Sunday, November 25, 2012

Escape FROM the Country

My husband and I had been thinking of moving to the country when he retires and we dream of keeping honeybees and chickens and growing our own vegetables, etc.

Last night we were in Devon to celebrate his mum's 80th birthday. We had a great time but I was nervous about travelling knowing how treacherous the weather promised to be.

Thankfully husband drove well (as usual) and I suspect given the weather warnings, only those who needed to travel, did, and the roads were pretty clear. Still the rain beat down.

We checked into a riverside inn in Bovey Tracey, rested, and met up at the pub restaurant for the party.

When we were leaving after the party the staff told us that the road we arrived by was flooded and traffic was not getting through. So husband, who knew that area well, chose a different route.

Once we got into the car the local radio notified us of various flood spots and, of course, that the river had burst its banks at Bovey Tracey. Ah! What do we do?

Son in the back was panicking. We managed to calm him down.

But we reached the point where Police closed the road and husband was shown what the road looked like: a river! We were told to park up and walk.

So we did, in our party clothes! Thankfully I had opted to wear boots to keep me warm.

"County Rangers" were putting out sandbags and we were told, "You don't want to go that way. The water is waist high."

That frightened me a bit.

Thankfully after wading about 70-80 yards in not quite knee-deep water, we got to the bit of the road which was actually a bridge over the river and surprisingly our pub/restaurant/inn was quite dry considering that the river runs under it! We got back to our room.

Son was petrified that the flood waters would rise even further. He was just very tired and began to imagine the worst. So I comforted and reassured him that with the police down the road, the worst that could happen was they would evacuate us. He soon fell asleep.

This morning we found that it was "just another day in Bovey Tracey" (after Phil Collins) and people were out and about walking their dogs and getting their newspapers. The river level had fallen although the road was still 'puddley' right outside our room (which was in a dip).

Husband returned his abandoned car to the inn, and we packed up and left without even stopping for breakfast, keen to get out before the next rains appeared.

That first squelch (is that the right word?) of water inside one's shoes took a bit getting used to.

Mighty strange to think how instead of an 'Escape to the Country' we literally escaped from it.