We knew today was going to be rainy, but I don’t think anyone really felt it was going to be as bad as it was. The kids and I were scheduled to go to a friend’s house for today and she had called yesterday to see if we wanted to plan on a walk in a wood near hers. I checked the forecast and it called for rain—but she was still game if it rains a bit—she’s definitely British! I still haven’t lost my Americanisms of waiting for sunny days, though I will venture out in steady drizzle these days, if there is something good to do. So I agreed reluctantly, as neither I nor the kids have proper rain gear at the minute—due to my usual practice of putting shopping on the bottom of any to-do list.
Anyway—we woke to rain, enough that I knew any walk would be cancelled, meaning less organizing first thing in the morning. We set off just after 10am, and hit the 1st mini-flood just about a mile from the house. I just figured it was a local drain problem and carried on. I thought about turning around, but didn’t want to look like too much of a wimp! So we carried on and in about 20 minutes we were at their house. As is the case, the rain stopped soon after we got there. We had a lovely afternoon and the kids did some crafts and lots of playing. Her three are like mine and entertain themselves most of the day without any help from the grown-ups. So the day sped by. Next thing we know its 4pm and we’re heading home before the traffic builds up! Ha!
To get to her house from the dual carriage way (like a Rt. 10 for those back home) you have to travel on basically a single-track road. Now, I’m just barely used to these now—but it’s even braver in the rain. But we get to the main road no problem, and we’re driving along, when everything just comes to a stand still. I’m one of those people who will generally stay in a jam and wait it out—but had a feeling this wasn’t good. After our last 2 hour stay in one spot further along on the same road, I wasn’t about to do that again. Luckily enough we stopped just before an exit, which I had no idea where it would lead to, but I crossed over a lane and got off. (Really brave of me, as I had no idea where I was and the roads here still confuse me to no end!) I recognized one of the town names on the signs and headed in that direction. It turned out to be a good choice, even though I was sitting on a narrow country lane with the engine off for a while in a traffic jam, listening to all the road closures on the radio.
Will just have to say at this point we’d been in the car for about an hour and the kids were handling it very well—as they are still upset over the last one. Luckily enough I had an apple for each of them and some other snacks on hand! We called Michael to let him know the news and where we were-which at that time I didn’t know! The road did lead to a road I knew—so we were on the right track, luckily enough. Though we were only about 5 miles at the most from the house—the road was chocker block with cars. I knew the main town was badly flooded so headed to our town. The roads weren’t too bad at first, but at the end of one was a flood about a foot high. Managed to get through that, to line up in yet more traffic. We continued on down towards our train station—to see a huge flood on the other side of the tracks.
There was no way to go, except through it. Have to say, heartbeat was getting a bit louder. Was louder by the end when I knew the car was conking out—much to the nuisance of the driver behind me. What does he want when an escort drives through 2 feet of rain? Well, the car conked out, kids are crying, guy behind me yelling, my heartbeat racing—how to rev a manual car and switch gears without it conking out again?!! Anyway after about ten attempts, we were puttering down the road, hoping nothing would make me stop. We get along for awhile, the roads all seem clear and no reason to stop and I calm the kids a bit. So we slowly sputter along, till our road. Yes we conked out again. I see loads of cars parked everywhere, don’t see any floods, so though I note this—I just concentrate on getting started again and head off.
Well we get going to face yes—the days mother of all floods! We were only about a half mile from the house. Yes –the car dies yet again in the middle of the road! Kids are crying, car is sputtering and I’m calling Michael. I get the car to the side of the road; try to calm them as we wait for Michael. He arrives, we calm the kids, and he starts the car and manages to drive it up on to the sidewalk. We all walk home, 2 1/2 hours after we started out, around this scene:
We did not have any injuries, car accidents or damage to the house, unlike thousands of people throughout the country this summer, so we count ourselves very lucky.