By the looks of things, Nigel had been awake through the night.
6.30am & the bar of his hotel, the Tufton Arms in Appleby, was strewn with the exhausted & the despairing.
Families who had been forced to abandon their homes as the floodwaters rose.
And rescue workers – cold & wet, collapsed in armchairs.
Yet it was a strangely cosy scene illuminated only by candles & the fire in the hearth, as the power had been out for hours.
"I think we could manage breakfast around 9 o'clock," he said to me, almost apologetically. "Once the chef has enough daylight to cook with."
All across this town, which sits in the crook of a hairpin bend in the River Eden, people have been mopping up with similar determination.
When I met pensioner Irene Shaw she had received the furniture up on blocks & the worst of the water off the floor of her kitchen. That was until a 4×4 went ploughing through the receding floodwaters outside.
A wave of water came surging through the door. Cue a chorus of angry shouts from neighbouring homes as they went back to square one.
The rain has stopped. The waters are receding. But so are adrenalin levels which have been keeping the locals going.
There is humour here still. Though it's starting to wear thin as people realise the extent of the damage & the extent of the clean-up ahead of them.
Source: “Sky News”