This morning I’ve been watching the footage of the storm damage in France. An orange-roofed chalet clings impossibly to the side of a sheer mountain, a grey slash showing the path of a landslip, a slither of tarmac on a literal cliffhanger where a road once ran. In another image a lorry I initially mistook for a toy buried in the debris of the high tide mark on a beach, is submerged in thick mud, only part of the cab visible. The clear-up operation will be enormous and my heart goes out to all those affected. We seem to have got off fairly lightly here in the UK. The worst that happened to me at work on Saturday was that I couldn’t get a patient’s keybox to open my hands were so slippery with wet.
Yesterday we layered the kids up in their all-weather gear and went out anyway, never mind the gales. We slipped and slithered across muddy fields, holding onto our hoods at the top of a big hill. The cows eyed us warily, clearly assured of our madness, while they sheltered on the lee side of the trees. We picked up an apple each, being offered for free at a farm gate. Wren took great delight in jumping in huge puddles in the lanes, splashing us all. Wet and windswept, but rosy-cheeked and exhilarated, we returned home for hot chocolate by the woodburner, very thankful for a warm, dry house to come home to.