Thursday, 20 February 2014

The room with a view of the Caribbean Sea.

Soggibottom bears can be found in the most unlikely places.

You might remember this guy, Jim's bear, when he had his photo taken in our cottage window seat a few months ago.

Dubu now lives with Jim and his wife on a small island, situated off the coast of Belize.
Jim promised to send some photo's and true to his promise here they are.
It seems that the bear refuses to take off his Winter togs.
He made the journey, from Devon to London, by air to Mexico, bus, helicopter, then a boat.
Lucky devil.
It's always good to know Soggibottom bear's have made it to their destination.
We also love having photo's of them in their new homes. Bears or Hares, if you have any photo's you would like to send we would love to see them.

Even we have been having some sun this week. Nothing to compare with the sunny Caribbean I'm afraid.
It's half term, school is out.

At Bigbury beach, kids have been digging in the sand, coats have started to come off, things look so different when the sun shines.

We checked on the beach road that had been covered in sand after the storms last week.
It's passable and apart from all the sand on either side of the road, it looks fine.

Fishing boats are out and about again.

 Although very wisely sandbags are still in place.

We've been having fun with our new camera.

I'm still very fond of our old one.

A very big thank you to my friend Joanna. Mr postman brought something in the post for me today.  Joanna is a beautiful quilter. Joanna sent such a lovely parcel to make me smile and it has.
You can find Joanna HERE over on her blog. Thank you Joanna.

Freya is over at Cat Flap Cavalier as usual.

Today she has been helping out on the beach rescuing a Guillemot.
See you all later. 
 :-) xx x

Monday, 17 February 2014

The clear up after the storm.

It doesn't rain all the time here in Devon, some days the sun shines between showers.

We make the most of sunny days and take the opportunity to go out.

Yesterday we spent a couple of hours on the beach with Freya.
Freya enjoying her normal pastime of hole digging, she had more sand than normal to hone her skills on this particular beach.
The storms we have had over the last few weeks have damaged sea defenses all along our coastline. Not just the rail lines. This is a beach called Dawlish Warren. The sand dunes used to be where the sticks are now placed. All along this particular beach sea defenses are down.

Even at another of our favorite places, sand has been washed over the road, the before and after photo's.

A few years ago this particular road was completely washed away, then rebuilt. Makes you wonder how the road is under all the sand. We love this beach. 

Another part of the coast that has had damage. This is part of Teignmouth sea front. Right beside the cafe where we stop for Sunday morning coffee.

  Last Sunday this walk way was still open, now they are repairing the rail line, the walk way between the sea and rail line has been closed. The coffee shop was open although we did have a few funny looks because we sat on the wooden benches while everyone else sat on seats on higher ground. Part of the walk way looks decidedly dangerous.

The sea front of the sea side town still has Spring bulbs trying to flower even though they were swamped with sea water.

We live in such a beautiful part of the country.

Storms or no storms, things get cleared up.
Our heartfelt best wishes go out to all those that have been hit by flooding in the U.K. this year.

Freya is over at Cat Flap Cavalier as usual.

I have to add this photo, I.m pleased to say it has nothing to do with water.
A plane high in a clear blue sky yesterday.

We have a new camera with a great telescopic lens. All we have to do is get used to it.

 So far we think the new camera is brilliant. It doesn't just reach planes high in the sky.

Where ever you are, in rain or snow, keep safe.
Soggibottom still has dry feet but we are forever water watchers. XXX

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The only way is up - Cheddar Gorge

It's not all doom and gloom at Soggibottom, she kept her feet dry yesterday.

Last Monday we were in Somerset.

Yes, the same place where real Cheddar cheese comes from.

Even the river that runs through Cheddar had it's fair share of water last week.

If you have never been through Cheddar Gorge it can be quite an experience, the road winds it's way up the steep gorge.
Most people climb the rocks or go under ground to see the famous caves.
We like to drive through when there is hardly anyone around, best time to do that is when the day is so cold no one else is daft enough to be out and about out of season.

If you want to take a trip up through the gorge, you can. 
Be warned the video is four minutes long, but it does take you from the very bottom right to the very top, with music. No editing. Forgive the dirty window and the shake of the camera.

Thanks for all the good wishes and thoughts for yesterday guys, we really appreciate all your good thoughts. The water is back to a reasonable, level. Have a great weekend. x x x 

Friday, 14 February 2014

The return of sand bags and flood water at Soggibottom

Our new water relief channel has certainly been put to good use today.

Soggibottom surrounded by water on all sides. 

The playing field at the back of the cottage resembled a lake again.

The main river rose to a new high we have never seen before.

The channels that normally take water from the road and feed surface water into the river, were working in the opposite way, bringing water out of the river towards us.

The water relief channel, still had a good foot to go before it overflowed. Maybe it could have been a foot or two deeper.

Time for sandbags and the flood gate again.

Freya is on flood watch (it's her turn) over at Cat Flap Cavalier. 
She is doing an excellent job, especially when she spots anyone going past the window wearing a hat. For some reason she does not like hats.

Most are staying inside, keeping out of the wind and rain.

 It was a big relief earlier today when the tide turned and the river started to go down slightly. Our flood gate and sandbags remain where they are, new water relief channel or not.

At least it's good to see our window box has some colour, the rain is playing havoc with my crocus's. :-)

Where ever you are, keep safe and keep dry.
Happy St Valentine's day

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Weather predicition for February 2014 in the South West of England

It's impossible to live in Britain without being preoccupied by the weather day by day and even hour by hour.
In the commuter belt of Surrey our little granddaughter stands at the bottom of her garden surrounded by water. Even the River Wey has burst it's banks along with other local water ways.

Here in the South of Devon high tides and flooding have again made headline news.
One part of the scenic Coastal railway line collapsed at the seaside town of Dawlish because of the power of the stormy sea battering South West sea defenses earlier this week.

The railway line is going to be closed for weeks months. It's the main rail link from the rest of the country into Devon and Cornwall.

Even when there is a lull in the rain, clouds are never far away. From a quiet walk on the beach in a matter of moments a full blown gale appears.

Taking a walk anywhere at the moment is a bit of a hit and miss affair.

Soggibottom is very well and still has dry feet. Thanks to all those that keep asking, she is fine.
In case anyone doesn't know, Soggibottom is the name of our 17th century cottage.

The new water relief channel, for all the upset it caused when being built last year, really has saved us. We think without it being there, the chances of  being flooded again last Christmas Eve were quite high.

A quick snap of  flooded fields near Exeter yesterday.  No escape from water at the moment.

This is our route for a Sunday morning walk along to our favorite coffee shop in Teignmouth.  Another coastal town along from Dawlish that took a good battering from high waves.

 Even the old pier was damaged in the storms last week. The photo above taken only two weeks ago. The one below after last weeks storm.

It might be a while before Freya goes galloping along the beach at Teignmouth.

 Having our own home flooded, we know exactly how it feels when you can't stop water seeping it's way through the door.
The photo's you see of houses and places that have been hit by this year's floods are only photographs.
They can never convey the smell of brown water that is all around, it's not just river or sea water, sewers also overflow. Photographs of flooded houses and villages can never convey the amount of heartbreak and story that is attached to each photograph. 

 When the water goes down, the clear up operation starts. Every thing touched by water goes out of the door and never returns.  In our case things had to be broken up first because they had come in through the window, old cottage, narrow front door.

The lingering thought every time it rains, will the little babbling brook you live beside turn into a red raging torrent of angry water ?
The thought never goes away, there is always awareness that it could and might happen again. We know we have been very lucky not to have been flooded this year. Every rain fall, we are forever watchful, watching water levels around us.

 On 1st August 1861 The Times printed its first Meteorological Office weather forecast. It predicted fine weather across Britain.  The first time we were flooded at Soggibottom was in 2006, the day before it had been a beautiful calm sunny day with blue skies.

This is the life boat and new lifeboat station at Exmouth.

Maybe Freya is starting to queue making sure she is first in line. All in line behind Freya.

Who, apart from being in the cottage window seat, can be found on her own blog CAT FLAP CAVALIER, just HERE.

That the darkest hour of the night is just before the dawn is a consoling proverb implying that nothing is all bad and improvement is always possible.
Keep dry, keep warm and most of all keep safe.