It doesn’t worry me when it rains now as living on the boat, as the water rises so do we.
In the cottage, it was a different story, wind and heavy rain would keep me awake, and I would be anxious about the drive, the roof, the front door, the windows and the drains.
We had just cause too or at least I did!
One evening we’d been sitting listening to a CD when we heard a ‘pop’ and suddenly I had a mini Niagara Falls streaming through the ceiling and down the window frame.
We were not covered by insurance as it was classed as ‘wear and tear’, and on our own inspection, we discovered a scrunched up bath towel in the eaves. We got the professionals in and the roof repaired at a cost of some £1400 which put a bigger hole in our savings.
‘The soak-a-ways that didn’t’ came to light in a freak thunderstorm which we got caught out in, and when we came home, our driveway was under 6 inches of water. On the first fine day, we put in a french drain at a cost of some £154. Hubby dug out the dirt from a sitting position and I wheeled it all away. It was put to the test shortly after when again we had a heavy downpour, but it had all disappeared ten minutes after the rain stopped.
A new front door was too expensive, so each year it was given a fresh coat of paint, but it still leaked like a sieve if the rain and wind were in the wrong direction.
Despite new windows (a recommendation of a ‘friend’, who no doubt got a kick back as the standard of the window frames when fitted were not as we had believed they’d be), the one in our guest room leaked.
Three times Hubby dug out the brick mortar and re-pointed it. It was OK when we left.
Having private drainage, we always rodded our drains regularly as they were very shallow. Through trial and error, we discovered the ‘toilet paper of choice’ as cheaper brands didn’t shred or dissolve when wet, just wadded up and caused blockages.
One year, rain filtered into the cess pit from above, and the overflow chamber couldn’t cope. Not that we had yukky stuff floating on our lawn, but it was another issue that had to be sorted, so we dug a channel from the cess pit hatchway, under the trees and into the fields behind us which were about four feet below our garden level.
We evicted two of the biggest toads I’ve ever seen in the process, but it solved the problem as it gave the rainwater somewhere to go (the cess pit would never have overflowed into this channel as the overflow chamber pipework was considerably lower than the hatch).
Despite all that, every time it rained, I was restless and couldn’t sleep so would get up to look out of the windows, check the guest room window cill and also the front door.
Every time the wind blew, I was anxious about our fence panels, most of which had been replaced and reinforced by the time we sold the property.
So buying a boat as our new des res eased my concerns, and heavy rain and wind didn’t bother me so much. We’d check our mooring ropes, doubling up if necessary, and the pair of us slept like babies.
That was until August 25th.
We watched in amazement as this ‘front’ was moving in behind our pontoon, but the bad weather actually went round us, so we were unaffected.
However, two nights later (and when we’d had a more sedate looking sky when we took the dog out last thing), we experienced the worst storm we’ve had this year.
Even the thunderstorm at the July Stratford Festival and the heavy rain we had on this trip pale in comparison.
The rain pelted down for hours, and I was awake for most of them.
It had been quite blowy earlier so we decided to check our mooring ropes (Hubby ended up doing it on his own), but as it was so hot and muggy, we thought we could leave the top part of the port side windows open. I got up at 2 am to close them.
Hubby usually sleeps through the rain, but even he was a little restless, though he managed to get back to sleep having rolled on to my side of the bed against the side of the boat.
Not me though. I couldn’t settle, and felt the boat shift, swing and sway with each gust of wind as I listened to the constant beat of the rain against our roof.
There was also an awful lot of heavy duty flapping going on outside, and the steady trickle of water as it flowed out of the holes in the bow and helm (they are meant to be there for this purpose!) made me want the loo, so I had to get up again (twice. Note to self, no fluids after 8pm!)
I suppose it finally subsided around 4am when I eventually managed to get to sleep.
I was awake again at 10 to 6, asked Hubby the time, then went back to sleep until 8 when he got up to take the dog out and put the washing in.
Looking out of our bow doors now, I can see a double rainbow. The main one goes uninterrupted over the marina in a fantastic arc, and the colours are so bright and clear.
I’ve taken some pictures ** but whether they’ll come out or not is another matter.
The sky is darkening again, and there is a horrible dirty purple grey cloud heading our way. Checking out the radar and satellite maps, it looks like it’s going to be another wet and windy night.
**Here are the rainbow pictures from yesterday: