Dispatches from the Soup-Bowl of England

Started this post in November, and it’s now December. That’s why the dates are off.

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November: ah, what a glorious time to be going on long rambles, kicking up fallen leaves and finishing it off with a nice mug of hot chocolate by the fire.

England in November: ‘aaargh’ as you pump water out of the back of the house, dig more ditches to try to counteract the rising water levels and then sit a close to the woodburner as possible while your front slowly oven-roasts and your back freezes.

In case you didn’t notice, it’s raining.

Taking the horses out yesterday, my mother and I had to navigate The Great Road River (we didn’t dare brave going onto the bridleways) and do all the tacking up while the horses stood in 3 inches of water.

You may also have noticed that the house flooded. The area of the house that flooded is already damp and the floor isn’t what you’d call…’floor’. In fact, it’s more like dust, which means that the whole storage room at the back is now a soggy mud-pit.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a healthy shower of rain. Splashing through puddles is one of the greatest things you can ever do, in my opinion, and stepping into a puddle and find yourself ankle-deep in mud, well; that’s just an added bonus.

It took two hours to get to school the other day. Two hours. This was a journey that should have taken twenty minutes. As it was, we had to make a detour through two different motorways and the next county, to get from Gloucester to Cheltenham (the towns are three miles apart).

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The rain has now stopped (mostly) and the river Severn is no longer two miles wider than normal and doesn’t resemble the Amazon Basin during an ice-age any more. Instead, the temperature has dropped by 15 degrees (Celsius).

I am not allowed to complain, because I have whinged enough about the rain, and I quite like the frost. Except that my house does not have insulation or much in the way of central heating, so I’m writing this while wearing two pairs of trousers, two pairs of socks, a fleece and a hoodie and my hands are still purple.

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