Monday 17 February 2014

Devon: the quiet after the storm ...

We've come to our place in Devon for Emi's half term holidays, and yesterday was truly glorious - the quiet after the storm.

Our roof safely sheltered by the hill behind

I'm counting our blessings that we've still got a roof over our heads. Our house was cleverly built a long time ago on the shoulder of a hill, so that it is protected by the contours of the surrounding land from the worst of the weather. This sometimes results in the smoke being blown back down the chimney on those odd days when the wind comes over the hill, but mostly it's a very comfortable arrangement.

We did lots of dog-walking yesterday to make the most of the weather. And I've got to say that this is the best dog-walking county in England. People down here love their dogs. Maxi comes everywhere with us, and nobody minds. He joined us for a family dinner in our lovely, local pub on Saturday night. It was brilliant.

Our valley

What a difference a day makes: today we are back to rain, rain and more rain. My heart really goes out to all those poor folks whose houses are under water at the moment. It must be the very worst sort of invasion: smelly, cold grey water.

Today: back to the rain!

We've suffered the loss of four beautiful old trees in the storms. This one below was a fairly young ornamental cherry. I'm guessing that we'll have to fell it as it won't be stable after suffering this split.

And this splendid old beech tree came out by the roots. 

I'm kind of surprised that its root system didn't go wider and deeper. They seem very shallow and superficial for what was once a very tall, majestic tree, whose branches cast a huge shadow in the summer time.

Just look at how it's been split open by the storm. It's almost as though the wind, in its fury, tore the tree in half: an eloquent testimony to the violence of the weather.

Anyway, today I think we'll just hunker down and enjoy the warmth indoors as the wind whistles down the valley, and the rain batters the windowpanes.

Stay warm and safe wherever you are,

Bonny x

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