November 27th, 2012

Never give up

Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day.

Today's trip to Prestatyn to see my Dad was rather more exciting than usual...

When we were kids in Manchester, we often used to chant, "Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day." (Some versions had "come again on washing day", but that didn't seem kind to overworked mothers!)

I think the people of NE Wales are definitely thinking this, even if they're not actually chanting it aloud.

Tuesday is the Welsh group. We rehearse our play in a village hall just outside Ruthin. There has been no flooding at home, so I didn't think much of the warnings on the radio at first. The first hint of serious problems was noting that the road into Corwen was closed due to the river having expanded across all the adjacent fields and threatening the main A5 road. That didn't matter because I wasn't going that way, but then I started to notice floods where I have never seen floods before during my 10 years commuting daily to Ruthin.

I arrived at the village hall OK and we did the rehearsal. The play is coming along quite nicely now and most of us mostly know our parts without the script, which means we can start to concentrate on adding a bit of emotion and movement. But as the session came to an end, I was rather dismayed to be told that the road north to Denbigh was closed and there was serious flooding around Abergele as well as the whole of St Asaph and parts of Ruthin. This was worrying because I wanted to make sure that my Dad was a) not affected by the weather and b) that the Tesco delivery had arrived OK, but I did seriously consider just going home at this point. However, I thought I'd see how far I could get and only give up if I was forced to.

Knowing Ruthin reasonably well, I went in a slightly different way, avoiding the by-pass and got through the town without any problems. By now I was listening to Radio Cymru (the Welsh language station), which told me that St Asaph high street was closed and the town was flooded. I still hadn't realised quite how flooded it was.

I decided to try a route that I found recently that skirts the town and avoids the steep and congested High Street. After travelling a little way, I came to a Road Closed sign. I was beginning to wonder whether it was going to be possible to get to Prestatyn at all, but as I drew up, the council worker standing by the sign said that the road was passable with care, but that I would have to avoid St Asaph and go left, via the Industrial Estate and Bodelwyddan. (This meant nothing to me, but I just hoped I'd manage to find some way through.)

So I continued on my normal route and, ignoring the advice to go left, because it looked passable, I went right and ended up where the TV reporter in the top clip is standing. By now, the water had gone down considerably, though the Co-op was still in the middle of a lake which had consumed the car park. I actually got to the bottom of the bridge where a fire engine was pumping water, but a police woman then told me that the road ahead was closed due to the roundabout under the A55 being totally flooded.

Resigned, I turned round at the mini-roundabout and somehow found my way through the industrial estate (much bigger than I imagined and hitherto completely unknown to me), onto the A55 and thence, via strange little back roads, to Rhuddlan. After that everything was totally normal. The road was fine. I arrived only a little late, had lunch with Dad, checked he was OK and then set off for home. I found a slightly different route back that also managed to avoid St Asaph and, by following signs, made my way back to the main road and the usual route home.

So that was my adventure for today and can I just say that I've had enough of torrential rain and floods? I had to fight my way through some of the heaviest rain I have ever experienced to get to my uncle's funeral last Thursday. I know we're used to rain here in Wales, but this is getting ridiculous. :(

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  • Current Mood
    tired tired and relived to be safely home