16 March 2019

Storm Gerald swept across the UK earlier this week. Or Storm Gareth, as I kept referring to it. I’m hopeless with names. I don’t approve of this newfangled fad for giving storms monikers. Hurricane envy is what it is.

In Gerald’s aftermath (now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d find myself using), we experienced a couple of days of high winds and driving rain. As often happens in such circumstances, I found a new leak in the house. Two leaks on this occasion. Both windows in the living room had large puddles on their sills. The windows, which are fairly new, weren’t to blame: the water will have got in through some minuscule cracks in our pointing and worked its way down the wall cavity until it met with the windows’ lintels and frames, and seeped its way round into the house. That’s one problem with having a converted barn for a living room: they weren’t designed to be waterproof, just weather-resistant. And the local millstone grit from which our house is made is a surprisingly porous.

The broken rainwater drain beneath our drive was in full fountain mode, turning the driveway into a burbling stream. I like to think of it as the source of the Humber.

Driveway spring

Jen and I headed over to Mytholmroyd in the afternoon. The River Calder was alarmingly high. One poor chap was making a real nuisance of himself with passing pedestrians by pumping out his cellar on to the pavement. According to local social media, the flood sirens had sounded. There will be many sleepless nights throughout Calderdale.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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