Posted: 18 February 2022
We'd been warned that Storm Eunice was coming. All that had happened when Storm Dudley passed through a couple of days earlier was a lot more twigs and small branches than usual fell from the trees and "Dave" our deer sculpture and been laid over as it had when Storm Corrie passed through at the end of January. Eunice was different, although it was hard to tell what was to come from the picture I posted on the BBC Weather Watchers site just before 17:00 last night.
As you can see, the water in the lake was still enough to have clear reflections of the trees in it, and there was still blue sky, albeit with some quickly moving ominous clouds in the sky. By just after 09:00 this morning the situation was different and my Weather Watcher post showed the lake side reeds bending in a southerly wind under a dark sky.
But that photo shouldn't give you the impression it was dark skies all the time! The wind had grown still stronger by 11:00 and was now laying the tips of the reeds near horizontal yet we had had blue sky for 20 minutes or so.
We were watching the One o'clock News news having our lunch hearing stories of a record breaking 122mph gust at "The Needles", the rocky eastern tip of the Isle of Wight, and deaths from falling trees when we saw our heavy 6ft diameter glass topped table along with three of the chairs that were tied to it get swept from our patio and across some 10 feet of decking into the lake. The quarter-inch thick glass top is supposed to be heavy enough to keep itself in place. All that secures it to the metal underframe and legs are four 1" diameter suction caps.
There's more than a two foot drop to the water and as the table flew off the edge of the decking and began to tip into the water that glass separated from the frame. Each of the, now five, items sank below the surface.
The bright spells were all short lived. By 16:25 the situation had changed. Clearly the centre of the storm had passed as you'll see that beyond the decking the reeds are now blowing in the opposite direction to earlier. Now I felt bold enough to open the patio door to take the photo. But was still not prepared to leave the house as there was likely to be several more hours of wind to come and no point in inspecting the rest of the grounds till it was all over.
You may notice a smashed pot at the side of the house that held a young sapling was now laying on the ground. It would seem that was either taken down in the gust that took the table or by one of the chairs that was tied to it.
Given what happened to the table and pot I was surprised to notice that the small chuck of wood that had broken off the top of the oak pedestal that holds an engraved sun dial, a wedding gift to us, still stood on top of the pedestal. It's been there since autumn and the task of refitting it was one of those jobs I have been putting off since then. It's always a mystery why some things will get taken by storm winds when other things that appear equally vulnerable do not.