Today we went on an adventure

Today we went on an adventure. It should have been a simple enough job really, that of popping in to town to get some shopping as we had run out of fresh fruit and vegetables after Christmas and New Year. The problem here is that it has hardly stopped raining and not only did our town flood badly for the second time in three weeks but the ‘main’ road between us and town has been destroyed by the floods.

I use the word ‘main’ very loosely here as although it is the main road to town it is far from being a main road. We live in the country, a rural townland on the edge of a small village. Our ‘main’ road is a two lane country road, made narrower by the water running down either side, created by overflow from the river and way too much rain, plus the overgrown hedgerow which no-one cuts back any more, and the crumbling edges of the road itself. It is though our main road, all others are back roads and although they get to town, are longer, twister and even narrower. Of course we also had no idea what state they were in or which way was open.

So we set off in the car wearing coats and walking boots….just in case…..with a vague plan of where we were going and no idea if the shops we needed would be open when we got there.

The first road we tried leads to the main road, which we already knew was closed but which we knew we could turn off before the destroyed part, only to find out that this road was closed too. Meeting a neighbour in town later we learnt that a section of this had also been washed away by the rain. Turning round we decided to give the dairy road which leads to another way into town, a miss. Shorter maybe but awash with mud it didn’t look a good idea, so we took the longer route through the village and out the other side, in completely the wrong direction.

Luckily this way, albeit much longer, was clear, dry and free from any serious potholes, ones that can swallow the car whole and so we made it into town. Having achieved this amazing feat we treated ourselves to blueberry pancakes with frozen yoghurt and lots of coffee for our breakfast 🙂 We then shopped, loaded the car with fresh veg, fruit, bird food and a few other bits and bobs in case we got stuck in again over the winter and headed of home…..a different way!

Well, it seemed important to see if we had an alternative route….

We kinda did….the road was open but muddy, wet and with so many new pot holes in places that the journey was slow and careful, but shorter in distance although maybe not in terms of time.

So we now know there are two ways into town, today at least, for tonight and tomorrow and probably the days after too, the forecast is for rain. The town has an Orange weather warning now, the river is rising steadily and has been since midday. Hopefully it won’t flood again, hopefully none of the small rivers will burst their banks, hopefully next time I need to get to town the roads I now know are open still are. One adventure like this in the first few days of the year is enough really, unless its something way more exciting than getting shopping that is.




My Home Town

We all see the posts on Facebook and Twitter asking us to shop locally, to keep money in the community and we all click the like button or maybe even share a heart to show we love it. How many of us though put our money where our mouth is, avoid the cheaper retail chains and spend our hard earned cash in the smaller, albeit sometimes slightly more expensive local, owner run, shops?

I for one will be doing exactly what I say I’ll do this year, for our small town, already blitzed from floods six years ago has been hit yet again. The storms over the last few days have once again caused the Bandon River in Co. Cork to flood the town of Bandon.

A majority of our shops are single businesses, run by people who managed to reopen after the last floods, some without insurance, and who were just starting to look forward to the Christmas period when they were flooded out again. Some of the shops will not reopen of course, their owners worn out and disillusioned by the lack of flood relief system that was promised six years ago but is still to materialise. Many though have gamely worked over the weekend so they can reopen in the morning, to show they are not defeated by the floods.

Having lived in the area for 17 years now and having worked in Bandon for some of these I know people in many of the businesses in town, they deserve my support and the support of the community and I hope this year is the busiest, most profitable Christmas ever for them. They deserve it. Without their resilience we would not have a town.