Sunday, 8 July 2012

More floods.....

Rain continues to dominate the weather - there is a lot of flooding around here, lanes are blocked and there is general disruption to travel and outdoor events. I went out this morning in sunshine, but the effects of so much rain over the last few days is all around. I came to a halt facing a dirty brown sea that used to be the road to Congerstone. I stood for a few minutes trying to work out how far it went (it disappeared around the corner) and how deep it was. Then I saw two cyclists heading towards me pushing through the water and creating a wake as they did. As they turned the pedals, each revolution meant that their feet went under the water - "Should have come out in my canoe" said one of them as they dripped past me.

It was my turn now, the first few yards were ok - then the water deepened and quickly my feet were soaked too. At least it is a warm bright morning, I figured it wouldn't take long to dry out. I headed out towards Market Bosworth and then through Cadeby and Sutton Cheney taking the left hand turn up over the canal bridge to Daddlington and on then to Stoke Golding. My mission, in addition to just riding my bike, was to check out the village fete at Stoke Golding - there was a line up of local musicians/bands advertised and the usual fete-type attractions. When I arrived at the field there was the obligatory pasted-up notice " Event Cancelled" - I thought that would be the inevitable outcome, the land is totally saturated, add people and vehicles and it would quickly turn to a quagmire.

I carried on a circular route, passing a few cyclists and generally trying to push on. The verges are rich, thick and lush, there are flowers bursting with bright colour and swollen from rain. I pass a large Elder tree, its branches heavy with blossom and weighted by rain, bend towards the ground. The rain starts falling again and I seek shelter by keeping close to the high banks - clouds skud swiftly across the sky framed by the branches of overhanging bushes. The rain beats against the trees like waves against the shore, the warmth though, is such that the there is an overwhelming feeling of freshness, clean, bright and new. This is rain to savour and enjoy - I feel happy, I look up and let the rain into my eyes and over my face, it is totally invigorating and not at all unpleasant. Soon the shower stops and the heat of the sun and the gentle breeze quickly dries me. A large brown butterfly flies past; fast and erratic in flight, it races past me. I follow its progress and contemplate why it does not collide with anything? - it flies as though drunk. It is a painted lady, an array of dark, rich bars and creamy spots. The wind behind me blows up in a sudden strong gust. At first I think it is a vehicle approaching, I even look round to check. It is the type of wind that builds up, sweeping me along and screeching like a train. Another gust approaches - I hear it long before I feel it. The blast releases the scent of pines which hangs like an unseen phantom, I listen and breathe in the fresh aroma that sweeps around me.

Although there's much to moan and grump about this summer, there is also beauty and rich rewards for those who dare to venture out to look.

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