After a night of such heavy and unrelenting rainfall I couldn’t imagine that there was any more water left in the sky but sure enough when we woke in the morning it was still chucking it down. Puddles in the yard where like duck ponds, water was throwing itself over the overloaded gutters, the nearby river water was advancing dangerously close to the cottage and the black clouds over the hills draped menacingly like an axeman’s hood. It looked very much like it was going to be anther very long day.
Kim put a life jacket in the back of the car and drove five miles to Bala for shopping essentials and came back with the bad news that there were warning lights flashing on the dashboard. If it had been a hire car then I wouldn’t have bothered but this was mine. I checked it our myself and it seemed to be a problem with the catalytic converter and as it was only an orange rather than a red light I chose to ignore it.
Shortly after breakfast I had a beer!
We were expecting Sally and the grandchildren to arrive sometime around midday but at two o’clock she phoned to say that she was hopelessly lost and her SatNav wasn’t working, things were going from bad to worse. She eventually arrived at about four o’clock and it took her and the children about five minutes to rearrange the accommodation into the way they like it – rather like Belgium in 1940 after the German Panzer divisions had passed through on the way to France.
As we sat around feeling sorry for ourselves there was rain, more rain and then more rain and then a thunderstorm and the electricity disappeared for a moment or two, the sky was black, prospects were black and our mood was black to match. To cheer ourselves up we lit the wood burner stove and sat around it and lamented a completely wasted day. The children couldn’t go outside and this was almost as bad as being trapped in a car in a queue at the ferry terminal which was exactly the situation that I had changed holiday arrangements just to avoid.
Just after evening meal something unexpected happened. Jonathan spotted it first – a patch of blue, Blue, BLUE and miraculously the clouds suddenly parted as though Moses himself was crossing the Red Sea, the sun came out and the yard puddles started to steam, the flood waters began to retreat and we were able at last to go outside in the fresh air.
It stayed fine now for the remainder of the evening but it was nearly dinner time and too late to go out anywhere but we enjoyed the rest of the day under clear skies and hoped that this would continue into tomorrow.
We went to bed but sometime about one o’clock Kim woke me to say she could hear something – something fluttering. I told her she was imagining things and that she should go back to sleep but then I heard it too. A gentle quivering high in the beams, probably a moth I reassured myself but then Kim demanded man action so I got out of bed and turned on the light. Oh My God it was a bat. A bat. A bloody bat!
It was quite happy flying about in the blacked out room but the light send it into a delirious panic and it began to swoop about the room and jump from beam to beam and Kim started to shriek. The commotion woke the whole house and soon everyone had joined us to see what the fuss was about and still it flew madly around the room and once or twice got dangerously close I feared.
From under the shelter of the duvet Kim kept shouting ‘get rid of it, get rid of it!’ and I was doing my best but as anyone who has ever had a bat in their bedroom in the middle of the night will know this is much easier said than done. I was still half asleep and although I am in peak physical condition the creature was a whole lot faster than me. There were various suggestions ranging from catching it in a fishing net to throwing a towel over it but it was moving so quickly that all of these suggestions were completely useless. Sally insisted that I do nothing which might endanger its life. Jonathan went back to bed.
My one and only idea was to open the window and hope that it would find its own way out and in a huge slice of good fortune that is exactly what happened and it suddenly disappeared into the ink black sky. Kim calmed down and I cheered her up by telling her that not everyone can say that they have spent the night with Batman. Before I went back to sleep I checked my neck in the bathroom mirror for vampire bites because I didn’t want to be responsible later for sending my grandchildren to join the undead with a well intentioned good morning kiss.
There is a lot of folklore and old wives’ tales about bats such as:
- It’s lucky to keep a bat bone in your clothes.
- Keeping the right eye of a bat in your waistcoat will make you invisible
- Carrying powdered bat heart will stop a man bleeding to death
- Washing your face in the blood of a bat enables you to see in the dark.
I have to say that I like the idea of being invisible!
It is also said that a bat in the house means that it is haunted and the ghost has let it in but I will leave that story for a future post. Finally on this point, stories say that if a bat flies into the house then it is going to rain and right now that seemed the most plausible explanation for the intrusion.
Have anyone else ever had an unwelcome visitor in the bedroom? Try and keep it clean!