Jimper’s Jottings September 2014


A good summer, very dry, following the wet winter. What are the odds on a dry winter this time? If this happens we could be in trouble. Water shortage and a hose-pipe ban I bet. All that water last winter and no one thought to save a few million gallons. Get it out to sea fast, that was the order of the day. Nothing wrong with that if there are provisions made to save some of it but we haven’t have we? Same old reservoirs, no new ones. How many houses have been built since last winter and the government say we need many thousands more. Has anyone though how many extra taps and toilets will be needed and where the water will come from to service them if it fails to rain seriously for a couple of years? The underground water levels that were so high last winter have dropped alarmingly. June was the driest month on record, with combines out harvesting the oil seed rape, unknown in June normally. Even in my garden one crop after another was finished allowing me time to plant another. Seldom does that happen without cloche protection.

All this talk of fracking is very worrying as we know less about what goes on deep in our planet than we do about the moon. What may fracking do to our homes? Recently it was discovered and proven that water emerging from the springs in the Everglades in southern America fell on the Rocky Mountains before Christ was born. It flows deep underground the length of North America until it reappears bin the Everglades. In the past 100 years the America population has expanded and 100’s of wells for drinking water have been sunk. This is now having an effect on the flow of water. Do we know enough of the earth beneath us to allow deep drilling to extract gas and oil? The human race thinks it is clever but nature still shows us who is the real boss, and we ignore this fact at our peril. Oil and gas are quite different to water. Do we know what will really happen if we extract these two commodities and allow water to fill the space left behind?

Jimper at Sea
Jimper at Sea

At last there is activity on the old Rye Garage site in Cinque Ports Street. Drilling holes to take deep piles was underway in mid July. Lets hope that progress continues apace. I trust it will be a building for ‘public use’ otherwise Rye Partnership will have to pay back the £125,000 grant they were given for clearing and levelling the site as they were instructed by The National Audit Commission in the event that the area was not developed for public use.

July went out with a heatwave, and for us, a spectacular storm. At 7.55 a large rolling cloud advanced at speed. seeing it coming with thunder and lightening all around, I shouted to the family, who were enjoying a barbecue, to gather all in and take cover. There was no time for that. The wind increased from calm to 78mph. instantly. Everything ‘took off’ the awning on my daughter-in-laws vanished along with our trampoline. The most damage was to the very large Horse Chestnut Tree whose 18″ diameter trunk was snapped off as if it had been made of straw. All our goldfish died as did many belonging to our neighbours. What caused the death of so many fish I have no idea. The gust of wind lasted no more than 5 minutes and was designated as one of four tornadoes to hit South East England that weekend.

I have just learned that Rother has proposed that 5,700 new homes be built in the district. Where they plan to take the water from goodness only knows. No plans for a new reservoir as yet. All those roofs and hard standings that come with new houses also prevent heavy rain to drain away, so look out for plenty more ‘flash floods’ in the years to come.

“Rye’s Own” September 2014

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