Posted in Family, Personal life

As Safe As Hawkesbury Houses

(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!)

Post of Sandra Boynton cartoon  of Noah's ark
I’ve had this poster since I was a teenager. Ever the optimist…

“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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Author:

Author of warm, witty and gently funny fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, beginning with "Best Murder in Show", inspired by her life in an English Cotswold community, short stories and essays about country life. As Commissioning Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors' Advice Centre, she writes guidebooks authors. She speaks at many literature festivals and writing events, and is part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's monthly Book Club broadcast. She is founder and director of the free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which takes place in April, a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and an ambassador for children's reading charity Read for Good and the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

4 thoughts on “As Safe As Hawkesbury Houses

  1. We are living in the same place, but halfway around the world from each other! We just had days and days of rain and I was getting really glum, but today is all sunshine and daffodils! The funny thing is that a lot of my stuff blooms two weeks later than my nextdoor neighbors or other neighbors on the street. Either we have our own bio-bubble here at Casa Zera or I need to start fertilizing…

    1. Gosh, now that is quite weird, Laura – what are your neighbours’ secrets there? Better watch what they’re using to water their plants! Amazing what a difference a bit of sunshine makes, to people as well as to flowers, eh?

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