How lucky were we to be travelling from Essex to Hampshire the day before Storm Ciara hit? Travel chaos, trampolines on the train lines and tragically a man killed in his car that was crushed by a tree not far from our housesit in Cheriton, Hampshire.
By some miracle our housesit hosts, Nigel and Tessa, and family managed to fly out of Heathrow late on the day of Storm Ciara and we spent the evening watching the trees bend sideways. The two little terriers, Wispa and Bloomer, were almost blown off their feet and were very weary of the clatter of the trees on the bridleways where we normally walk them.
Nigel and Tessa have a barn that has been converted into a one bedroomed holiday let. It is a very comfortable, cosy property. So the bookings can continue while they are away we take on the turn rounds between guests. This is something that we have had plenty of practice of in the Highlands at Drumcroy Lodges (Our Helpx Life in the Scottish Highlands) and gives us a little bit of pocket money which is so easy to spend in our nearest town, Alresford.
We are in the adjacent house which is picture postcard perfect.
Storm 2 – Dennis
It was with some disbelief that we saw that another storm was heading our way. It felt just as violent as Ciara and the River Itchen through the village had trouble coping with the amount of water pouring off the already sodden fields. There are quiet few flooded paths and fields but luckily no local houses were affected, fences seem in tact and trees are mostly vertical. The only casualty seems to be the a small bridge. From the mangled railings, it looks like a car may have smashed into it but at least the car didn’t end up in the river.
The Watercress Line
This heritage train line runs from the 10 miles between New Alresford to Alton where it connects to the national network. It’s name comes from the locally grown watercress that was transported to London by rail. It now has a varied calendar of events in their dining cars, real ale weekends including Thomas the Tank days. What’s not to like? Sadly though for a big relaunch last weekend after the reopening of part of the line, the weather was atrocious. The legendary engine The Flying Scotsman is visiting the Mid Hants Railway line over the next few months so if you are a train enthusiast it might be worth a look.
Wispa and Bloomer
Our two little charges, Wispa and Bloomer, are such characters, each with their individual ways but such good company. We tend to walk them around the village in the morning and then in the afternoon head across the bridleways and fields. Despite their little legs and the amount of water and mud they plough on and seem to love every minute. A nice bath in the large butler sink on our return is the usual routine. That’s the dogs not me! We have loved being back here in Cheriton with these two even though the weather has made it more restrictive but on the up side it has given us the opportunity to make some plans/bookings for later in the year.
The two weeks have flown by and it is only a few more days until the homeowners return and we move on. Just keeping our fingers crossed that Storm Delilah, Dorothy or Desdemona isn’t heading our way! A storm free weekend would be quite a blessing.
08/02 – 19/02/2020