Friday, 30 November 2012

The tide is last!

If you have read the blog recently, you will be aware that our part of Oxford has been on a flood warning for the last five days.  We watched as the water level in the stream at the end of the street rose from 56.5m last Sunday and the park went under water.

Sunday 25 November 2012
By Tuesday morning, the flood gauge pole was completely submerged, with the water level rising to over 57 m.  

Tuesday 27 November 2012
The pumps were working through the night in the cul-de-sac where we rent a garage, but the water still got in under the door.  Oh dear! 

Residents in the adjoining block of flats were marooned, watching as the Fire and Rescue Service tried to pump out water from the parking court.

We are still on a flood warning.  The road to the garage is still closed, as is nearby Binsey Lane, leaving Binsey village residents cut off by car.  However, the Environment Agency says that although river levels are still high in the Thames, especially in the Osney Lock area near us, water levels are stable and falling very slowly.  The river remains out in the flood plain and will stay that way for several more days.  

Although our park is still under water, the level in the stream has dropped to 56.9m - a noticeable reduction overnight - as the flood water makes its way downstream towards Reading.  

Ironically, we followed the flood down to Reading today to collect an oven which daughter Katie bought recently for the new flat in London which she is in the process of buying with her partner.  It's sitting in our dining room at the moment, waiting until the purchase of the flat has been completed.

The good news is that as the flood water recedes, Steve's appetite has returned and he is eating well and enjoying his food, in spite of the chemo drugs affecting his taste buds. He is experimenting with different drinks - ginger beer, pineapple juice, traditional lemonade, a variety of ciders as well as Campari, as sharp acidic fruit flavours seem to cut through the nasty chemo taste.  He has also added juicy green grapes to the list of things he likes to to nibble in between meals.  

With no infections this time round to throw him off course, the third cycle of chemo has been much more manageable than cycles 1 and 2.  All being well, we can look forward to the remaining nine days of this cycle of treatment.  We are planning another trip to Bristol next week to visit his mum, who has now settled so well into her care home that she is now talking about living there long term, to the great relief of everyone in the family.  

For many years now, the wider Wride family has gathered at his mother's house in Bristol for a big get together the weekend before Christmas.  It will be different this year, but in a good way - knowing that she is safe and warm and looked after 24/7.  

We have started to think about our Christmas, but will wait to see whether Steve's next cycle of chemo goes ahead on schedule.  Only then will we know at which point he will be in the 21 day chemo cycle on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day and that will give us some idea of how he might be feeling at the height of the festive season.

However, the first Christmas card has arrived, all the way from Texas, USA - thanks Sue and Curtis!  We will be getting into the festive spirit this weekend, putting the Advent Calendar on the mantlepiece; posting the meso warriors Secret Santa present; working on this year's Christmas card and writing the yearly letter to those we don't see very often.  

Happy St Andrews Day if you are in Scotland. I can hardly believe it will be the first day of December tomorrow....

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