Monday, 29 July 2013


It's been soggy the last two days. It started with the thunderstorms on Saturday night. I hadn't noticed the rain starting, and I was making such a lovely job of sorting out the remaining stuff in LYS's room and putting it all through the wash. There's still a soaked bath towel and a sodden Newcastle United rug flapping wetly on the washing line.

On Sunday was another big farewell do, when people said very nice things about us and cried. What was especially lovely was that all the family were together (except Daughter's Chap, who couldn't be there, but we gave him a mention). LOS and Daughter both contributed to the speeches which we hadn't expected, and it turned our hearts over. Daughter also sang that lovely Irish farewell song, The Parting Glass, and sang it beautifully.

They presented Tony with a cheque and a painting by a favourite artist, Kate Lycett, who can make grim wet Yorkshire streets look radiant. We've often looked at her paintings and wished we could own one. And for me there the most beautiful and enormous bouquet of white lilies and roses that scents the whole house. When I got it home I filled up the water reservoir and missed, so the carpet got wet. In fact, everything got wet. Never mind.

But today there have been more thunderstorms. Yet again, everyone is looking anxiously at the sky, the hills and the river, and putting sandbags against their front doors. We're safe here, but after the floods of last year everyone is nervous and there has been some flooding higher up the valley. I was supposed to be meeting a friend (Henrietta, another author) this evening, but we had to cancel because the road was closed.

Yet another flood makes it easier, in a way, for us to pack up and go away from this wild wet valley. But our hearts are with the ones who have to stay, and it seems unfair.

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