Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas

Christmas was a fairly standard affair (usually is in our house - wake up, open santa presents, have lunch, open other presents, doss about the rest of the day).  However this year my brother wasn't hungover from the night before (unlike last year) and therefore much better company (take note, Jord! no more booze hell, ha!)

Christmas Cat


Unfortunately, most people's Kent and Surrey christmases were punctuated with stories of flooding.  Living in London, we have barely had any wind or rain, so I was very annoyed to get to London Bridge on Christmas Eve to see every single train delayed or cancelled, it was a bit chaotic and no one seemed to know what was going on.  I managed to get home in an hour and a half (I moaned at this until I heard much worse stories and seems that I was lucky).

On Christmas Eve afternoon we popped down to my old house which we still own but rent out.  As expected, the area surrounding the house had flooded pretty badly - this has only happened once since we have lived there in 26 years.  The garden had gone under and the house was inaccessible by car so we had to wade down there.  Mum and Tim both had wellies, but mine were in London so I decided to go in some old trainers whilst my brother, who's very hardcore, went bare foot.  There was no reason for me to go down there other than my curiosity - and oh my goodness was it cold.

The house itself wasn't flooded but there was water under the floor boards.   We weren't too worried because this happened before in 2000, and in the time we have lived there the house has never flooded.  We went home and carried on with our Christmas Eve festivities (snoozing in front of the TV) whilst my brother played on his computer and kept feeding us updates on the flood through a facebook group he was on.  At night time it was reported that some of the houses down in the town were being evacuated, so my brother and Tim went back to the house to see if it had got worse - unfortunately the water had come up through the floorboards and was now  about 3 inches in the house.  Such a pain.  Luckily the tenants are away for christmas, so my brother and Tim did a quick rescue job of everything they could that was on the floor/could get wet and put it upstairs, and then left.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve
Christmas Day



Christmas Day




All gone!


As quickly as it had risen, it was gone again by the next morning, and by Boxing Day it had receeded from the garden completely.

As much of a pain as it is, we were very lucky - others in my home town were evacuated for the whole of Christmas and had nowhere to go, and their houses had at least a foot of water in.  It was really very bad timing - our next door neighbours had planned a christmas eve party for 28 people which had to be cancelled.

The force of it was really quite amazing - the river opposite my house is now a foot or more wider as the foot path next to it has been ripped away into the water, and a boat also got washed away.

I got a kite from my brother and was desperate to fly it, so badgered my family into taking me out for the day (i have no car therefore am stranded).  We didn't get to fly the kite as it wasn't really windy enough but we did go on a lovely walk in Tenterden and we did some geocaching. My brother brought his posh camera along and took some silly photos.






On the 27th Mum had booked Ice Skating at Calverley Park in Tunbridge Wells - she's never been before and wanted to try it.  It was nicely done, the area looked very festive and cheerful.  Both my brothers had been before and were pros (though Isaac took a rather impressive fall), and Tim was also quite good.  I have been a few times but it always takes a while to build up my confidence, so did a few laps of the rink holding on to the side before going hands free.  I think Mum enjoyed herself!  We then went for dinner at a local Tapas Bar - this wasn't the best decision really as Tim LOVES to eat and we didn't order as many dishes as we could have done, and the dishes that did come were really small portions.  I don't rate the restaurant that much - the meatball dish only had 3 meatballs which cost £5.45 which I thought a bit over the top.


It wasn't really snowing....


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