Saturday, 12 December 2015

Adventures in the rain.

Slowly, inexorably, our back garden is turning into a lake. Earlier in the day it was a collection of puddles but by late afternoon the puddles had joined and a lake was definitely forming. I don't think there is any danger of flooding: it would need to be several inches deep all over the garden before it could get over the step and under the back door. What's more, there is a bit of a slope so it would have to be very deep at the bottom of the garden. However, the situation probably needs monitoring. 

It has rained all day. First thing this morning, I looked out and it seemed to be simply damp. So I donned my running gear and ventured forth, only to discover that a fine rain was indeed falling. But I was out by then and continued on my way. I almost certainly should have retreated indoors at once. Certainly, I should not have shut the door behind me. For when I returned, having run round the village, avoiding the path by the old millpond as it was already very muddy on Tuesday, I found that I had not taken my keys with me. I had a small key ring with Tesco card, a library card and a Go Outdoors card, all small size, and a couple of keys for unlocking bike locks. This is the keyring which usually has my house keys attached. So what had happened? It remains a mystery. 

 As a result I spent five minutes standing on the doorstep, ringing the doorbell, hammering on the door, ringing the house phone and Phil's mobile again and again and again until eventually I woke the sleeping man and he came and let me in. Ridiculous! 

Neither of us has ventured out since then as the rain became heavier and there seemed little point in going out to get wet! It's been considerably worse than yesterday when I walked in the gloom of the grey sky day to meet our granddaughter at the local garden centre. En route, I had to take my life in my hands and walk in the road as the thoughtful car drivers who usually park with two wheels on the pavement had parked so close to the wall that it was impossible to pass by on the pavement! Wonderful! 

Anyway, I met the granddaughter as planned and we walked through the park to the garden centre. The object of our expedition was to look for a small Christmas tree. I had seen the ideal one in Manchester a few weeks ago but had not bought it because of the difficulty of carrying it across Manchester to my Italian class and back. As a rule I end up buying something much bigger than I really want but I was determined to get something small enough this year to pop into a little corner and not take up too much space. This year the smallest granddaughter will be running around and we want to minimise the possibility of a confrontation with a tree twice her size. 

So we found a tiny tree, which no doubt will cause great amusement to a good friend of ours, but which perfectly meets my requirements. Then we decided to go for coffee. Unfortunately my granddaughter had her small dog with her and the garden centre cafe had a no dogs policy. A short walk up the road, however, took us to local nature study centre which also has a cafe. So off we went and installed ourselves on their little terrace. There were heaters, and blankets on the chairs, so we felt we would be fine there. 

And so we were, until five minutes after our coffee and snacks arrived. At that point the wind picked up and an automatic mechanism began to retract the awning to prevent it being blown away. Unfortunately this left us exposed to the elements: mostly wind but also occasional squalls of drizzly rain! 

This is why cafe terrace culture is less developed in the UK than in other parts of Europe, less developed in the Northwest of England than in other parts of the country and less developed in Saddleworth than in other parts of Greater Manchester. 

But we survived, lived to tell the tale and successfully brought the tiny tree back to my house.

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