Eunice – she huffed and she puffed

I’ve not been on here for a while as I’ve been taking a little bit of a break. Well, it was meant to be a break, perhaps with some time away with walks by the coast breathing in the fresh air, recharging my batteries and, maybe, luxury of all luxury, dining out at a restaurant or two, which I haven’t done much of over the last two years for obvious reasons.

That was the plan, but then Eunice had a different idea. Who is Eunice, I hear you ask? Is she an old friend from university, or maybe a work colleague? No, she isn’t any of those – she was a storm that blew into our lives about two weeks ago and wreaked havoc and devastation upon many, myself included!

As an aside, did you know that words beginning with ‘eu’ usually mean ‘good’, like Euphonium (I think it means ‘ good sound’), or, Eugenics (‘good genes’) etc. Trust me when I say there was nothing good about Eunice!

Eunice, just like like the big bad wolf in the fairytale, huffed and puffed and (nearly) blew the house down!

Off came parts of my roof, and in the rain and water poured. Through the ceilings, down the walls, all through the electric cabling, the lights, the mains wired fire alarms, soaking into the carpets and saturating the wood floors.

The fire brigade came out to check that the roof wasn’t a danger to pedestrians on the street below (it wasn’t, thank goodness) and it was they who said that all electricity, and as a result the heating, had to be switched off in case the water in the electrics caused a fire. And so they told me I couldn’t safely stay at home.

Hurriedly, a plan was made to try and move some of my things. The fire brigade, a bunch of very kind and helpful men and women, asked me what I wanted to salvage. Salvage? What were they talking about? This is my home and these are my things – surely they can’t really mean that I had to choose there and then what was most important? (I also didn’t want to be taking up too much of their time either, as I felt there must be other people out there in need of real help.)

I couldn’t think. My mind went blank. I was suddenly embarrassed at needing their help, which is a really odd emotion to be having at a time of crisis but what can I say, that’s what I felt. I can only imagine it is because I do not usually like to ask for help and I prefer to be relatively private about my life, but suddenly here I was with half a dozen men and women in uniform in my home, passing from room to room, filling up my flat. Indeed this was more people than had been inside my flat in the preceding two years of Covid combined.

Think. Think. I couldn’t figure out what I should move, or even where to move it to, but then my years running my own events company and having to deal with last minute issues and changes kicked in and my brain got past the embarrassment and I asked them to move my paintings off the walls. Some are quite large, one of them is a four-metre long diptych (but lightweight-ish), so would need two people to carry them safely. I found a spot that wasn’t as yet wet and we piled them all up together there.

When we had done that, my embarrassment at the ridiculousness of the situation in which I now found myself returned and I felt I had already taken up far too much of their time and insisted that I would be ok with the rest and sent them on their way. It reminded me of a time years ago when a car drove into me when I was cycling, they were coming out of a side road, I was on the main road so had right of way, and they drove smack bang into the side of me knocking me to the ground. I clambered up off the ground and hobbled away in pain, leaning on my mangled bike, insisting that I didn’t need any assistance or medical help, again, because I felt embarrassed! Can I be the only one who reacts like this when these things happen to them?

Anyway, I was grateful to the local fire brigade for their help but I also wanted them to go and deal with what I felt were more worthy citizens in need of their help.

Can I take a moment here to say bravo/brava to all our emergency services who come out to help when we are at our worst and most need someone to help us? Brave, courageous and kind, every one of them.

When they had gone, I needed to get on the internet and google local hotels and find a place to stay for the night, but there was no longer any power and as a result, no Wi-Fi. So after some challenging moments and dodgy 5G internet connections, I managed to find a room for two nights in a local hotel (bearing in mind it was the weekend and as I was booking very last minute, I had to take whatever I could get).

So for the last two weeks my “break” has been spent in a local hotel room with daily visits back to my apartment to bail out water and empty buckets, as the roof is still in a state of disrepair and therefore still leaking.

The insurance company are dragging their heels but I understand they will have been inundated after the storms – for now, though, nothing has happened. The ingress of water gets worse with each passing day and every additional rain cloud that passes overhead (and there have been a lot).

So for now I am still in limbo – no, that’s not the name of the hotel I’m currently residing in! It has been two weeks now and it really hasn’t been a holiday!

Thank goodness, though, I was off work. I am back on Monday 7th and that’s going to be weird because I will be going to work from my hotel and returning to my hotel. That’s probably not weird for anyone who travels a lot for work but for me it is, especially as I am a homebody who loves nothing more than to be in my own space.

I do have perspective, though, when I watch television and see the reports of the Ukrainian refugees fleeing their homes. It reminds me that I am still so lucky, much luckier than most, and that’s what I cling to every time I get a bit done about the situation. I’m sure many of you are the same.

Anyway, this was just meant to be a quick update. I will keep you posted on how things progress but I suspect I will be out of my home for some time to come. Let me know if you’ve ever been in the same position and how you handled it or how you stayed upbeat and positive. Perhaps you may even have some tips or hacks for how you can make hotel room living more like being at home – if so I’d love to hear them.

Until next time,

Miceal Xx

17 Responses

  1. On you poor soul feel so sorry for you ,hope things get back to normal soon you don’t seem to have a lot of luck, will be thinking of you and yes keep us posted. Best wishes Loraine xx

  2. Awh my love- what a disaster for you. Your lovely home which was your pride and joy – ruined. I am so sorry this had happened. St least you are in one piece although I’m sure you are stressed to the eyeballs xxx

  3. Oh Miceal, so very sorry about your storm damage. Hope you get it sorted soon. If I lived closer (west midlands) you could kindly stay with me and my hubby, you would be made very welcome while you sort out your home. Hope you soon get it sorted out.
    Love Karen

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about what’s happened, Miceal, my heart goes out to you. I can empathise – I had something similar happen last autumn which affected our entire flat. The insurance was a nightmare and required serious perseverance, but I did win. We’re back at home and work is almost completed. You will get there. And I know exactly what you mean about being embarrassed. I stopped telling people what had happened, I couldn’t cope with their sympathy! Very best wishes. xxx

  5. So sorry to hear of all the devastation Eunice caused you .Understandably you feel in a low place because you are not in control. Hopefully your possessions are not in a too distressed condition because you have always refered to your home with compassion. Best wishes and hope a!’ll resolved soon.

  6. Miceal, I’m so, so sorry about what has happened, my heart goes out to you. I can definitely empathise as something similar happened to me late September, resulting in devastation throughout my home. The actual event is so distressing – and the lengthy arguments with insurance companies are exhausting and add to the stress. We are now nearly there at last, just the new carpets to be fitted in a couple of weeks. I just had to keep going back to things I know my mum would’ve said, “Nobody’s hurt. These are all material things and can be replaced.” However hard it is to motivate yourself, doing ‘normal’ things like work and seeing friends really does help. It’s very tough, but you will get there. Much love xxxx

  7. Oh Miceal so sorry for your troubles, I know how you feel about trying to be brave and upbeat but it is your life that has been uprooted and damaged, my garden was damaged most ending up in next doors garden. In the grand scheme of things not important but I have spent a lot of tears on this so how you start putting your home back I don’t know but I sincerely hope you get sorted soon. Like you I’m devastated with the sad news in Ukraine and hopefully things will be better soon. Take great care of yourself

  8. Hi Miceal,
    so sorry that your property was so badly affected by storm Eunice. Sounds like it was horrendous, and still ongoing….. I think that maybe you will feel better and more grounded when you get back to work as I find routine very comforting when things happen that are out of your control. At least you will be amongst friends and have some company for part of the day. I suspect that I am similar to you, and perhaps like my own company a little bit too much? Anyway I will keep everything crossed that your nest will be cosy again soon!
    Best wishes

  9. Such a rotten thing to happen. I hope you’re using a loss adjuster and not negotiating with the insurance company yourself – they can definitely help & act on your behalf.

  10. Oh dear what a time you have had,storm Eunice was a particularly nasty one.I hope things will improve for you,albeit slowly,but surely,good luck.

  11. Hi Miceal
    I was so sorry to hear that Storm Eunice has caused so much damage to your lovely home. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Please remember that there is a lot of love out there for you, from your QVC family and from customers like me who think that you are an extra special person. We would all love to give you a great big hug right now. God bless. Sue xx

  12. What a horrible time you’ve had Miceal. Hopefully you’ll get good news this week from the insurance company – be sure to let them know you’re having to stay in a hotel, it all adds up. Looking forward to seeing you back on Q tomorrow
    From a sunny but bitterly cold Co. Mayo.

  13. oh miceal how awful for you i do hope it all gets sorted soon but you are quite right we must remember the dire situation the ukranian people find themselves in and keep them in our thoughts sending you much love ad best wishes carol holmes

  14. Buy some flowers & a couple of plants. Spray your room with your own perfume and add some candles that you adore the smell of. But first before you do all that. Give yourself some time enjoy what you have, rejoice in your family and give thanks it’s all life’s journey whether we wanted to go on it or not. Look after yourself the rest will look after itself. Take good care.

  15. Oh Miceal how awful for you. I’m not great with people I don’t know in my house so I totally understand. It must be hard too when the insurance company is taking so long to get it fixed out which means some water still coming in, hope they get round to it sooner rather than later. 🙏 I’m thinking of you.

  16. I wondered where you’ve been and I’m so sorry for all the mess you are having to deal with, I have only had one issue with water in the house and I just cried as it affected some newly built fitted wardrobes, so really nothing major in comparison with your troubles. Thinking of you and hoping that things improve soon for you.
    Good luck

  17. My goodness ; what a disaster for you and your family must be so concerned too .Surely it will all get better and you can move back to your home .Your fans are upset for you and hoping all will be well – keep strong .

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