw and subsequent flooding in a few weeks. sigh. It's always something.

I hope you are able to soon reschedule the Sunday outing with your friends. Best of luck!

Dianne said...

I've just found your lovely blog and so enjoyed reading your story. We are sweltering in 40 degree heat here in Australia so it is so hard to comprehend what it's like to be cold and wet!!

BT said...

Oh gosh, how rotten for you. We have also had much rain and strong winds. It's pouring again now. All our little streams have burst into life but not flooded yet thankfully. The trip did sound wonderful though.

Hildred said...

So sorry about your disappointment - our moisture today came in the form of great flakes of wet snow, but whatever, it is welcome!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Heather - yes many of the place names go back to Viking days I understand.

Yes Steven - Hardraw Force is in the middle of the little village of Hardraw.

Pondside - you are quite right. Our reservoirs are all quite empty and we did need the rain.

Pamela - I too love the sound of Pendragon castle - it is where Lady Anne Clifford used to have her home in the sixteenth (?) cwentury.

Sorry about your welsh story Tom - I think this reticence and 'peculiar' ways relates to almost any area which has been cut off from the rest for hundreds of years (think Lincolnshire and the fens of East Anglia).

Look forward to our lunch date Denise.

Gerry - I don't know about that prefix 'Pen@ had never thought about it - maybe it was on the edge of Lady Anne Clifford's land or something. The ruins are built on a rise of ground. See comment to Pamela above.

Titus - hope your flooding doesn;t materialise - it has got no worse here and the sky is clearing as I write.

AP - yes they are lovely words - will now wait for the novel!

Jo - I think it has been a bad winter all over the world.

Jo thanks for visiting.

Gina - As everyone always says - yu don't go to Ireland for the weather!

Hildred - great flakes of wet snow sound lovely to me here in this wild wind and pouring rain.

Maggi said...

Pity you had to miss your lunch date but i am glad that you got home safely.

Dave King said...

I love the way you make a disappointment sound matter-of-fact and all part of some greater enjoyment. There is a further enjoyment, of course. Reading your account of the day.