It was six days before I could get back to Spring Cottage. I left at 4am in order to get to B&Q in Weston Super Mare (the only place in the country which still had dehumidifiers in stock) at 7 when they opened. I bought that and two electric radiators as I had no idea how long it would be before the central heating could go on again.
When I got there, I found the electrics did work and I switched various bits on again that weren’t obviously fed from the kitchen loft space. Lovely Mark, the plumber arrived and started work, fixing one leak quite quickly but then it turned out that there was another one behind the panelling in the bathroom. Out came the built in shelves, the panelling, the loo cistern, the skirting boards and the side of the bath to reveal another half a bucket of water. Unbelievable that it had actually been so cold as to freeze pipes within the building, but this one did run close to the outside wall.
Took lots of pictures as instructed by the insurance brokers who will probably not pay out because the mains water wasn’t switched off nor was the central heating on…
With the central heating and water back on again, it will be a long time until things are back as they were at new year. On the other hand it could have been much worse.
The saddest thing on the day was finding that the pond was full of dead frogs and newts: it was fully frozen over so by the time we saw it, it was already too late for them. I hope we get some new ones in the spring but I doubt anything has survived in there. I had to sieve them out and chucked them into the field, where they will feed themselves back into the ecology of the immediate area, poor things.