It wasn’t the Great Storm all over again as it turned out, but the warnings about last night’s “weather event”, did lead me to take a few precautions. I didn’t think that the camp would improve from it being spread across several hundred yards of the bank of the river. Also I can’t afford to lose stuff. So in preparation I took down the tarp from the porch and lashed down anything that moved, or put it in the back of the car.
The fact that I had found two lady birds settled on me this week, and a third sitting on the awning yesterday, made me think that good luck was coming my way. Lady birds this late in the year seems odd, and finding two sat on me a good omen. Not a good week for everyone I know. Some poor bloke was fished out of the estuary on the other side yesterday morning. He’d gone missing on Saturday. Who knows what went wrong, but the river is unforgiving here.
So the wind started to rip through in the early hours of the morning. I sat in the driver’s seat of the car and it was soon like we was moving across a bumpy field, as the banshees buffeted and shook the car, and rattled me teeth. If you closed your eyes it sounded at times like voices shrieking. Telling you all the things you’ve done wrong in your life. I opened a bottle of beer I’d prepared for the occasion, and waited for it to pass, and hoped we would sit tight. The rain slapped on the windscreen and a few of the things outside clanked as they moved and shifted. I thought at one point that the porch might get taken, but the extra lines I’d rigged to keep it down, held sure. Out on the river it was just inky darkness. Although the occasional wave top could be seen, all ghostly spume caught in the few lights from across the river on the Welsh side. No shipping in evidence. Can’t blame them, can you? The bridge crossings to Wales were closed to traffic and so no familiar glow from the headlights of the moving cars. It really did feel like I was in a forgotten place.
Then suddenly the wind dropped and the rain eased. There were more short squalls for some hours but soon it was daylight and time to check what damage had been done. Hardly any, I’m glad to report, although a few odd things had blown in, including a small doll and a lot of crisp packets. I take it that my luck, predicted by the lady birds, was that the camp survived and I’m in one piece. So I’m happy enough for that. Hope your roof stayed on!