Going all Baden-Powell

A Scout is never taken by surprise; he knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens.

Never having been a boy, I wasn’t a Scout. However I had a brief spell as an Akela in about 1969. I’ve since become less a fan of quasi-military training for kids, but I do like to be prepared. So, given that we are currently being warned to expect between 100 and 200mms of rain on Wednesday (that’s nearly 8 inches), I’ve been preparing.

We have 11 x cubic metre storage tanks under our house and all the roof-water is collected. Except that we can’t collect it all. We’d need around 80 tanks for that. So, when it rains very heavily the tanks fill quickly then we need to help the overflow along. With that much rain I don’t want the excess water to run straight onto the garden so we have pumps set up to direct the water off the garden as quickly as possible.

One of the pumps failed at the end of last year, so I’ve replaced it and fixed the hose into a drain that runs right away from the house.
We’re halfway down a very high peak so water runs from the top and a lot of it ends up with us, so we have a drain running around the boundary. In parts it is hidden and in others it looks like a gully. So this morning I made sure the gully is clear of debris so the water can run freely.


I’ve picked the all vegetables that are just about ready and tied up the late tomatoes. My lovely nephew gave me four large bay trees and a couple of huge Magnolia grandiflora earlier in the summer. They were left over from one of his landscape gardening jobs. I didn’t plant them at the time as I feared they’d wither in the drought. Standing next to the back door, they’ve been regularly watered and look healthy. I want to get them in the ground as soon as the ground is wet enough for me to dig the holes, so all these plants have been moved to their new homes in readiness.


The wellies and wet weather clothes are in from the garage and we have storm lights in case the power goes off in a lightning storm – as often happens. The generator has been tested and is ready for service to keep the pumps going if the power goes.

Is that it? Have I thought of everything? Would I get my flood-prevention badge?