So we’re back after almost two days’ travelling – via Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, Paris, Manchester, Preston and Carlisle. It was weird after weeks of almost uninterrupted sunshine to be sitting in the airport on our way home reading about storms and flooding in Bigtownshire, but it seems to have done nothing but rain and blow gales while we’ve been away and we were a little worried about what we’d find on our return.
The sun at least was shining as we got out of Manchester Airport and we managed to catch an earlier train than I had expected, so we arrived home at about 7pm (and in my case, went to bed shortly afterwards…). Fortunately the cottage was still there, the Rayburn was still on, and all was more or less as we’d left it. The only problem was that the yard had obviously flooded at some point and some water got into the shed. The bikes were fine (first thing some people asked!) but we’ve been relying on heat logs for the woodburner this year and … well, let’s just say they don’t handle getting wet all that well and we now have a wheelybin full of sawdust and a new place to store our heat logs.
It wasn’t until this morning (quite late this morning …) that we actually looked out the window and noticed this in the back garden:
The landlords won’t be short of firewood next year
The only other casualty was my cloche, which I’d left up in the walled garden protecting the broad beans in case of a cold snap or heavy snow. It did occur to me – when I was approximately 3000 miles too far away to do anything useful about it – that it didn’t really handle high winds all that well. Sure enough, when I ventured up to fetch leeks for our supper this morning, bits of the cloche were scattered over the walled garden. The broad beans, fortunately, were just looking a little battered but unbowed.
And the ford, you cry? Well, it started raining steadily this morning and didn’t really let up all day. However, you will all be glad to hear I did managed to drag myself out into it all the same to test the low-light performance of my new phone’s camera.
I had hoped to get out and reacquaint myself with my bike and try out some of my Christmas loot but we’ve clearly gone soft after three weeks of sunny skies and American standards of central heating, so that was all the outdoors we managed today.
Fingers crossed the weather gods aren’t starting the year as they mean to go on. Meanwhile, have some random shots of the Temple Square in Salt Lake City – monumental architecture with a touch of the insane. But sunny…