Thursday, August 09, 2007


This last month (because it's almost that long since my last post), it has done nothing much else except rain.

Rain in the morning. Pause just long enough for me to stay dry during my morning walk. Clouds thin a little, hope just starts to get piqued, then hope is shattered as rain starts again by midday. Rain all afternoon until about 22:00 when you might, if you're lucky, glimpse a star peeking out from behind another cloud.

It seems we are living in a parallel world. Both the UK and Texas have seen severe flooding this month. My parents in Gloucestershire both lost their water supply when the local water treatment plant got flooded. Meanwhile, the lakes by northwest Austin which were 40 feet below their normal levels two months ago have now more than peaked about 7 feet above their maximum. All the local dams were opened and the newspapers were filled with images of raging torrents of water. British newspapers carried aerial photos of villages turned into islands. Here's some good pictures of British floods while Texas was also in the news.

Closer to home, we mostly stayed in. Our rain comes in very heavy downpours, all at once. The houses around here all have ditches in the front of the yard to carry water through; all the driveways have pipes underneath. Here's one of the ditches during one heavy rainstorm:

Here's someone's front garden. A house further down the road has part of the creek running through it and they had even more water.

One night we went out for some food. The storm started during our meal and when we left, the Jeep was in water almost up to the wheel rims. We got wet, leaping into the vehicle. It was the right car to bring though - the journey home was interesting to say the least. I've never seen flash flooding rain like this. All the roads were completely covered. One field was sloping towards a section of road; the road was awash. Of course we waded through this lot and got to the level crossing which stands between us and home, and a train had decided to park itself thereupon. So we had to make a longish detour, wondering if the low water point would be crossable or not. As is turned out, the raincloud didn't reach that far so we were OK. In fact, our main route home might have been impassable as that road _was_ under the cloud.

This is Alan and I, waiting inside my Jeep for the rain to stop. All around us was bright sunshine, except for the raincloud dumping water onto precisely this bit of parking lot. We gave up waiting and got wet (again). By the time we came out of the store, it was all gone.

I relocated my weather station last week, so the rain collector is no longer underneath the roof overhang. Now it can count rain properly and won't under-read as it has been doing. Since I did that, the storms have gone away.

Sorry Central Texas, it was obviously all my fault!

Meanwhile, people continue to notice we have bought a house. This means people like mortgage financiers, banks, credit cards, DIY and homeware stores etc. Some of these are a pain but some are good. The stores have been sending us 10% and 20% off vouchers. And then a lady from the Buda Chamber of Commerce turned up one day with this big basket of stuff, including coupons and free samples from all the local businesses, as a welcoming package. Isn't it nicely presented?

Items of Americana: The Wagon.

You see people with these things everywhere, a lot of times with small children being towed in them. We wanted something to drag stuff around the garden, but didn't want the bulk of a wheelbarrow. This is so typically American, it had to be done!:

And lastly (for now), I was in Kyle yesterday. They are doing major works on their high street. Here's a really mega giant chainsaw! I love the fact it's parked outside a martial arts studio - gives a whole new meaning to 'Karate Chop'!

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