Living Between the Lines

Rain, rain go away…

So runs the nursery rhyme. This month’s storms, bringing with them the misery of floods and ruined homes in many parts of Britain, seem never-ending. We spent last week in Cornwall as it happens, where some of the worst weather was being experienced. The coastal towns saw waves crashing over harbour walls and flooding the streets. Tides were reaching record levels and the railway line at Dawlish in Devon has been left hanging in mid-air. There was something quite surreal about seeing that rail wavering in the wind, the ballast beneath completely washed away.

Now we hear there could be snow — oh joy.

Not all is bleak though.
Our trip to Cornwall, though wet and windy in the extreme, was without incident. The house, Treleigh, is built well above the road and so set safely above sea level, thankfully. The town quay did not fare so well as you can see by the photograph below. Wellingtons were the order of the day here.

Flooded street in Fowey
Flooded street in Fowey

We did see this enormous ship being towed to safety along the Fowey river by local tug boats, right outside our window.

Large ship ahoy!
Large ship being rescued by tugboats

We also had one day’s respite from the wind and rain, during which we walked from Fowey to Golant and back, in sunshine. Golant is about 4 miles away. We had thought we would stop in Golant for a drink and a bite to eat but alas, all was shut. We had to come straight back.
Still, the photographs really did make it worthwhile. You can barely see the deep mud we had to trek through, our boots threatening to come off our feet at every step.


Boats at Golant
Boats at Golant

It reminded me of a walk in the Lake District when our children were small – speaks for itself…or rather Laura does…

Back home in Hampshire, the weather has been similarly atrocious but on Wednesday, I braved the woods with Flossie. The weather was slightly calmer than it has been and the trees were not bending quite so alarmingly. Even so, we took the wider paths just in case. On returning home I had a very wet and muddy dog who allowed me to shampoo and shower her. I was wearing my pink jacket at the time.

Bere Forest
Trees bending in the wind

Today, I decided another trek to the woods was in order in spite of the rain. A friend accompanied us. I wore the pink coat again.
Mid-way through the walk, my friend looked at me, oddly.
“What’s that on your coat?” she asked.
I followed her gaze to my sleeve. The entire sleeve was lathering up and as I watched, the other sleeve followed suit. In fact, the entire front of my coat was foaming like mad.
In a lather
Foaming sleeve

Lesson learnt:
“You must never hug your dog close whilst shampooing her—”
I sound like my little grandson, Leon, who solemnly told me at breakfast the other morning,
“There are 5 rules Grandma: Rule number one is: you must always listen to adults…”

Well, there is always a silver lining — my washing machine broke down this morning, this could be a new way of washing clothes — perhaps the rain can stay a while longer…

I am an Author, wife to one, mother to five and grandmother to six. I live in the English countryside in Hampshire, UK, with my husband and two dogs and am a non exec Director for Glow


  • Hilary

    Bother or worse .. I’ve just written a long comment and it’s got eaten – I do hate that!

    So glad you got to Cornwall and had a safe trip up and down and were able to get out and about .. walking to Golant ..

    My mother would have been amazed to hear about the storms in Newlyn, that was where her Care Home was and where she lived for 40 years or so … I thought the railway line looked like a rope bridge …

    Leon is brilliant – love his #1 … does he have a 2,3,4 and 5? His memory bank might be rained off right now …

    Love the pink coat with its foam – that is fun to see … Flossie must be enjoying her muddy walks …

    Grandson has amused me .. cheers to you – Hilary

    Don’t get eaten! please blogger …

    • Debbie

      Comment still in one piece, as are we Hilary. I have had several comments ‘eaten’ of late so I now copy them before I publish just in case. Your mother must have loved Newlyn – such a shame the storms did so much damage. Leon doesn’t yet have the rest of the rules – Nursery tell me they are re-jigging them and the “must listen to Adults” is now, “Must listen to parents and teachers,” to differentiate us from strangers they might meet. A sign of the times sadly. I just love the things they say 😉

  • deb

    I loved the video and the voices in it! I hope your winter settles down a bit. I’m envious of your time in Cornwall, although I’d prefer to do in on foot and not in a rowboat!

  • Debbie

    Thanks Deb, Cornwall is beautiful I have to say. We are so lucky to have a house there. As for the video – it is one of those memorable moments that is great to share now and then. We all sound a bit hysterical of course… 🙂

  • Andrea Carlisle

    How I’d love to visit Cornwall, but maybe I should wait for a dryer time. Was this an unusual event? Or is it part of the local scene every winter?
    Loved the video. Those shoes!
    Somehow I’ve fallen off your mailing list. I wasn’t notified about this post. I guess I’ll need to sign up again.

  • Deborah Barker

    Hi Andrea, I installed my blog on my own domain recently and WordPress forwards the link so I think WordPress may have ‘lost you’ sorry about that. I hope I haven’t lost all my followers. Yes, do sign up again! As for Cornwall—wet and windy a lot of the time but gorgeous all the same. Flooding is not a normal event as such, not to this degree. A village near us is still flooded, this must be the 55th day.
    The shoes – my daughter now has children of her own but this video is one I love to share – it is so ‘her’ “What are you going to do now?” I, her mother, ask her, “Wear them,” she says flatly, slipping her mud soaked socks into the plates of mud she is offered. Priceless! 🙂

  • John Cowton

    Hi Debbie, I think WordPress has lost me too, as I did not receive my usual notification. I have somewhat wet and extremely rainy memories of my last visit to Cornwall, when we stayed at Helford. Our cagoules ensured we were able to explore the natural beauty of that part of Cornwall and thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. I admire the fact that you remained undeterred by this years floods. It is good to be out in the rain, if you are prepared for it. Driving there is not so much fun. I drove through a flood near my sister in Worcester and the force of the water under my car blew my front number plate off. Easily fixed and easy to laugh about, not so for those who have houses and business premises flooded. I do hope the rain ends for them soon.

    • Deborah Barker

      Sorry John, I didn’t realise my subscribers would not automatically come with me. I think WordPress can arrange their transport so am waiting…don’t panic, a bus will be along in a minute.
      We took the children to Helford for a holiday when they were young, we stayed in a farmhouse but there was a dual carriageway being built across the land which disrupted our stay somewhat. The farmhouse was so cold we were looking for coal in August to stoke the boiler! We spent a fortune on indoor amusements (Flambard’s Village etc.) but despite the weather, all that and the fact that we left a few days early, I still adore Cornwall. It was the destination of many childhood holidays and teenage excursions. Each one presented me with a tale to tell…
      I second your wish for the rain to stop so that people can reclaim their properties and begin to mend. There is a village near us that has been flooded for 60 days I believe. A sense of humour is essential though or we’d all go mad!

  • Rena George

    My heart goes out to all those poor people whose homes, businesses, fields have been flooded in the recent, awful storms.
    I heard on Radio Cornwall this morning that the weekend’s high spring tides have brought even more new flooding problems to the area. Is there no end to it?
    I’m glad though, Debbie, that your holiday in lovely Fowey wasn’t completely spoiled. Loved all those beautiful photos. Rx

    • Deborah Barker

      Thanks Rena, our house is reached by a flight of steps and stands above the road by several feet so we were pretty safe. We love the winters in Fowey more than the summers but the weather has been exceptionally rough and it is awful seeing the damage done by the water. Even where we live, on the South Coast, there are problems of course. Still, Spring is round the corner and hopefully, a dry summer

Leave a Reply