Today’s guest picture was sent to me by our friend Gavin. His daughter is in Borculo in the Netherlands and found this equivalent of our Beechy Plains. It looks better than ours does at the moment.
It had rained all night, so before I had my breakfast, I thought that I should go and look at how our rivers were doing, even though it was still raining.
It was pretty gloomy, but it was easy to see that the Wauchope Water was well up, and only just creeping under the Kirk Brig.
There was a hint of better weather down to the south west but that proved to be a false dawn, and the rain continued unrelentingly all morning.
The Esk was well up too. I found that the suspension bridge was closed and wondered if that was because of the flood or the failure of the new surface. The flood was very close to the bridge . . .
. . . but Mrs Tootlepedal found out later in the day that it was the bridge surface that is causing the concern.
I walked along to the road bridge, looked at it from both sides . . .
. . . and saw that the water had got into the Castleholm on the far side of the river.
Having taken a few pictures for the record, I headed for home. Perhaps because of the gloom, or perhaps because I hadn’t had my porridge yet, I missed my footing on a pavement edge and fell over, bruising my little finger, my elbow, my hip, my knee and my pride. Luckily there was no one around to witness this ignominy, so I limped home, muttering imprecations at myself for being careless.
I felt even more stupid when I got in and found that my phone had fallen out of my pocket. Mrs Tootlepedal very kindly volunteered to be a search party, and went off on her bike to look for it. She found it lying in a puddle, and it is tribute to how well these phones are built that it was still in full working order with my photographs intact.
I took the rest of the morning very quietly. I was a bit shaken by the debacle, and like Marvin, the paranoid android, from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I had pains in the diodes all down my left side.
I was cheered up by the arrival of Sandy for coffee and a catch up. He spotted a wren in our garden, but I wasn’t quick enough to catch it and had to make do with the usual suspects.
By lunchtime, I was perky enough to make a pan of lentil and carrot soup.
It must have been good soup, because after lunch, I went out for another look at the rivers, this time under the supervision of Mrs Tootlepedal. It was still raining, but the wind was light and to protect my camera, I sensibly took a large umbrella.
The rivers had risen a bit more, and parts of the park were now under well under water . . .
Some benches were even more submerged than others . . .
. . . but the ducks had found a safe place to paddle about as the rain pelted down.
We left the park and strolled down the Wauchope and up the Esk.
The clouds were hanging low over Whita as we walked, and Mrs Tootlepedal did not hang about as she crossed the bridge. She felt that it was getting a good battering from the onrushing current, but I stopped for long enough to look upstream.
At the Kilngreen we found an old friend sitting on the fence, well above the rushing waters.
We decided to do a three bridges walk, and took in the Sawmill and Jubilee bridges.
The rain did not let up at all and a good deal of really potential autumn colour was wasted.
I only hope that some survives until the next sunny day.
We went along to Pool Corner to check that the retaining wall which controls the flow in the dam behind out house was still standing. It looked quite solid, so we came home a little less nervous than we had been.
There was just enough light left when we got home to be able to see a very soggy greenfinch on the feeder.
After two miles of stretching and moving joints and checking that everything was working well, I was happy to sit out the rest of the day very peacefully while Mrs Tootlepedal did a bit more of her decorating task. I needed a bit of comfort eating though, so I made a batch of Garribaldi biscuits and ate quite a lot of them. Losing weight took second place to soothing the unsettled spirit.
The changeable weather is due to continue for a few days, but not with the same amount of rain, so we should be past the worse. Once again, there were serious floods not far to the north of us and also to the south of us. We have been lucky.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.