Acrobat

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Our limited lockdown life became even more circumscribed today: we woke this morning to discover that the heavy overnight rain had completely flooded the lane outside our house. This saga has played out at intervals over a number of years – at one stage because the main drain below the road collapsed following construction work, and more recently because the Victorian culvert that feeds the water running down off the hillside into that drain has become blocked with debris. Because this is a small village it’s always been difficult to get the Powers That Be to consider a bit of flooding here to be a priority – we had to stamp our collective feet quite loudly (in a polite, middle-class way) to get the main drain replaced, and at the moment the various authorities are all repudiating any suggestion that they might be responsible for the culvert. On the plus side the water doesn’t actually threaten our house, which stands on a rise, but some of our neighbours are less lucky and have to resort to flood barriers.

I’ve been pretty diligent recently about taking exercise, even if that did mean a boring trudge around the village, but the thought of doing a brisk two-mile walk in wellingtons didn’t appeal, which left me confined to the homestead all day. (R did go out this morning, to take some photos of the submerged culvert, but came back very cross with his boots full of water, after missing his footing and ending up in the ditch.) As it was warm I spent a while in the garden searching for invertebrates, but even that was problematic because our land slopes down to the brook that runs through the middle of the village, meaning that it floods in both directions – downwards from the road, and upwards from the stream – and today much of it was under water. I found a few flies and some tiny turquoise Empoasca leafhoppers, but nothing that photographed especially well, which is why Nick the squirrel gets to be my cover star this evening.

R and I have tickets to take our exercise at Croome tomorrow, but there’s been yet more rain tonight, so it remains to be seen if we’ll be able to get the car out in the morning to make the trip, or if we’ll be trapped in this swamp for another tedious day. I try not to be more ridiculous than I can help, but I have to admit that I’m starting to take the curtailment of normal life just a little bit personally now, and having the weather taking against us as well feels like insult added to injury.