I was out walking near Ripon this morning. For once it’s not raining – and it has been, more often than not, for days and days. But the river, viewed on a gusty but mild Autumnal morning, offered proof of all that recent rain. The Ure raged and surged at the bridges. Every bank had been breached, and trees were paddling in several feet of water. Impromptu lakes formed in fields and too-close-for-comfort to urban streets. Riverside paths, usually solid affairs of beaten earth, were slick and slippery with sludge: or worse, deeply hidden under soft ribbons of oozy mud. How very like an English November, I thought.
But then I remembered a November in France, only two years ago. It made our current Autumn weather look rather OK, especially as it’s unseasonably mild: 16 degrees today. Nobody’s talking about snow …… yet.
I think we’ve had enough. When I last posted – three days ago – we’d already had a week of rain. It’s barely stopped since. During the night, we can hear dull thudding as the roof tiles take another sodden pounding. We get up in the morning, raise the shutters, and immediately the rain batters the windows. Going for the breakfast loaf, usually a good way to begin the day, seems unattractive. We make a comforting pan of porridge instead. And so the day wears on. We go out when we have to, but there’s no pleasure to be had in scurrying down the street, heads down, coats spattered by any passing car. And I don’t know when we’ll ever have a country walk again. The fields are waterlogged, the paths sticky and slippery with thick deep mud.
This was the River Touyre this morning…
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