In the last week my sleep has been broken by the sound of wind hurtling around the flat. It has made me rather grumpy and a tad snappy. This seems to be magnified when i am stuck inside watching the rain and grey skies.
I live right next to the Thames and when I moved in I had thoughts of peace and quiet, sunsets over water, watching the boats drift up and down. You know, the kind of sights that make you relax and smile. Over the first winter I learnt that living next to a river is noisy. Very noisy! For starters the boats don’t glide silently on their way. They are monstrous big container ships which creak and cause the water to slam into the smaller boats in the quayside.If it’s foggy they blast their horns relentlessly every 10 seconds or so, sometimes more if it’s a pea soup type of day. The real trouble makers though are the pleasure boats tied up in the quay and the canal basin. They all have masts and other whirlygig type things on said masts. When the wind picks up all you hear is clanking, creaking, little bells going off and the odd thud as the boats get pushed into the pontoon runways between them. Add to this a cacophony of shrieks, wailing and possible murder sounds as the wind hurtles down the Thames and flings itself through the boats and up towards my flat windows and you are some way to understanding why a light sleeper like me feels troubled. I have actually got out of bed and stood watching my windows flex, wondering whether they will cave in as they are buffeted by the wind. We have a good level of insurance cover on the flat in case you are wondering!
After Doris was over I visited the allotment to find it was in disrepair. My greenhouse had not fared too well and the inside looked like a poltergeist had been playing. The wind had ripped off a wooden strut from the roof which exposed a weak spot where the 2 sheets of plastic were layered over each other. The wind had got underneath and ripped off one side of the roof which was flapping into my rose bush as I arrived. Inside the greenhouse everything had been tipped off the shelves and lay on the floor. There was a hole in the back sheet of plastic which looked like a fist mark but on closer inspection had been caused by a cane being driven through the side.
I left everything as it was because I had nothing to fix the problem with, however I had 2 days off later in the week and resolved to use them wisely.
On Thursday I duly set off to the allotment with polytunnel repair tape, staple gun and a flask of tea. It took a little while to fix the roof because I had no stepladder but luckily the plot neighbour has a stool which I borrowed. By the end of an hour it looked good as new again.
I took the back plastic off the window as the hole was too big to fix. I’ve ordered some more plastic for a door and will use the leftover for the window. I plan on making both removable so that in winter I can seal up the greenhouse but in summer I can have lots of ventilation. Some form of canes and velcro may need to be utilised but I need to think carefully about how to do it so that the next storm doesn’t mash it all up again.