Hello, lovely people. I’m so sorry I’ve been neglecting you. Things have been a bit chaotic here, chiefly because we got flooded during Storm Babet.
It was scary stuff. As some of you know, a stream runs around two sides of our house, so to access it you have to cross a footbridge from the car park and then a further bridge to get to the main garden. It wasn’t actually the stream that was at fault, though.
A flood on the road, which rapidly worsened over the course of a few hours, came pouring waist deep through the car park, hitting the footbridge “like Niagara Falls” according to my husband, who isn’t prone to exaggeration.
It knocked the garden bridge, which at a conservative estimate weighs about a ton, off its moorings and sideways into the stream, which by now was a mighty torrent going at 30-40 miles an hour. I have a new appreciation of why people drown in flash floods. Railway sleepers stacked in the car park were whirled away like twigs in a giant and deadly game of Pooh Sticks.
The house flooded, despite all his efforts to keep it at bay. He dealt with it single-handed, as I had breezily (hah!) waved off concerns about going out. I left at 12 noon to go to the local farm shop about 20 minutes away. I got home at 9.15 pm, having had to abandon the car and walk for 40 minutes. Every road I tried was flooded, with cars and even tractors stuck in the middle of them.
By 11.30 that night we’d mopped up what we could and sat on a bench in the kitchen dabbling our bare feet in the water and drinking gin and tonic. We got off lightly compared to many people in Suffolk and elsewhere in the UK. We lost two freezers and much of their contents, a fridge and some carpets.
Oh, and did I mention that we can’t get flood insurance here? The UK government has a scheme called FloodRe, a sort of secondary source for people like us who are refused it by the regular companies, but it’s expensive. “This house hasn’t been flooded since 1948,” I said, “and since then the banks of the stream have been terraced.. We’ll be fine.” Which just shows even I can be wrong sometimes. Don’t tell my husband.
We’d no sooner set the house back to rights than we were threatened by the possibility of a second flood courtesy of Storm Ciaran. It didn’t happen, thank goodness, but we’d already moved all the furniture and carpets again and put the new freezer up on chocks. We’re still at sixes and sevens but will be back up and running in the next week or so, apart from the drawing room which still lacks flooring. The lovely carpet and floor cleaning man who came to our rescue that first weekend got 54 buckets of water out of that carpet. Unsurprisingly it had to be junked.
So I’m afraid plans for blog recipes flew out of the window and got washed away downstream with all the flood debris, metaphorically speaking. We’ve been eating a slightly bizarre selection of things from the defrosted freezer and as it’s meat that spoils most easily, it’s been a carnivorous couple of weeks. I haven’t really been logging it and I certainly haven’t been photographing it, but I have been devoutly thankful that I had frozen home-made ready meals for (hollow laugh) a rainy day.
I’m not asking for pity, here, I just wanted to explain my absence. Like Arnie, I’ll be back. Please bear with me and thank you for sticking around to read this. In the meantime there are lots of existing recipes for you to explore. Please just put your key words in the search box.
All the best,