Flooding is an emotive topic. It's hard to imagine anything good coming from a flood and in truth it takes a while to search out whatever goodness has resulted from the South Midland floodings of July 2007.
But now the clouds are not such a constant reminder and we have had several days of sunshine that will help the drying out process to succeed. Insurance companies are finding their task nigh impossible and some claimants have yet to be assigned a case number two weeks after the event. Conflicting suggestions as to what to do in the meantime only add to the stress. But the open doors and windows that provide the fresh air to remove mustiness and dampness have resulted in a strong sense of community ownership of the problem. As always, a problem shared is a problem halved. As I have observed before, there is always someone else who is worse off (we heard of houses in Evesham that had 17 feet of water in them) and while this doesn't make things any better, then one's own problems can at least be placed into a wider context.
Those of us with minimal (less than four inches) ingress are getting back to normal. The rugs are clean, the drapes are being cleaned. The floors are dry and relatively unspoilt (tile, stone and certain other floorings have all shown their resilience). Gardens and driveways are back to normal. Those with more water damage are still trying to come to terms with the major upheaval and, now, they are struggling to find people who can do the repair work.
Gouging is beginning to enter the flood vocabularly - £1,800 a month for a two room flat (normally a holiday let) seems way too much. Rents are usually much lower. We are helping out a neighbor - they will be "house-sitting" for an extended period while their own place is repaired. And, no, we are not gouging!!!