Friday, 27 April 2012

The hosepipe ban that bought the rain

If there was ever an English equivalent to the consititutional belief held by some Americans in their right to bear arms, it would be the right to use a hosepipe; so ingrained is our belief in our innate right to keep our grass green and our gardens growing!

Thus, the announcement of another, highly unpopular, hosepipe ban in the South of England has been met with great derision in some parts of the press over the last couple of weeks as, shortly after it was announced, the country experienced some of the most sustained and determined rain that we've seen in a good while.

Far from wondering about how to keep my plants watered and alive, I have been worrying about how to keep my newly planted veggies from drowing, being pummeled or succumbing to the very cold nights that have accompanied the rain.  I've not done very well.  I think that we'll give it a few weeks and try again.

The chooks have hated it too.  Although well covered, the rain still gets in at the sides of the run and, as I look at them from the kitchen, they stand together, all puffed up and glaring at me, all dry and warm!  Their favourite response is to retire to the coop; which pays dividends for us, we are overflowing in eggs. Those two have never laid so well!

Walking the dog has also been fun, I have been lucky and have managed to time our evening walks with the rare breaks in the rain that we seem to have early evening.  Of course, we prepare for the rain.  Most nights though, Megs has made a mockery of my "you will wear your coat" attempts to keep her dry; charging round the fields, slipping and sliding in the mud and coming home so happily filthy, I almost wish we'd been rained on instead. 

Another delight, has been the family of ducks who have moved into the bottom field, which is so waterlogged that it becomes a pond in a matter of hours.  They are quite the characters and seem to be very happy with their lateral thinking.  We've had no significant rain since yesterday afternoon, so the pond will be gone now but as I drove to work this morning I spotted one of the drakes stood by the road in the field of rape; his head and neck craning up against a blaze of yellow.  It was one of those moments that you commit to memory and wish that you could have somehow commited it to film too.

But the rain won't last, and it hasn't been enough, the ban is necessary for the greater good.  I shall remind myself of that when, in a couple of month's time, I'm worrying about dry plant beds and overheating chooks and dobes.  At least the grass, being fake, will always be beautifully green!
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