When you are my great age- turned 13 -(91 in dog years)- you have seen a few diferent days of weather but nothing could have prepared me for this week. On Wednesday night I went to bed with a weather forecast about some strong winds and possible snow and in the middle of the night I was awoken by a howling gale and an Orange weather warning on the television- but that was before the power went out and the lights went dark and then an eerie silence only exageratting what was going on outside. There is something about the dark which seems to make the wind seem stronger and the rain seem heavier but still I knew it was going to be rough when I opened the door.
Luckily- although not deliberately - I have put on a few pounds and in truth as I rounded the corner of the house I was glad of every extra ounce and the fact that I am shrinking closer to the floor. Ears horizontal, nose to wind and then it was a case of avoiding the passing leaves, branches, flower pots and even a flying paddling pool before I could retreat into the perceived peace of the house but even there it seemed rough and unsafe.
We waited for the wind to subside but by 5.30am it was clear that it was not happening soon so off to the main house to insure it was Ok and that the generator had started to keep boilers running and fridges cool. One of the benefits of living on top of the hill is that we get stunning scenery and ability to survey the surrounding land- one of the disadvantages is that we are exposed to the weather so coming down to the main house was a respite from the storm. Then off down the drive to check on the bridge and half way the journey was thwarted by a fallen tree- a quick survey highlighted that this was not going to be an easy fix so we returned to the shed for tools and saws but by the time we returned to the tree it had been joined by two others- and fortuitously one of these had been where we had been parked not ten minutes earlier to survey the inital fallen tree.
So now the real work started in the head lights of the tractor- initially it was branches and twigs to clear but as dawn broke and daylight began to emerge the size of the task began to become clear and one saw was never going to be enough. By this stage Sam and his 2 legged had joined us and with a couple of saws we set about disecting the tree. The good news was that it was so big and solid that it had fallen all the way to the ground and was safe in the knowledge it could go no further so it was a simple matter of getting it into small enough peices to move. At 9 we were joined by reinforcements but also news of a disaster impending at Lymphoy as one of the doors was about to give way. This- given te wind would not have seemed imporbale until I tell you that it already had steel shutters defending it aqnd te wind was whistling through the gaps nad the fiorce remained strong enough to blow the doors open- a temporary repair and some borrowed pieces from other windows fixed the lock- for the time being- note to self to return and fix prioperly in te future- and now back down the drive.
So back to the tree and we continued wiorking so that by noon we could see through the gap and by one we had it cleared and wuith the aifd of the tractor and its pushing power had a gap in the drive. Now it was time to retruin to the other fallen trees and cut apath to the bridge. by 2 we could drive up and down the road but in reality we were tired and exhausted.
At this time we thought better of the situation so locked the gate on the bridge- tied a note of caution and defeat and shut up shop till 9am the next day. A wise and correct decison as by 9 the next day whilst the wind and gone and the rain abated the drive was strewn with branches - many of whom had fallen after noon the day before and as the wind had dropped had been losened from their places up in the canopy and come tumbling down.
Good news was that no one was hurt and we are now back in operation and te clear up begins, no real damage , few slipped slates, a fallen tree in one of the spa suite gardens and a hige sigh of relief! Anyway now I have a reason for begging for extra lunch portions- just in case the wind returns and my added bulk is need to keep my paws on the ground!