However, this time the rain brought with it a multitude of tiny toads.
Well, they might be toads. They might be frogs. They really are far too tiny to tell, as you can see from the picture above. They are about the size of my little finger nail and I must have collected about 30 before I went to bed that night, carefully placing them outside, only for them to return a few minutes later. I can't bear to leave them though, partly because I am so scared of accidentally stepping on one, and partly because they tend to dehydrate and die overnight and I find their tiny dried spindly bodies too unbearably sad as I suck them up the hoover.
The following morning I excitedly reported the tiny toad invasion to McColleague when she arrived for work. She pointed out there were hundreds outside the front door too, the visitor entrance to the house, their tiny bodies clambering over the fibres in the coconut door matting and clinging to the boot brush. Some had already been squished. So, I made a sign, saying "Watch your feet! Tiny toads crossing!" It worked really well, and we had great fun watching people gingerly picking their way across the lawns, trying not to step on any mini amphibians.
The big rains also caused the reappearance of another familiar feature. Yes, the hole is back, bigger and better than ever!
Here you can see the lovely McColleague pointing at it in true local newspaper photography style. I tried to get the builder chap and his digger back again, but he was busy elsewhere on the estate, as the storm drains up at the tea room had also collapsed. The kitchen staff had arrived to find their kitchen entirely flooded. McColleague and I decided to go and investigate and see if any cakes needed rescuing. We are not too proud to eat water damaged scones.
Amazingly, despite the above setting, people were still sitting nearby to sip their cups of tea and shout polite conversation over the noise. I find it amazing that I get comments cards complaining about dribbly teapots, yet no one says a word when they have to leap a trench and dodge the digger, Indiana Jones style, in order to enter the tea room. It seems our visitors are just as unpredictable as our weather.