Monday, 14 December 2015

It was only a matter of time

No-one here is really surprised



The main route out of our village is closed pending a divers' inspection.  Looking at the scouring done to the bottom of the bridge on the south side, Cumbria Highways are more than worried about what might have happened to the two centre pillars.  Some of these photos were taken with my phone in dreadful weather and are, therefore, rubbish.  But they convey a little of the problem. 











Just like 2009 if we want to go anywhere we now have the option of a 2 mile detour down a lane that's barely wide enough for the minimal amount of traffic it normally gets and is seriously dangerous when vehicle numbers increase 100-fold, or we can take a 6 mile (each way) detour and go "the long way round"; it took our neighbour an hour this morning to take his daughter to school, should have been a 25-minute round trip.  It would be easy to grumble but I shall try not to - our home is not flooded, our livelihood is not destroyed; we are warm, safe, insurable.  Plenty of people would happily swap places with us.





Daisy is a tad confused - last time she was here there was a gate and we could continue our walk into the second field.









In other news, the amount of destruction caused across the Lake District is finally starting to emerge.  The devastation this time round is almost incomprehensible - the water levels might have been slightly lower than in 2009 but the damage seems far worse, far more widespread. 

More than once there have been tears in front of the television as the extent of the damage is revealed.  I thought our big problem with the A591 was the landslip on Dunmail Raise near Grasmere, but the total picture is much, much worse.   Talking to the Highways Inspector he said they're just as worried about the risk of a huge landslip at Willie Wife Moor or Seat Sandal.  Considering that is the main (only) north/south route through the Park it is safe to say that direct journeys to Ambleside and points south are royally scr*wed for the foreseeable future.

In 2009 I responded to the crisis by helping at the Flood Support Centre in Cockermouth but I can't do it again, the volunteering took much out of me back then and I know I do not have the emotional resilience for a repeat performance.  Management and I have talked about this and decided the best thing we can do is give our support financially, particularly in shopping locally, which we do anyway, but we'll do even more where we can.  Not surprisingly therefore, I have been "nest building" the last few days after finding that the wonderful Tony Harrison was already open for business; I'm proud to eat local meat when Tony can tell me where the animal grazed.   There has been some serious cleaning and some volume cooking for the freezer; just our normal stuff - casseroles, lots of spicy dahl for me but I cannot even begin to think about Christmas.



There have also been happy hours in the sewing room.  The orange blocks are done and look absolutely delicious.  Strip piecing is definitely the way to go:-}














10 comments:

  1. Your pictures tell so much more than the news - which has gone remarkable silent. It was only 'news' when it was 'exciting' now that it is at the mop up and mend phase it is deemed not newsworthy. It should be though - keeping people informed at progress or the lack of it and keep generating interest and support xx

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    1. 100% right Hawthorn, and sadly it was just the same in 2009. The media are only interested in today's soundbites, the fact that people's lives are in turmoil for months doesn't seem to matter.

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  2. That is some scouring and I can see why they want to check the bridge is safe. Thank goodness it wasn't any worse for you - my heart goes out to the communities up there that have been affected; this long phase of recovery is so much more exhausting and important - well done on supporting your people; I so hope they all continue to have a future. xx

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    1. Thanks Curvy, I don't think there is a single community which hasn't been affected this time, either directly by damage, or indirectly like us.

      Not only is the recovery exhausting for the people who are rebuilding homes and businesses, but it's the constant worry of "when will it happen again" because the Environment Agency will not allow the rivers to be dredged, and we have insufficient flood defenses. I'm all for caring about our landscape but this insistence on putting plants before people has got to be reviewed, and soon.

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  3. I too, often wonder about the "after" of news stories. Is there anyway I can lend support any kind? It really looks bad in your photos, though I'll admit to loving the reflections of the bridge in the last couple of photos. Well done. Hope you can get out and about with Daisy soon and I really cannot get into the Xmas spirit this year. No sewing photos? Take care.

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    1. Thank you Susan. Yes, there is a place where people are donating - Cumbria Community Foundation, but honestly, they shouldn't have to. It p*sses me off that we can send £millions out of the country in overseas aid but the government will not fund sufficient flood defence work in our own country.

      The best thing you, and everyone else, can do is come and visit. On local TV this week it was reported that visitor numbers are down 70% for the corresponding period last year. So on top of all the damage, now income from tourism, which is vital to the area, is withering away. Frankly, it's not looking good right now, cannot wait for new year :-}

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  4. I'm so sorry your community has been subjected to such devastation. It's always a sobering moment when the scope of it sinks in. Our weather is all upside down,too. REcord warm temps in the eastern half of the country and getting pounded by storms on the western half of the country. Hang in there.

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    1. Thanks FFG, record warmth here too. At least we do not get the hurricanes and some of the massive weather events that you guys have to deal with. As you say, very sobering to be reminded just how small we are in relation to the weather and its power.

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  5. There is going to be awful lot of serious rebuilding work to be done. It's an awful situation to be in. I'd love to know what Daisy is thinking as she peers into the water

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    1. Hi Sue, I am sure Daisy is thinking "where the hell is my path, I know there was one here last time I came down this way?"

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