After The Flood

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,




24 thoughts on “After The Flood

  1. Having been flooded here in Belfast a few years back I know how things are with you. At least our flood was clean water from a burst water main. I can only imagine how filthy your experience was. Wishing you all the best as you get things pulled together again. 💕💕💕

  2. I can only imagine the sheer back breaking work involved, not to mention the expense. It must have felt as though you had been invaded and pillaged. Sending you best wishes for a quick return to normality xx

  3. Oh for heaven’s sakes. Terrible. And to lose food from freezers – extremely terrible. We finally had a generator installed the size of a small building to prevent outages. We have a lot of them here in the country. It’s always unpleasant whether in the freezing cold or hot summer heat, but it’s the loss of the food that makes me the saddest.

  4. I’m so sorry. That’s just awful. I’ve never had to endure flooding, but it’s always the loss of food that makes me the saddest during any kind of natural or unnatural disaster.

  5. Oh, Linda, I HAD been missing you, but flooding hadn’t occurred to me as the reason for your absence. You sound very phlegmatic about the whole thing, though I guess at bottom you aren’t. Good luck. Don’t let The Water Grind You Down. Margaret xx

    • Well, to be honest it’s a combination of lack of time because of the cookery school and more recently, the flood. The latter has been somewhat wearing and has left us a bit shell-shocked, but moaning doesn’t get you anywhere and truthfully, compared to some of our neighbours we got off lightly. Mind you, we haven’t had a price for repairing the bridge yet. 🙂

  6. sorry to hear about the flood. we here in brisbane had a massive flood early last year so we know how awful it is! all the best.

  7. So sorry to hear this Linda.
    I’m in awe of you sipping G&T while dabbling your bare feet in the water flooding your kitchen – I’d have been howling at the Universe.
    All your lovely food 🙁 How that must hurt.
    Heartfelt good wishes for the continuing clean-up operation.

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