Fire And Flood

Once again coinciding with a drop in outside temperature our boiler ceased functioning yesterday. We have a service booked for Thursday, 19th. and will manage until then.

With no Christmas decorations now wishing to remain undisturbed all round the fireplace and mantelpiece, we decided to light

the open fire in the sitting room.

We therefore drove to Streets in Brockenhurst to purchase coal, logs, firelighters, and two hot water bottles.

After a long spell of overnight rain there is normally a narrow puddle in the gutter outside our front entrance. Today this almost reached the middle of Christchurch Road and a long way down it.

As we watched other vehicles sailing past, and dodged their spray while waiting for a gap for us to enter the road and turn right, little did we know how much further flooding we would encounter.

The rest of the A337 stimulated spray waves at numerous locations.

For the first time in our decade here, the ford at Brockenhust was closed to traffic, the stream presumably being too deep for safety.

The lawn beside Meerut Road had become a reflective lake;

as had Balmer Lawn because its stretch of Highland Water

had burst both banks, its fast-moving currents sending squirming logs on their way until caught by other obstacles.

This evening we dined on barbecue spare ribs with Jackie’s flavoursome savoury rice. I drank more of the Syrah. The others didn’t.


  1. Good Lord, Derrick! You guys have the same problems we are having way over here. It’s crazy isn’t it? It’s been raining here in the desert far more than it usually has in my ten years here. Stay dry, and sorry about the furnace failing again. Stay warm!

  2. My goodness — have our bomb cyclones reached your shores?! During the past 14 storms,since Christmas, we have often seen signs sying “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” Do stay safe — and I hope your boiler can be repaired quickly!!

  3. I was worried when I saw the title. I’m glad the fire is a cozy one in your fireplace, but that flooding is something–and the first time you’ve seen that road closed.
    I hope your boiler is fixed for good this time!
    (I would have had the Syrah. 😏)

  4. Oh, wow, Derrick, I am so sorry to hear about your furnace breaking down again. I’m glad you have a cozy fire to keep you warm in at least one room.

    Those flooding pictures are crazy. Whenever events like that happen over here, the pictures inevitably show cars stuck in the water. Does that mean you guys are smarter than we are?

  5. That is some very serious flooding, Derrick and Jackie, and I am sorry to hear your heat is off again. I am glad you have a fireplace! The weather is getting stranger and stranger everywhere.

  6. How lovely to see the open fire, and I’m guessing you sat as close as possible.
    You already know I can relate to this, so I hope your boiler gets fixed quicker than ours was. I also hope the cause isn’t the same as ours, ie. Water in the tank!

    The photos you took are brilliant.

  7. Caution’s always advised around water like that. Every time we get such flooding, even with short-lived but energetic storms, someone runs into trouble. It’s worth remembering that six inches of water can reach the bottom of most cars, causing them to stall or lose traction. One foot of water can float a car, and two feet carry one away–even SUVs and trucks. “Turn around, don’t drown” is the slogan of choice around here.

    1. Very important information, Linda. I’m sure we have been through some risky fords – there are many around the forest. Thank you, this has been useful

    1. Thanks very much, Ivor. I did see the song and a book on line, but my reference is actually from the bible – giving readers a wide choice 🙂

  8. I had no idea the fireplace was functional. Might be time to re-read Kingsley’s The Water Babies and think of chimney sweeps.
    I still own a wooden coal scuttle box of my grandmother’s. A work of art in solid oak with turned embellishment. But if it doesn’t have coal in it, the door drops open. Consequently wherever I’ve moved, the coal comes with me.

    So sorry to hear of your ongoing boiler problems. And of the flooding which you know in Australia we have seen way too much of over this last year. We were supposed to be doing a cruise on the River Murray at the end of this month but all river traffic is now banned, and a fine for stepping on the levees. We’ve been rescheduled to December!

    1. The weather is rather topsy-turvy the world over, it seems. You may remember that our fireplace was put in by our chimney sweep. Thanks very much, Gwen

  9. A beautiful and functional fireplace, Derrick. We were most grateful we had a fireplace during our freezing and flooding event a few weeks ago. Stay safe and warm.

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