Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not much stitching but loads of reading and plenty of rain!

Picture this.......... Friday night saw us with heavy rain, a gazebo in the back garden with the gas barbecue underneath it, DH cooking in wellies and a house full of rugby loving, giggly, noisy girls.
Sarah had expressed a wish a few weeks ago for a barbecue and video girlie night in for her birthday celebration.
You'd think in July there'd be a good chance of a pleasant evening in the garden - thank heavens for the conservatory, at least they felt like they were halfway into the garden
Sadly, here in the UK we've experienced the wettest weather on record over June and July. Some areas have flooded where floods have never been experienced before, people have lost everything as their homes have filled with foul smelling flood water and sadly even lives have been lost.
Here in Somerset we've been surprisingly lucky so far - a good proportion of the land in the east of the county is very low lying and floods as a matter of course during the winter usually. But so far, we've come away relatively unscathed. For now.........
It seems, just as the media exhausts the 'flood' stories in one area, and turns to report other news, the weather sends massive downpours in another part of the country and restarts the cycle somewhere else.
This week it's been the turn of Worcestershire and Gloucestershire among others.
On Friday Nigel's six year old nephew had to be rescued, along with all his schoolmates, by firemen from their primary school in Worcester which was filled with about 6 - 8" of water in minutes. When asked by my father in law if he'd been rescued by 'Fireman Sam' (a children's book and tv character here in the UK) he replied in a very disillusioned voice "No, his name was John!" A very dramatic end to the school year.
Another of Sarah's friends, who lives in Clevedon about 40 minutes from here, didn't arrive with us until after 9pm as her father got stuck in flooding near his work in Gloucester at 4pm trying to get to Bath to pick her up from her work experience for the onward journey to us.
This photo was on the BBC website and shows the scene on Friday at the bottom of the road we lived on in Gloucester before we moved to Taunton. I have never known the stream that goes under the road here come up above the bridge while we lived there. In fact I've only seen one picture of a scene like this, in an old book about Hucclecote, caused by melt water from the heavy snows in the notorious winter of 1947

People have been stranded on motorways for hours on end, other people have been put up by friends, neighbours and sometimes complete strangers. Siobhan at Scraps and Threadtails ended up with unexpected and unknown houseguests the other evening.

Thankfully we only had to improvise with a barbecue - so many people have experienced so much worse.
Last night the scout and cub group that our two youngest go to held their biggest fundraising event of the year. 'Rock on the Green' is an open air small scale rock concert featuring local bands and is held on a small self contained park near us being organised by a combination of the local charity groups in the area. The scouts always put on the barbecue and Nigel and I had volunteered to help while the kids danced the night away enjoying the music.
However as with all best laid plans it didn't quite work out that way.
Nick wasn't going to go this year as he had a birthday sleepover at his friends house round the corner.
Sarah called us from work at about 3pm Saturday afternoon asking us to pick her up as they were sending her home ill. So of course that meant that mum ended staying home with her for the evening.
This meant that only Dad and Lou ended up at Rock on the Green along with our friend Sue and her 8yo daughter Holly.
With my best taxi-driver's cap on I did save them getting totally soaked as I drove them there at the start and collected them just before midnight at the end.
Nigel tells me I missed a jolly good evening as the bands were excellent and the scout company on the barbecue stall was great fun. But someone did have to stay home and look after Sarah.
At least I didn't get soaked and I had the opportunity in total peace and quiet to sit and devour our newly acquired copy of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' - a bargain at ASDA for £5 with a recommended cover price of £17.99, can you believe that?
In between taxi trips I finally turned the last page at 1.15am this morning.
For all of you HP fans out there who haven't read it yet I'm not going to give anything away - just to say IMHO it's the best of the seven books and I couldn't put it down.
So with all this going on, as you can imagine, I've achieved the square root of nothing on the stitching front. I shan't get much opportunity to do any today either as I have several hours of 'Work' work to put in this afternoon as all the new contract paperwork for the Teaching Assistants has to be completed and there's no way I'd get that done in the melee of the school office over the next two days - so in the relative peace and quiet of my dining table I shall squirrel away at that this afternoon and put a claim in for my time to make up for it.
However even if I haven't been sewing, quilty things have crept into the weekend round the edges.
Yesterday afternoon I had a lovely phone call from Juliann at Unwritten. She is currently on a holiday over here with her family and we had hoped to get together in Glastonbury today. However I think they've had serious fun and games with the weather and transport as well and they sadly can't make it. It was great to talk to her though and I hope they enjoy the rest of their stay.
In the post yesterday morning I received two lovely surprises....
A beautiful postcard from Lily at Cascade in Australia by way of a thankyou for her 'Stars' pattern and the pin cushion I sent her recently. It never ceases to amaze me how these lovely postcards you see on peoples' blogs actually survive the rigours of the postal system.
And a pattern with accompanying FQ's of some very pretty fabric from Leanne's giveaway. What treasure. If you hop over to her blog they're having snow in her part of Oz - bizarre!
This last piece of fabric is some I bought from an old BQL friend, Marian, on ebay, to make a quillow for the aforementioned rescued nephew for Christmas - he just loves tractors.
I'm planning ahead here girls, but it doesn't mean I'll be in any less of a rush when it comes round to December


Jeanne said...

Happy birthday to Sarah!
Be careful with all your bad weather! Wish we could share some of it -- we're in the dryest year in 130 years :(

YankeeQuilter said...

The weather sure has made a mess of a lot of plans! Glad to hear the HP book is good...mine should arrive sometime this week. Love the tractor fabric!

meggie said...

Happy Birthday Sarah.
So glad you are not in danger of flooding. Feel so sorry for those who have been flooded.
You have been so busy!!

Libby said...

So glad to hear you haven't been terribly impacted by the rains - our news shows the worst of the flooding and makes it seem countrywide.

Lily said...

I'm so glad the postcard arrived in one piece! Thanks again Anne :) The weather is just bizarre both in England and in Australia...

Good on you for planning ahead too! Lovely tractor fabric - your nephew will be well pleased I'm sure.

atet said...

Oh, that weather looks nasty. Glad you've stayed dry though. The new Harry Potter was WONDERFUL!!! I spent most of my weekend reading it as well -- so not much stitching going on here, but oh my. Now I jut need to get a British copy to round out my collection and it is complete. :0)

Dordogne Clare said...

Belated Happy Birthday to Sarah. This Mum is having "I hate you and I'm never going to speak to you again" problems with DD and DD friend's. Worrying aren't they when they get to 12.

It is absolutely chucking it down here - strong winds and horrible. I think this is what you have been having over the last 3 days or so. Saw all the TV pics on the BBC last night - it really is horrific. I can never ever remember floods like that! Aunt and Uncle are stuck on their hill in Hereford. The River Lugg has cut them off!

HP7 is en cours. Should be arriving today so don't tell me anything!


Vintage to Victorian said...

As you say, we've been lucky here in the south-west, haven't we. But how I feel for all those not so lucky.

Thanks for popping in to let me know about the David Austin rose catalogue. I think I need that rose, don't you?!!


Ruth's Place said...

Hope your weather clears up soon. My husband and I spent the weekend reading Harry Potter aloud to each other as we couldn't decide who got to read it first :) Haven't finished it yet.

KCQuilter said...

So glad to hear that you are okay. When I saw news reports about the flooding there, I immediately thought of you and hoped you weren't affected too much.

Judy said...

We had an article in our local paper about the rains in England today..I think they said worst in like 60 years! Stay safe!

homemakerkate said...

Sorry to hear of all the flooding there. I have been looking around at different quilt blogs and came across yours. You have a beautiful family.

homemakerkate said...

Sorry to hear of all the flooding there. I have been looking around at different quilt blogs and came across yours. You have a beautiful family.

Supermom said...


I found your blog via a fellow quilter. Just wanted to let you know of a mini-quilt swap I am hosting. We'd love to have you if you are interested. The details are given at the blog link below. If it happens that you are not interested, I'd still appreciate if you could spread the word in the event some of your blog's readers might like to participate. Thanks!