18 January 2009


A better night sleep for D, but still not perfect. Woke feeling better than he had done since he’d been ill. Slight improvements every day – hopefully by the end of the holiday he’ll be well – just in time to go back to work. J watched a stunning sunrise out the window, and marvelled at the much changed scenery before him. The mist and frost of the previous few days had gone, and the horizon had broadened considerably.

J&D went down to watch an early morning episode of Mountain with Griff over breakfast. Halfway through the episode, A came down to greet us with the news that, overnight, their home in London had been flooded! Apparently, they got a call from my mum’s sister at about 2AM, which had them really worried about my mum’s parents’ health. So when she said, “No, it’s just that your water tank has burst and totally flooded one side of your house, totally destroying your bathroom and half your kitchen, and who knows how much longer some of those walls will be standing?” they actually breathed a sigh of relief! They sat up for most of the night trying to organise things and decide what to do, but have taken the whole situation very philosophically, and have spent the day excitedly planning new designs for their home. The upshot of it is that they will go and live with my mum’s parents (just like they did when they first got married 38 years ago!), while J and D will be staying with E and L.

Speaking of E & L, they headed back to London today, and stopped in on my parents place to survey the damage, and salvage as much food as was salvageable (apparently quite a lot, which is good because they will soon be entertaining some unexpected guests).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, in between phone calls coming and going, updating and filling in those who needed to be updated and filled in, we decided to go for a little afternoon stroll. We all piled into one car and drove to the pretty little village of Minster Lovell. We walked across a horrendously muddy field, which turned out merely to be a small taster of what was to come for much of the rest of the walk. We arrived at an attractive old church, which sat beside an impressive ruinous shell of a former manor house. So for us, there were two ruined houses in one day.

We walked on alongside the wonderfully named River Windrush for a while, our shoes slipping all over the place in the heavily churned mud. The hike was only short (it took us 2 hours in total), but hard going. Our feet were heavy with caked mud, and we had no grip, but we waddled on, and were relieved when the path eventually led us onto a tarmaced road, which we gratefully stomped down back into the village, leaving a trail of brown sludge in our wake. The village itself was very picturesque, full of beautiful old houses and exquisitely thatched roofs. But we didn’t stay long. We scraped as much mud of our boots as we could, then got back into the car and headed home. J made a delicious and fresh buffalo mozzarella salad, which he mixed with left over pesto pasta, for a tasty afternoon snack, before all going off to soak in well-earned baths.

We headed out for a light supper in Burford – the only places that were open on a Sunday night were the town’s 2 pubs. We picked one, and had adequate meals, before heading back to the house that, thankfully, still stood in one piece.


  1. Nuuuuu - the house!!!!

    I hope everything is ok.


  2. oh crikey! that's not good. :(

    but, as for the other houses in the latter pics...

    would you just look at those houses!?

  3. yeah, the house... ALARM. they've got a rental place and they're moving on friday. the insurance will pay for rental and hopefully fixing up everything everything everything. but idk how i would cope with such a disaster! it's lucky that it's only really affected half the house, not the files and computers or too much personal stuff.