Things I learned in the flood...

posted on: Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Yesterday my little part of the world flooded. Summer storms and a high tide conspired and the result was that my country road turned into a river. Ensconced in a L'Apothecary oil blending session, Paula and I were mildly (then acutely) aware of the rising water outside the window. It rained and rained and rained until there was water lapping at my door and our road was a moving river.

Things I have learned:

I am not a very concise decision maker in a crisis. I need to be told what to do. Once I have a plan I have great clarity of though; until there is a plan, it is as if I have no useful thoughts.

However, I felt this strong and important urge to stay and defend my house. In reality when flood waters come there is very little you can do; having seen it up close, I realise this now. At the time, as the water rose, there was just this odd sense of unreality as all the low plants and flowers in my garden became submerged, along with the wheels of my car parked in the driveway.

I did have a journey to make; I knew I had to collect the children so I braved the road/river in my big car and went out to get them. I felt sure we could get back back and of course I had this 'protect your home' urge going on. I saw numerous smaller cars go ahead of me into the road/river; I figured I could make it. With children, my Mum and the puppy on board, we drove through the flood.

I learnt that cars don't like deep water. Within seconds we found ourselves with no engine power and up to the car windows in water! I called 999 for the first time in my life. Really quite a surreal and scary moment...

I learnt that the British emergency services are, as I suspected, FABULOUS and arrived, both fire brigade and police in about 10 minutes.

During that time we sat in the slowly seeping, bubbling river of water until, in a random act of kindness, three strangers pushed our car to slightly more shallow water. We were within 100 feet of our near but so far! The police did the rest, towing us to safety.

But my car had died :-(

Later in the evening, the water started to ebb away as determinedly as it came. We walked along the road/river in wellies (Hunters really are an essential item of clothing!) People were walking our country road; stranded and with stories of having to get out of their cars through the sunroof. Drama comes in all places.

Later, I could not sleep - I felt as if I had put my little family in danger by driving right into harm's way. There was no way of knowing how deep the water was, yet I proceeded anyway. Odd. I learnt that I clearly do think I am invincible, even against nature! Strangely all worries I have in life are to do with the danger of others; very rarely myself.

The acts of kindness continued today as a friend arrived to take my children to school in his Land Rover and then gave me the car as a loan. It's like driving a cross between a tank and a tractor and will go through any puddle/river. I am prepared for more rain!

via i appreciate that
So in honour of intrepid British spirit, the winner of the 
Jubilee 'British Blend' Oil giveaway was Vanessa. Email me and a bottle of L'Apothecary love will be winging its way to you!


  1. So glad you're ok - sounds surreal and dreamlike but also pretty scary.
    Well done with L'apothecary - it looks stunning.

  2. What a very scary experience you have had. You certainly are a trooper blogging about it the very next day and having a giveaway too !
    I hope there wasn't too much damage to the inside of your home. We had severe floods just like that a few years ago now. We were lucky but many of our friends lost everything. Mother Nature certainly knows how to shake things up. Hope the clean up isn't too bad x

  3. So glad you and your family are safe. We experienced this in Copenhagen last year. So scary!

  4. Oh Lou that is so scary! I can't even begin to imagine. So glad you are all safe :) xox

  5. Dear Lou,
    I am happy you and your Family are safe and sound. Hope the sun will shine for a long time where you live. Take care. Warm hug, Manuela

  6. Oh my goodness Lou - that sounds so incredibly poor thing. Its so easy to see how people can end up in those dangerous flood situations when you read something like that. Glad you're all safe and that mankind showed its kind element to you. Hope the damage wasn't too horrendous. Lots of love xxx

  7. Oh My - poor you! What an awful experience! I totally understand how you feel though, sometimes your body just kicks into action and you think about the consequences afterwards. At least you're safe, and your family are safe, which is the most important thing of all - so in actual fact, you got them out of danger and you did your job pretty well!
    Paula xx

  8. My daughter recently woke up in her brand new apartment to water pouring through the ceiling and 4 inches of water in most parts of the tiny unit. Her survival instinct kicked in, and she had the insight to save all of her shoes by placing them in the bathtub before she donned her wellies and left the building to call 911.

    Glad you are all OK. Hopefully not too much damage to your house.

  9. Oh Lou how I sympathise. I had the same thing happen to me when my daughter was still at primary school. I battled to collect her from school in my VW, and eventually gave up when the water started coming through the doors! I too was assisted by a man in a land rover who got to her. It is amazing how we get so used to our local landscape and don't quite know how to react when it changes so dramatically.

    I am glad that you are all well, cars can be replaced ( a pain I know ). Shall we all do a collective sun dance?


  10. We do finally have sunshine here in Kent, hope you do too. Alls well that ends well!
    Louise x

  11. Oh my! How frightening! I am so glad you are all okay! Sending hugs!

  12. So glad you are safe, and hope your home is okay. It sounds like the floods were pretty terrible.

  13. I'm glad all turned out well, but I can believe that this was a bit scary for a moment.

  14. So scary! Glad everyone's ok. It has flooded quite a few times in my part of Tennessee, but thankfully we've managed to remain unscathed.

  15. OMG Lou ~ I have not had a chance to read my favs and am catching up tonight. I am so glad that everyone is ok and that once the water subsided there was not much damage to your home and property. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers ~ we really do come together when it is required. xo

  16. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.


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