30 December 2015

Flooding

"The White Swan" in Blyth
Thank you to Lee, blogging from her sun-kissed mountain in Queensland. Watching TV just yesterday, she saw reports about flooding in northern England and sent me her best wishes. We have had a lot of rain and several rivers have been unable to cope with the huge volumes of water but I am happy to say that our city - Sheffield - remains unaffected..

Like Rome, Sheffield is built on seven hills. Down in the valleys our five rivers flow eastwards towards The North Sea - The Don, The Loxley, The Rivelin, The Sheaf and The Porter. Back in 2007, The Don caused significant flooding to the north of the city centre but this was a very unusual event and this time things look fine thereabouts. Our house is on one of the seven hills so even if rain fell in biblical proportions, we would never need to  ask Noah for a lift. We are as dry as a nun's wotsit.

Yesterday, in stark contrast to the flooding misery, I drove out of the city in brilliant sunshine. I was on my way to The Lakeside Shopping Village near Doncaster to meet up with my younger brother Simon in order to exchange Christmas gifts. I set off early, intending to take a detour to the North Nottinghamshire village of Blyth.

I visited this salubrious village for the first time in February 1978 when, as a young teacher, I was living nearby in rented accommodation in the village of Carlton-in-Lindrick. Bob, my temporary landlord, drove us there for Sunday lunch in "The White Swan". Though I have walked close to Blyth and driven by it a few times, I hadn't been back in the place for thirty seven years.
The "Gogglebox" vicarage.
Blyth is the home village of "Gogglebox" vicar Kate and her family. I snapped a picture of  the vicarage and subsequently my lovely daughter has accused me of being a "stalker". Fortunately Kate did not run out of the house with a rolling pin nor did her husband Graham set their dopey dog on me. I slunk away as stalkers do, to get pictures of Blyth's magnificent Norman church and "The White Lion" pub.

The church is the oldest Norman building in Nottinghamshire and it speaks eloquently of the village's former significance - both geographical and political. It was lovely to see it in bright winter sunshine. And then I drove on to see Brother Simon. Happily, he had bought me a bottle of Irish whiskey - elixir of the Celtic gods and much enjoyed by modern day stalkers.
Gargoyle pulling a face
Crow sitting on a stone pinnacle on the tower

16 comments:

  1. Good to know your place is not affected by the floods. My family in Ripon are also safe, in spite of the three rivers there. But I do feel sorry for all those poor people whose homes and businesses have been flooded yet again. I don't know what I'd do - give up and move elsewhere, or start all over again.

    Great pictures of sunny blue skies and beautiful buildings. The vicarage certainly does not look like the image I see in my mind when I hear the word "vicarage", but I suspect it's a much more comfortable place to live and work in than many of the more picturesque variety.

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    1. The picturesque "Old Vicarage" is close by - now a private house. Like you, I don't know if I could cope with the misery that flooding causes.

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  2. Glad to know you are safe and dry up there on your hill, YP. Elder Daughter is also at the top of one of the steepest roads in Sheffield, so she too should stay unflooded.

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    1. Is she at the top of Blake Street? And what about Wrexham? Are you developing webbed feet yet Jenny?

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  3. Well, now...even if the flooding waters surround the hill upon which you dwell, Yorkie, closing off all your escape routes, you'll be just fine with that bottle of Irish whiskey at hand to see you through as you shoo would-be rescuers away! :)

    All joking aside...I'm glad you're high, dry and safe.

    Northern tropical areas of Qld are experiencing flooding rains as are the drought-affected western areas...which is just wonderful. Many of those north-western areas of the state and further down haven't seen a drop of rain in four years. Summer in Australia...floods in the north; bushfires in the south.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-floods-police-reissue-flood-warning-20151230-glwymz.html

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    1. Shut it all from your mind Lee. Stroke your cats, drink your pina colada and thank The Lord God Almighty that you are The Queen of Tamborine Mountain!

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  4. What a beautiful day you had. I love the picture of the clock.

    I had been wondering how you have been fairing. There are places here in the states that have been devastated by flooding and tornados this past week. And it continues. 15 dead at last count. Not a very nice Christmas for Missouri or parts of Texas, West Virginia and Kansas.

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    1. Yea MT. In England the TV news has shown some of the stuff that has been happening in The States. Crazy weather stuff. You can't argue with a tornado.

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  5. There's terrible flooding happening all over the US right now and dozens of people have died. And even locally we had unprecedented floods back in October. We're still dealing with floods and it's rained almost every day this month.

    The weather is strange. It's been a record breaking month, very warm every day and not even a frost--in December! People were on shorts on Christmas day. It all makes me very uneasy.

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    1. All that was to say that I feel bad for the people there who are effected, and I'm glad you're safe and dry, Mr. P!

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    2. In England this has been the warmest December on record. In cold winters our weather comes down from the Arctic but so far it has been coming from the south west - across the Atlantic! Speaking ironically - "Thanks for that Jennifer!"

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    3. You're welcome!!!!!

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  6. Is it a crow or is it a rook? Whatever they do like such perches.

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    1. You are probably right Gerald - a rook. If you look carefully at the picture of the church you can see that bird on the right-hand pinnacle.

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  7. Glad to hear the flooding hasn't affected you. Olga is boarding in Oxfordshire and I keep wondering what's going on there...but we've heard nothing so maybe they're far enough south to be out of the danger zones. I love Gogglebox (as I think I've said) and I wouldn't call you a stalker just for taking a picture of Kate's house. She's a minor celebrity, after all, and that kind of thing goes with celebrity!

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    1. When you get back to England, I suggest that you have Olga measured up for a life jacket just in case London becomes the new Venice.

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