After the storm (552)
by Max Akroyd
Yesterday evening, after hearing a repeated banging sound amid the cacophony of the gale, we thought we’d better peer out of the door to see what was happening. It was quite a sight: the night air was being stretched and torn by the wind and the big trees in front of our house were swaying alarmingly.
Later, I went to bed reluctantly knowing that I’d be lying there worrying about my plastic mulch. And the polytunnel. The gale ebbed and flowed but, like a cross baby, just when you thought it should be calming down there was always enough energy for another furious outburst. When the wind started playing the roof tiles like piano keys I stopped worrying about the fate of gardening equipment and focused this futile mental energy onto the very fabric of the house.
After a largely sleepless night we awoke to a different, butter wouldn’t melt world, a quiet and gentle moning. Although I was tempted to go back to bed, I forced myself to confront the inevitable damage.
Amazingly, every bit of plastic mulch was still in place. The polytunnel was still standing. I was so relieved not to have to waste a week trying to reinstate those things. Sure, a long section of old fence had been demolished, but that needed replacing anyway.
My euphoria almost made up for the lack of sleep. I started trying to cultivate the new areas in the polytunnel. This involved soaking each area with a bucket of water from the water butt, getting the prongs of my fork into the soil up to a couple of centimetres and repeating several times. Having persevered with this for a few hours it occurred to my tired brain that I really needed to buy a cheap sprinkler (surely the least seasonal purchase possible) and give the place a prolonged soaking.