Monday, 18 January 2016

Down by the river

No-one was surprised when our bridge was closed after Storm Desmond.  I chatted to the engineer the day that decision was made and he told me "We don't want to close it, we really do know how much inconvenience it causes. We don't think there is a big problem BUT we dare NOT close it".  Ah, the joys of litigation, insurance, health & safety and the 21st century . . .   And every time I went anywhere I really tried not to resent the extra time, the additional miles, the fact that I was suddenly using twice the amount of petrol as usual.  Our home was not wrecked, we can purchase affordable insurance, bla bla bla, and I reminded myself if we had purchased a house in a little village somewhere further from town then those additional miles would be part of my daily drive.  But the reason we loved Bag End (apart from the unbeatable view) is the proximity to the A66 and the fact that we don't have to drive miles of country roads to get anywhere, unless we want to.

Happy day on 7th January when the divers arrived to do their first inspection.  Of course, that coincided with Daisy "needing" another walk so I went down to the bridge for a chat to find out what was going on.  The same guys as last time, so pleasant and helpful and prepared to explain what they were doing.

The verdict was that they thought the bridge was OK, but the water was flowing too fast for the divers to be able to get out of that cage and complete the inspection.  They would come back in a week or so when, hopefully, the water had slowed down.  Which they did, on Friday, but it took until suppertime on Saturday for a crew of Highways vehicles to come and move all the shillies and barriers.  Much watching through binoculars in the dark (hence no photos) and texting between myself and a neighbour who has a different view to decide what was going on!

Naturally, on Sunday morning Daisy and I had to walk down to the river to check out what used to be one of our favourite walks. I confess it was bliss to be able to give Little Miss Perfect an hour's decent walk without having first having to drive somewhere and she was clearly very pleased to be able to run around without having first been subjected to the cruel and inhuman treatment which is a car journey :-}  Although Madam is better in the Subaru than my old Honda, Daisy is never going to love travelling the way Ollie did.

There used to be a stile here.  See my little red line?  That is (roughly) where the river bank used to be.  Fortunately there is a gate a little further up the hedge.


  1. Good to see that your bridge is safe and sound, although this current rain must be putting it under more pressure again. Our lower field is almost under water again.

    Daisy looks happy to be out and snug in her winter rug.

    1. Hi DW, thanks for checking on us :-} Yes - the river levels have risen again (although so far nothing like the previous heights).

      Did you see that Sebgerham lost it's bridge yesterday?

      Daisy actually refuses to go outside without a coat if she deems the weather is inclement. Spoilt? (No - totally ruined!)


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