November has been a comparatively dry month. Yes, I know. Everyone is shocked at the quantity of water on the ground; people are floating out of their homes on old doors; cars are being paddled down motorways; to build a treehouse all you need to do is swim to the nearest tree with some planks. Our dogs go for a long morning wade, and the sheep are twice their normal weight.
It’s not November what did it. It was the wettest summer for 100 years which left the entire UK like an old sponge drifting in a bath of scum. Plus of course since the last inundation, in 1963, we have cleverly built a lot of houses on flood plains. Our instinct for the high ground seems to have vanished. Except for us, of course, at the top of Swallowtail Hill, where hardy glampers have been continuing to – well, glamp. The last of the season squelched off this morning, seemingly cheerful enough, leaving us with two months of repairs and renewals in time for a waterlogged February re-opening. Sarah has given me a three page list of things I have to do. Each page is divided into three columns. Each column has 30 things. 90 to a page, 3 pages, that’s 270 things. I am in charge of things. Except where Sarah believes I have no competence, which, fortunately, is quite a lot.
I am not allowed, for instance, to wash the duvets. My job is to heft them up to the storage loft in what used to be my barn. I cannot clean the windows in the cottages, because cleaning is not a special skill of mine, and when I try it has to be re-cleaned. (Any day now this policy is likely to apply to me having a bath). I can, however, empty the compost lavatories. This involves dismantling the entire construction, hauling out a huge plastic tank, and shovelling the….the contents into a big hole. Which I will have to dig. In the sodden earth.
I am also in charge of ensuring the construction of our new tent cabins actually happens before anyone comes to stay in them. Ideally during a week when the ground is frozen solid and the air temperature is minus 10.
We are looking forward to a holiday of our own in 2025.
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