|The Finished Product|
The garden wall on the church yard side had fallen down. It was dark. But from what we could see by the light of the torch, it was bad.
We went out first thing next morning to witness the worst. An area of about eight square feet (Or is it more than that? Answers on a postcard please!) had fallen. A double skinned wall that retains the churchyard, it left a jumble of stones, of rubble that had been thrown inbetween the two walls - and, yes, a gravestone! Luckily, there were no bodies and the wall to the side of the house, which encloses the gate and which is not too secure itself, seems to be acting as a brace on one side of the gaping hole and, on the other, the ivy appears to be holding the rest of the wall up. However, we are very nervous as the church shed is about ten feet away and we certainly don't want that tumbling into the garden. With the rain still pouring down, we aren't sure how much further the wall will be weakened and how much more might collapse.
|The Damage - A View From Our Garden|
Of course, Saturday evening and the Saturday before Christmas on a Tuesday is no time for something like this to happen. We tried to contact the insurance company on the Sunday with no joy. They may, of course, have been tied up with the flooding that was going on in most of the rest of the country. We tried to contact builders. However, we all know that it is never a good time to contact builders but this is especially true on a Sunday before Christmas on a Tuesday. In the end, our neighbour rallied round and we raided our other neighbour's garden (with his permission, I should add, for those thinking of trying this at home!) where his builders had left some planks, which we used to shore up the remaining wall. The result is not exactly acro props but so far so good. There has been no further landslide.
|The View From the Church|
In the meantime, we're waiting to see what the insurance company has to say. I don't mean to be pessimistic or unkind to insurance companies but I've never yet managed to claim for anything from my buildings and contents insurance so I'm not entirely sure that this will be very different. And the cost? We suspect thousands. Looks like my makeshift kitchen (see the first picture above for evidence) will have to do for just a little bit longer.