Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Storms Eva and Frank, house party

Caersws railway station Wales

The Photo: Caersws rail station Powys, Wales. It is the closest station to Blackthorn Castle and The Dragon, my two car private train, is stored in a purpose built shed nearby.

Eva is no lady: Storm Eva was quite a bit worse than we thought. Not that the Weather Service didn’t warn everyone about it. Here in Wales the areas most heavily impacted by flooding are in the North West and South West. Fortunately for us the streams and rivers where we are while over their banks have not (yet) been nearly as destructive. It was a good thing I had the castle access road up from the highway regraded and resurfaced, banks graded and walled and drains enlarged during what passes for summer here.  The improvements have been able to handle the runoff so far. My chief Woodward has inspected the area currently being logged and the thick ground cover we do our best not to disturb and new ground cover we plant immediately after selective logging is holding the soil in place so we don’t lose the topsoil to heavy rains. Touch wood! The source of the Severn near Llanidloes is a roaring torrent so I can’t imagine what it is like when it gets to flatter country. 

I was very anxious that the staff’s Boxing Day return trip from London might be delayed. Fortunately rail service hasn’t been disrupted between Caersws and London except for scheduled engineering work. So I was greatly relieved that the staff’s trip to the London sales went as well as it did although in pouring rain and all returned safely and more or less on time.

Storm Frank: The forecast was for sunshine this morning (Tuesday 12/29 which there was, briefly) and then more rain for the next several days and very high winds from another low coming from the south west off St. George’s Channel. The forecasters say the worst of Frank will be in the northern counties of England and in Scotland, but heavy rain and very strong winds are still expected here as the storm comes ashore. The locals say this set of intense storms is very rare. I’m pleased to say that my villagers seem to be safe as my predecessors were very careful about where they built homes for the Barony’s villagers. It’s good that we are all safe indoors and on high ground.

House party date in danger: With the arrival of this intense set of Holiday storms I may have to postpone my long planned getting acquainted house party for local aristocrats with estates and farms in the area as well as the movers and shakers (politicians as well as merchants) from the nearby villages. I’m hoping the damage is minimal and roads are passable by the end of the week so everyone that has accepted will be able to get here. I’m putting them all up in the completely refurbished wing where the rooms all have fireplaces and in suite bathrooms with tub and shower. That is the wing where ballet students and dive students will be staying when I hold ballet intensives and Carla holds diver training classes.

I’ve volunteered my woodcutters and groundskeepers and their heavy equipment to help any of the nearby estates and farms that need assistance clearing the storm damage, but we may have another several days before it is all past. The party - planned for months – will occur over the New Year weekend (January 1st - 3rd) and I want it to be a fun time for the locals before my wards and I leave for Virgin Gorda after Twelfth Night. The Barony has always counted Christmas as the first day of the 12 days of Christmas so Twelfth night will be on Tuesday January 5th in 2016. However, the dates may prove more memorable for the drenching and the damage Eva and Frank are causing than any merrymaking. It is an unfortunate way to ring in the New Year.



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Powys , Wales, United Kingdom
I'm a classically trained dancer and SAB grad. A Dance Captain and go-to girl overseeing high-roller entertainment for a major casino/resort