We drive into Winterborne K to find our road closed to through traffic. There is standing water outside our house and a ‘driftline’ which marks the highest point that the flooding attained along the tarmac outside our front gate. Some of the cottages opposite have taken precautions against rising groundwater, banking sand bags along their frontage and elevating some of their ground floor furniture onto bricks.
This is no surprise to us; we have had similar excessively wet conditions in France and have been monitoring the situation in our part of Dorset thanks to the Environment Agency’s Live Flood Map service on the internet. The water sits around for a few days, occasionally receiving a top up from yet more rainfall but our house remains well clear of flooding.
We are glad to catch up with friends and family. Maddy and Andrew come for a DVD, a meal and an episode of Sherlock. I meet up with Book Group to discuss a ghastly read, The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, and the following evening the Cadecs, the Hydes and the McGoverns come for supper which is highly entertaining as everyone lets their hair down over wine and a kitchen supper. It’s so cool living within minutes of each other.
On Saturday afternoon there is a traditional festive jaunt when Christina and I accompany Mum and Cerys to see Peter Pan on Ice at Bournemouth Pavilion. Visually stimulating and requiring no good hearing or concentration it is a perfect treat for the very young and the very old.
The weekend before we cross back to France in anticipation of our Connemara jaunt with Les Poulets, Barney brings the brood to WK. They arrive on Friday night in time to sample the delights of the Sunny Republic, then we repair to TOW for lasagne and a bit of a chill. For Saturday I have booked a Bowling session in Poole which is a great success (although not without its repercussions!!) and we squeeze in a trip to Maiden Newton to pay homage to the celebrated Bertie. Back at the ranch there is time to feed everyone a Roast dinner before they set off for Shillingford.
A trip to Chestnuts for a quiz and a bit of time with Mum completes the current sojourn in Dorset; the following morning we sail for Caen.