Sunday, 12 January 2014

Rain, rain go away.

 I thought it rained a lot in Devon - but here in Dorset, the effects of continuous rain soon become very apparent. Living in a valley means that the water table is not very far away - in fact in some houses, it is now only four inches below the floorboards! As fast as the water is being pumped out, it is flowing in from the surrounding fields - rain or nor rain. In one cottage, a trench has been dug through the sitting room, in another, the kitchen and sitting room are underwater. Two of our roads into the village are blocked with flood water but we are by no means the worst in the country; villages are cut off, people have been without power for days and there seems to be no let up to this cycle of bad weather. 

Here, in the Rectory, we are dry and have not had any power interruptions - we are fortunate. The Rector@6 visited houses and saw the devastation of the flood water. One of the main sources of the flooding is our 'winterborne' river which, this summer, had remained dry for most of its course through the village. The water just disappeared down 'sink' holes and into the ground, leaving the river bed exposed. I did wonder this summer, what happens to the fish when this happens? But now, the river banks can't hold the torrent of water that is trying to flow through the village. Our usual footpath to the fields is serving as a necessary overflow and diverting the water onto the road. It makes a spectacular waterfall flowing out onto the road! This, in turn, creates additional problems to the properties on the road- as the cars make their way through the floods to the next village. It's not often you see the sign asking,"Please don't bow wave our house".

Christmas and New Year Celebrations seem long in the past but, in reality, the Rector@6 and I ended our celebrations on Twelfth Night with a party for the ministry team and one set of the churches' parish councillors just six days ago. This was to thank them for their support and encourage them with their efforts to update an old parish room. It was a convivial evening with fun and food. The Rector@6 had forgotten to tell me that there was no oven in the kitchen of the parish room when he issued the invitation for supper - but we managed!
I can't believe how little spare time I have - hence my lack of blogging. So what have I been doing with my time? We are finally moving out completely from our Devon house and it is being rented to a village family in February - which is much better for the village (rather than being left empty and only used only for weekends and holidays). But it has been emotionally hard for me - it is the final acknowledgement that we have moved on (there is no going back!). We still have work to do and we are trying to get down to Devon whenever we can - and our eldest son and girlfriend have been doing loads of work for us. This has helped me to let go. Our Rectory looks similar to when we moved in, just under a year ago - with boxes in the porch and hall, settee and armchairs in the garage and a spare washing machine loitering in the passageway. Our next job is to find a home for all the excess goods - the ones that have made the move up here. Our son and girlfriend have already done a lot of sorting, recycling, dumping and rehoming of our stuff. Now it is our turn - am I dispassionate enough?
There is always hope - if we would just look for it.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

Here we go! 2014 is up and running - with storms and flooding and continuous rain. It is so wet we haven't even ventured out with the dogs - who are fed up with us. Christmas was a joyful period for the Rector@6, with the churches busy and all services seemed to go well. This first Christmas must surely be the hardest and we survived - although one negative comment came flying in our direction, just as the Rector@6 was about to take a day off. It wrecked the day - it may well have been justified in that person's eyes, but timing is of the essence! Maybe he didn't want the Rector@6 to sit back and think that 'all's well'. Sitting on the sidelines, I can see how like teaching the Rector's work is: - you never feel that you have got it totally right for everyone, you can always do more and you have to be able to juggle multiple things at the same time.Which is why I am not returning to teaching!!
Reflecting on this first Christmas made us see how broad these parishes are in their churchmanship. If only they could work together and appreciate others' differences amiably. There is much to do in 2014!  There are many positives to take with us into the New Year - not least, the commitment some adults have decided to make, by joining with our young folk's group, and be confirmed at the end of January by our Bishop. What a fantastic start to the New Year!