Today, the threateningly named Storm Freya, hit the country. Like its namesake, it wasn’t particularly lethal. Well, not in Devon (which is actually Somerset) anyway. I’m not sure why I keep calling this place Devon. I must stop.
First thing this morning a cruise ship naming ceremony was stopped because of scary high winds. Celebrities were quickly evacuated. In itself that’s interesting. I would have thought there were enough ‘celebrities’ that we could afford to lose a few while the general public are a lot more valuable.
The naming was for an incredibly ugly, floating council block called the MSC Bellissima (a misnomer if ever there was one). The ceremony was being held in a tent next to the ship at Southampton and it was decided to move the event on board when the winds started flapping the tent flaps a little too flappily.
I think the liner I looks like an office block on top of a coal barge. It has a passenger capacity of over 5,000 people and, inside, it looks like a particularly garish shopping mall. I love boats but this one is just plain ugly. I can only assume that people who cruise will love it.
It seems that Sophia Loren is the ship’s Godmother. “I didn’t know ships had godmothers,” said Mirinda. “It’s Italian,” I said, “Everything has a Godmother.“
This almost catastrophe was ahead of Storm Freya – the Freya Entree, if you will. For our part, here in Somerset (which I keep calling Devon), Storm Freya was quite relaxed in her storminess. Things weren’t so relaxed in Gloucestershire however where a train hit a tree, power lines came down and there was general windy mayhem.
While it was looking rather bleak and blowy outside our cottage on the hill, it never really amounted to that much. The rain didn’t rise much above a spit and the wind spent more time in the chimney than bending trees.
At one point we took a walk around the ‘common’ in the centre of this tiny hamlet. It’s called Hewood (pronounced ‘Hew-Ud’ and not ‘He-Wood’) and is comprised of about 11 houses/farms. A fair few are thatched and they are all very sleepy. At least they were when we walked around. In fact we didn’t see a single soul. Or chicken.
The rest of the day was spent in thesis writing and war dead research as we sat in separate rooms and worked away, stopping only for meals and ablutions.
Tomorrow we may venture out. For a bit, anyway.