Thursday, 19 November 2015

Rain man

The rains have come. Oh boy have the rains come. We’ve had more than 20cm in 24 hours – that’s nearly enough to fill up a whole litre bottle of coke or dangerously approach the top of your wellies (especially if you are only 3ft high). It’s also apparently enough to completely overface our shiny (not to mention hideously expensive) new drains. Hard to know whether they are actually not working or whether a week of solid heavy rain would be too much for even the Gucci of drains. Long story short, we woke up this morning to find that we had a new lake on our ‘estate’. Not, alas, a calm pool of azure blue tranquility from which you could imagine (if you were so inclined) a drenched, white-shirted Mr Darcy emerging. More a swirling, brown bower of mud and sheep shit rising at an alarming rate beneath our stand of alder in the front field. You should have seen the delight on our daughter’s face when her eyes (after having seen perhaps just one or two episodes of Peppa Pig, ahem) alighted on the mother of all muddy puddles. Uncontrolled delirious splashing and jumping ensued for a good half an hour while her parents gloomily slopped about the field peering depressingly into overflowing drains and ditches and cussing the Welsh winter weather.

My answer to Mr Darcy...
To cheer ourselves up, I’ve been constructing a maternity leave ‘bucket list’ – i.e. a list of all the places I would like to go and things I would like to do before I have to face the inevitable and go back to work. Endless rainy afternoons have proved to be the perfect opportunity to start cracking through the list, which mainly consists of various tea rooms and vintage furniture and/or outdoor clothing shops. Oh ok then, and the odd pub if we’re being completely honest here. Anything rather than being holed up inside with two increasingly tetchy children accustomed to being outside the whole time with too much energy and not enough concentration for anything other than antagonising each other. Plus the fact with the veg patch in its lowest gear and the all of the big digging jobs requiring dry weather, it means we can leave the place with less guilt about not making progress than usual. So this week we’ve discovered a random self-styled ‘chocolate house’ in the middle of absolutely nowhere which serves a startling array of hot chocolate flavours (chilli, ginger, banana, amaretti = DIVINE) and homemade chocolates to die for. We’ve happened across tea rooms selling Florentines and Welsh cakes alongside battered enamel kitchenware and antique sleigh beds. We’ve bought enough socks to see us through to the next millennium and our knowledge of the whereabouts of the local hostelries within a ten mile radius of the house is rapidly increasing. All absolutely critical, you understand, if we ever actually realise our dream of hosting paying guests at our place. As you can tell I’m 100% committed to this market research mission, although if our cake consumption continues at the present rate I’m going to be rivaling the vital statistics of our ever expanding Berkshire pig, Peppa, who is now actually as round as she is long. Wow. Bodes well for Christmas. As do the turkeys who have bizarrely taken to sleeping on top of their hut, despite the gale force winds and horizontal rain we’ve had for the past week. They weigh so much already that they have actually dented the corrugated tin on their roof! And there was me thinking about ordering them some protein shakes from to bulk the little buggers up a little so we have enough to eat on the Big Day. Mind you, I might have to order them some webbed feet wellies from Amazon at this rate to contend with the rivers of mud flowing through their enclosure. It makes me chuckle to think that on my recent visit to a health spa (see bucket list above) receiving a Rassul Mud Treatment was considered to be the absolute height of luxury and relaxation. Ah the irony that on my one and only four hours away from the place and my mucky children since I arrived over nine months ago, I spend it covered in bloody mud! Now all I need to do is find a way to channel all the mud that the rain has generated around the place into a health spa product and I can make my millions and retire to an island in the Caribbean, far away from all this rain and wind and mud.  Then again, there’s a big part of me that loves the exhilaration and challenge of the wild weather. Maybe I’ll stick it out for just a bit longer… 

Welsh cakes - mmmm, blasus iawn!

Daily News: Rookie Farmer Pissed Off With Rain

Postscript: in case you were worried about the return on investment from our drains, you will be pleased to learn that not 24 hours later all of the water had miraculously disappeared much to our great surprise and relief. Just in time for the next relentless band of wind and rain, the remnants of yet another randomly named hurricane. Oh well, I suppose it's one way to teach your kids the alphabet!

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