(This post was written during the downpours at the end of last month, which now seem so long ago after the spring sunshine we’ve enjoyed this weekend!)
“Mummy, do you think we’ll get flooded here?” my daughter asked during one of the many February downpours.
Vivid news reports of British homes and fields underwater strike fear into anyone living on low ground or close to a river. But flooding is one thing that needn’t worry Hawkesbury Upton folk, because elevation is one of our village’s many charms.
It’s an uphill journey from whichever road you enter Hawkesbury Upton. At its highest point, the village rises to over 600 feet above sea level. That’s not counting the top of the Somerset Monument. Perhaps my daughter had visions of us all taking refuge within that tower, fleeing up the unsafe stairs as the water rose about our feet. Should that ever become necessary, it really will be ark weather.
When I first moved to Hawkesbury Upton over 20 years ago, my elderly next-door neighbour, James Harford, passed on a useful tip about the local climate: “When it’s jacket weather in Sodbury, it’s overcoat weather in Hawkesbury.”
My parents live 20 miles away in the heart of Bristol, and I’ve noticed that their daffodils are always at least a fortnight ahead of ours, reflecting the city’s warmer climate.
In the past, it made me sad that we lagged behind. There’s nothing like Spring flowers to banish the February blues.
But now, as the downpours continue, I’m very happy to take the Hawkesbury Upton high ground – one of many compelling reason that I’ve vowed never to move house again.
(This post was originally written for the March 2014 edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News.)
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