We've had storms overnight. Several ports are closed. Planes from North America are arriving in Britain a full hour earlier than they are due.
So far, the garden is ok - but the rain is still raining and the wires are whistling and everything that can rattle is rattling.
We'd been warned to expect fallen trees. At the very least, I'd expected the clematis to have been ripped from its place - but though its tendrils flail and its blossoms shiver and sway - it's holding firm.
Rosa Sinensis (in California) has left a comment, asking about the apple espalier in the picture.
Oh! This is an embarrassment.
The espaliered apple is a Cox - but a 'Tom Thumb', not an 'Orange Pippin'.
Until this tree, I thought all 'Coxes' were 'Orange Pippins'.
Oh! Foolish ignorance!
The 'Tom Thumb' Cox is self-fertilising. That's why I chose it. (There was no space to give it a 'friend'.) But it is not an Orange Pippin.
Oh! To walk into the sunshine and pick an apple straight from a tree, expecting all your senses to be blasted with flavour (because that's what an Orange Pippin will do!) - and to taste something from this tree instead - it is like falling downstairs when the house is empty and no-one can rescue you.
So - I enjoy having an espaliered tree. I enjoy its shape. I prune it with pride.
(And never, ever, offer visitors to taste of its fruit!)
Lindsay, too knows how stairs can let you down.
Worried they'll be shocked by the breath of storm after the warmth of the airing cupboard, I've set them under glass tumblers on windowsills - their own little greenhouses!
So - lot's of excitement but no space left today to say what happened when the lady from the M.O.D. turned up on our doorstep, demanding she be allowed to see Ming.
I'll tell you about that tomorrow.