For those not living in the UK, the weather forecasters had been predicting a serious storm, St Jude, to hit this country overnight, last night. In the early hours of this morning, I woke suddenly and there was a huge crack and a dreadful noise coming from the direction of the woodland, I automatically thought of all my old trees and hoped they were all right. With that, the light went out on the radio alarm and I knew that the electricity was now off, St Jude had arrived! The first thing I did when getting up much later, was to go into the woodland and check on all my trees, they seemed fine, thank goodness, just small branches everywhere and a thick carpet of leaves covering everything.
After managing to do breakfast, toast made by holding it over a gas flame!,I then went to our nearest town for the morning. When returning at lunch time, I found the road closed just by the far side of the woodland and men up one of our oaks wielding a chain saw. The whole of the crown of the oak was missing, apparently it had split and was hanging down dangerously over the road, it seemed ok when I had driven past it earlier. I was allowed through to drive home thank goodness, just further down the road, about 100yds away, another tall tree had fallen right across the road and onto cars parked there, so we were lucky. I then went into the woodland to talk to the men who were doing the work. They brought the trunk down to a level where it should be safe, but it looks rather strange, a thick trunk for about 30ft and then – nothing. The tree must be about 100 yrs old, not one of the oldest ones thank goodness.
We spent the afternoon clearing up the worst of the mess on the back lawn and in the woodland, and then started thinking about our evening meal. We still had no electricity but as we have a gas hob, that wasn’t a problem, light was fading so out came the candles. I decided to make us a curry so that would warm us up a bit and I have to admit that eating by candlelight was rather nice for a change! Later we wondered how to fill our evening, no TV, no computers, candlelight too dim to read by, how did they manage in the “old days”? Thank goodness our daughter had given me a wind up radio to use in the greenhouse when busy sowing seeds and potting on. We settled down to listen to Classic FM, when all of a sudden, we had light, we were back in the 21st Century again- alleluia!
When my husband had rung the electricity board to see if they could give us an estimated time for the power coming back on, he was told in 3 more hours, they were only 3 minutes late which I think is pretty good.
I’m hoping the oak that has had a serious bit of pollarding, having lost all its crown, will survive and that the shock won’t be too much for it. Every cloud has a silver lining though, we now have a lot more light coming through in that part of the woodland which will be good for all the spring flowers on the woodland floor.