I live in Wiltshire. It’s a pretty county with rolling downs, ancient woodland and sleepy villages. It’s home to Stonehenge and to a wealth of ancient earthworks. People have lived here for centuries.
Our village lies in a little valley. To walk anywhere out of the village pretty much involves an uphill climb. It’s sheltered from the worst of the winds that sweep across this island from time to time. Some say that it has its own micro-climate. I’m not sure about that. When this part of the world gets rain, so do we.
As anyone who watches the news will know, Britain has been hammered by a succession of angry little storms from the Atlantic. The snow that slammed into parts of the USA translated to rain as it crossed the ocean. As a result, parts of this country have been inundated. The Somerset Levels have been underwater since the beginning of January and now the Thames has risen and spilled into villages and towns along its banks.
Because of our location, we get a lot of water. All this rain has saturated the soil—the water has nowhere else to go. It’s made its presence known with overflowing wells, springs bursting up through the ground, manhole covers, drains and, worst of all, in houses. Our road is no exception. About a week ago, a spring burst up on the road, spilling a steady stream of water down the street, then as the rains continued, another smaller spring opened up in the grass verge. Combine with this, run off from the farmer’s fields up the road, water from houses being pumped out and endless bloody rain, and the street becomes a river.
Yesterday’s rain was really the final straw. The river became a restless torrent, lapping at the pavement, carrying silt and twigs in the current. A neighbour waded across the stream and the water was up past her ankles. Not really what you want to see on the road. We’re lucky, most of the houses in this part of the village are set higher. Other places haven’t been so fortunate. Last night we had two fire crews and volunteers piling up sandbags in the village square. Members of the village’s emergency planning committee went from door to door checking on people, making sure they were all right.
Mercifully, there was no further substantial rain in the night and the water on the road is receding a little. Hopefully, they will continue to recede although the Environment Agency tells us that the water will be around for a while because it’ll take some time to work its way down into the sodden ground.
It’s been scary, but it’s also been quite a heartwarming experience. This village is a very friendly, welcoming place and the recent travails have brought out the best in everyone. We all look out for each other, we all have something to talk about when we go to the shop or sit in the pub. If you’re going to be flooded, this is the village to be living in.
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Jamie has a good feeling when he meets and falls in love with Connor, an Army captain destined for Afghanistan. Will that good feeling survive Connor’s deployment?
Jamie never expects to meet the love of his life in a tea shop. He never expects his lover, Connor, to be an Army officer about to return to Afghanistan for one last deployment and he certainly never expects that, after three short months together, Connor would want to spend the rest of his life with Jamie. When Connor leaves for Afghanistan, Jamie can’t help but worry that his lover might not make it back alive. He also worries that Connor, who hasn’t told his men he’s gay, doesn’t want him to be waiting at the base when he returns. Will the good feelings he has about their future together survive their separation?