Well that was some week! I said at the end of last week that we were on orange alert for storms for the weekend, and they weren't wrong. On Saturday morning we had an epic storm. After waking up to the rumble of thunder all around, and an occasional flash of lightening, the heavens opened. Surrounded by reluctant animals again, we watched as small rivers started to flow down the street to the storm drains. But then we noticed that it was bubbling up around a drain cover in our front yard.
I have mentioned the acequia or agricultural water before. It runs around the village through channels, and every three weeks or so, anyone who subscribes to it, can open pipes on their land and the water floods in around their plants and keeps them going until it is their turn again. This must be turned on at a central point at the top of the village to start it flowing, but we don't know where, nor who is responsible for it.
Anyway, one of the drain covers in our yard has pipes to direct the water onto our land (left over from when there was an orange grove where we now have the swimming pool), and a second pipe that redirects the water under the road to what was a small orange grove over there. It also no longer exists and a house has been built on that land this year. But the channels remain, and the water still flows through them, and we assume that the second drain, which is very deep, carries the excess off to the main drainage system.
So it would seem that there is a blockage somewhere! As the rain continued to come down, the overflowing water ran across our tiny square garden, under the side gate, and into our side yard.
All along the ledge at the side, there are small drains for when we wash down the yard, so Chris waded out through the water to check that they were all flowing freely, but they were no competition for the rain which showed no sign of letting up. Soon it was gushing out of the drain like a small waterfall...
...and the yard was filling up at an alarming rate.
My heart goes out to those poor folk in N.Carolina and the Philippines who have suffered storms and flooding on a much greater scale. There is something quite soul destroying to watch water levels, knowing they will rise, and knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop them.
Our mini-flood continued until there were several centimetres of water over and above the entire yard, including the swimming pool!
The bag of garden rubbish on the table was rescued when it floated down from the other end. Eventually the water rose just high enough to spill over onto the floor of the pump house. The dogs drinking bowl is bobbing about on the top of it.
Then thankfully the rain stopped! As quickly as it came, the excess water drained away and we were left with a rather muddy yard and a dark brown swimming pool.
The silver lining to this cloud is that the water stopped short of the step into the porch and the back of the house, and nothing was seriously damaged, though the pool will have to be completely drained for the first time ever, and probably will need to be relined, which will be expensive, and is not covered by our insurance. But it could have been a lot worse.
As a follow up to that, this is a picture of the land next-door, taken last Saturday just as the rain was stopping.
And this is the same piece of land today.
What a difference a week makes!! Give it a couple more weeks, and it will be smothered in lush green 'weeds' up to our waists.
Sunday dawned drier if not much brighter, so I set off for church as it was our Harvest Festival and that is one of my favourite services in the church calendar. There was a fair bit of mud washed onto the road, but no significant damage on the route I was taking. We had a good turn out despite the weather. A couple of our members had been in on Friday to decorate the church and as usual it looked lovely.
On each side there were baskets of fresh produce from people's gardens and the market, and there was that lovely smell of apples, earth and vegetables.
After the service some of this was sent to friends who are sick, and the rest was taken home again as the Town Hall cannot accept fresh goods for the food bank as it is not always distributed straight away.
The traditional elements of light, bread, wine and water were represented on the altar, with the lovely salt dough sheaf of corn made by my friend Pat several years ago, and lovingly packed away after each harvest service for next year.
In the centre was a fine display of packets and tins of food, brought in by the congregation to be taken to the Town hall in Zurgena for distribution among the needy. It is a lovely way to acknowledge our gratitude for all we have, and to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
As the week continued in a rather dull and dismal way, I took the opportunity to tackle a task that has been on my "to do" list all summer. I sorted out our bedroom, and more specifically, my wardrobe. I said 'hello' to a few outfits I had forgotten about, and also filled three black bags with items I haven't worn in years. These will be sorted again into a few items that should go to a charity outlet, (we have an animal charity shop in Turre, and one for Cancer support), and the rest will go into the clothes bank, which I think is run by Red Cross. Two bags were winter clothes and they can go now, and one bag of summer wear can go in the garage until next spring. Everything is now hanging properly in the relevant spaces, and I am almost looking forward to some cooler weather so I can wear some of it again.
I had some nice post on Monday. Since my new kitchen was finished I have had nowhere to sit down in there, and I missed that. I had a small area at the end of the work surface, left with nothing under it, so I could have a chair there, but the normal dining chairs were much too low. So I have been looking for a bar-stool type of seat, and last week we saw a pair on Amazon so Chris ordered them. And I am very happy with them.
It is inevitable that the cats will sit on them too, and they are covered in a soft faux leather which will soon be spoiled by sharp little claws, so I have put a cushion on one, and now they both have one. They are very comfortable to sit on, and have already been put to good use.
As all knitters and crocheters will attest, it is impossible to indulge in this hobby and not be left with lots of little balls of left-over yarn. Here is just some of mine.
And this week on the internet I saw a project that is a perfect way to use of some of them. Lucy, of Attic 24, showed a crochet covered clothes hanger, and I just loved it. I have had lots of padded, material covered hangers, but they are too fat, and take up too much space on my hanging rail, but some knitted ones I was given many years ago, are much more useful. So I just had to give one of these a go. I started out with an ancient wooden hanger I already had. It had my son's name written on it from some school project, and he is 32 now! But it has given it a new lease of life.
I used Lucy's idea for decorating it, with a row of her bubble shell edging along the seam, and two of her flowers and leaves, but she did suggest using hearts or buttons instead.
I have found it almost to impossible to find plain wooden hangers without the trouser rail across them, and I didn't want to use plastic ones, but Lucy mentioned this difficulty and told us that there were some available on Amazon, as long s you put the word 'crescent' in your search bar, and sure enough I found them. So I ordered a set and they arrived on Wednesday, so there is no stopping me now.
One evening I grabbed a short window between showers to give the dogs their tea, and while I was waiting for them to finish eating, I stood by the back railings, looking out over the green zone, and little birds were swooping and diving, so close to me I could almost reach out and touch them. The air must have been filled with tiny bugs disturbed by the rain, and the birds were having a feast. I tried to catch them on camera, but as usual they were too fast for me. This was probably my best shot.
And finally a glimmer of hope, when the clouds rolled back and gave us a pretty sky at the end of the day. All week it has remained very warm, and today the sun is back, the clouds have disappeared and the temperature is in the mid-thirties. So this may be our only sunset for a while, but it made up for all the grey skies and rain.
Now it is time to link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World. We have a very special choir practice to go to tonight. The man who is MD for the concert in Royal Albert Hall in November, is visiting us to hear us sing, and give us more information about the songs, and how the evening will come together, so we will all need our best voices, and have pencils at the ready to take notes.