Country Cottage Journal~Floods

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Last night I encountered the severest rainfall ever…it was nothing less than apocalyptic!

I was awakened around midnight by the sound of gushing water.

It had been raining all day and the forecast was for the rain to persist until around 6am on Sunday morning.

Getting up and putting on my dressing gown, I opened the back door and switched on the outdoor light, to witness water rising up towards the door.

Grabbing a torch, I shone it along the back of the garden and was amazed to see waterfalls, cascading down from the hill behind the cottage, onto the gravel in my little courtyard.

It was horrendous…and very, very frightening!

I put my raincoat on over my dressing gown, slid into my wellies and clutching the torch, headed up the back garden, to see if it was possible to redirect the torrents.

I spent the next three hours with spade, hoe and rake, trying my hardest to channel the flooding away from it’s path of destruction.

I succeeded…eventually!

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This is extreme weather of biblical proportions!

The result of Climate Change due to the machinations of man…everything points that way!


  1. Oh dear Colette, it was a good thing you had spread gravel around your cottage 11 years ago as well as doing the midnight digging. Very glad you and your lovely home are ok now. How frightening.

    In the summer of 2014, a section of my city, Burlington (in Ontario) received as much rainfall in a couple of hours as falls in 2 months, thousands of houses were flooded when the city sewer system was completely overwhelmed. An unfortunate wake up call for people who ordinarily live in a suburban bubble.

    And in Cambodia, I understand they have been waiting for their rains since August. Let us all be prepared for anything and indeed, look to the edges beyond.

  2. Can you do something on the hillside itself? Is it your hillside? Swales and trees etc? What an absolute horror! I’m so glad you averted disaster but it is a warning to us all that we must look to the edges beyond.

    • I had dug a descending swale 11 years ago, at the beginning of the project. The farmer who owns the hill behind my land has not dug any drains, so I will have to now dig the swale deeper…it can and will be done! I don’t wait for those around me to move, but just get on with whatever needs to be done!

  3. Glad all is well after your horrific night, I experienced similar couple of years ago and realised i had let garden grow in and over stone drains as I thought they looked unpleasant. It would have been extremely scary for you on your own and to frantically work when it is surrounding your cottage, must have been unimaginable and extremely exhausting. Hopefully you wont have to experience something like that again. Such a complete contrast to here in Australia where we are in severe drought and i cant keep things in the garden alive despite constant watering, dry parched land with ever widening cracks. It gets worse each year….. very scary how the climate is changing

  4. Glad that you and the cottage are safe and averted the worst. It was indeed a lucky wake up call. You now have a clear map of what needs to be done to create swales and so forth to your advantage to avoid what for now can be predicted weak points. The best part is that perma culture teaches us how to keep all that water on the land and directed into the water table below minimizing run off and erosion. May the rest of your winter storms be less harsh. So glad you are safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and to all the others in the UK who were adversely effected by this harsh storm.

  5. Glad to hear that you were able to avert the flooding water from your cottage, so many others affected. Have seen the power of a flood and the damage it does first hand…auto pilot does kick in. Such a contrast from ferocious wind and rain to beautiful sunshine today. Keep warm x

  6. Oh Colette, how awful for you , I hope that not too much damaged was done to your land and garden

    It was very courageous of you to go out in the storm on your own to turn away the flood and protect your house. you must have bee exhausted afterwards .

    Really in my thoughts and hope that the morning brought the sun and an end to the rain.

    Thinking of you , love Sandy


    • It’s always crazy looking back on one’s actions…I never really thought about it at the time and looking back it was a risky thing to do really…and have since discovered I lost my phone! Just so glad all’s well and am now more aware of what people endure in flooding situations!

  7. glad you managed to avert more damage… good job you woke up when you did. we have a dene which floods more and more often since we first moved here 18 years ago and I know the scary feeling it gives in the pit of your stomach, I get very anxious when it rains heavy in case it comes in the house. mother earth is awesome when she’s roused. stay safe, blessings xxx

  8. That sounds very scary, I will keep you and everyone affected by by these terrible floodings in my heart… safe, blessed be……Heather

  9. A scary experience for you. Glad you’re safe and your beautiful cottage survived. Fair play to you for averting a disaster. Stay safe x

  10. I love the way you take charge of your destiny, throwing on raincoat and gumboots in the middle of a Winters night, grabbing a shovel and going out in the wild weather and working like crazy to fix the problem, instead of throwing up your hands and saying “Eeek, help me, its all too hard!” With hearts like this, Mother Earth will be saved. Bless you, woman. Stay safe and dry.

  11. Sorry you are having such harsh rain. Texas has been hit like this a few times this year..feast to famine. It is hard to see plants and trees suffer. I love your beautiful place.!

  12. Yes, I did worry about you. I’m glad you survived it. Lol, I remember digging trenches in my underwear during a rainstorm when I lived in western WA. Winter is just beginning. What are you going to do about the lot above you?

  13. Wow! Thank goodness you woke up! Definitely frightening. Thank goodness you saved the garden and the house from being flooded. We got off very lightly surprisingly. Hope the rain keeps off now for a while – til Spring. xxx

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