Noah would’ve said that given enough rain, pretty much everywhere is on the flood plain. (If he had existed in the first place.) Sitting smugly aboard a X-Country train speeding south through Worcestershire it’s easy to entertain the thought that boat building might be the way to go. The vale between the Malverns and the Cotswolds is a patchwork of dulled green foliage, swampy brown ploughed fields and inland seas.
Mercifully, the trains are running. Day trip to Yorkshire all running to time. Well, as far as my stretch of the journey goes. Further south? It’s a bus connection and hours of zero-value-added travel misery. The poor Exeter bound mother with two toddlers was faced with the prospect of a four hour bus ride from Bristol. I’ve merely a sodden 40 minute onward schlep from Cheltenham Spa to North Wiltshire in the least suitable hairdressers car money can buy.
Compare that to a buddy who got the train back from Paris sans hitch and then got stuck in Basingstoke due to fallen trees on the line. Nasty. (Basingstoke that is, not the trees. And my day could have been worse: I could’ve spent more time in Dewsbury.)
Largely unaffected by the floody-storminess, I speak with degrees of existential sympathy/angst for those who have been caught, caught out and – at the very least – inconvenienced. There is no such thing as bad weather, merely inappropriate clothing they say? Surely, with the unremitting onslaught of storminess this winter, we can redact that remark?
On the other hand, no prospect of snow.
Cut to grumpy little faces staring through rain streaked windows at the sodden countryside. At home there are two kids hearts that are a teeny bit broken as the sledge Grandad bought them for Crimble is pristine, unused. (Worse still it is clogging up my man cave. Quelle horreur.) Although judging by its sleek, honed runners, lack of hand-holds and high centre of gravity I am merely saving myself a trip to A&E.
[Shopping List aside: Better stock up on marker pens so their mates can sign that cast.]
Fast forward to Saturday morning. Storm is so very bad that the town market in Marlborough is reduced to the sorry sight of a sole trader plying his wares from inside his van. Even “my” flower lady – not the triple platinum priced plant seller – has thought better of it. And she makes Ranulph Fiennes look like a pansy.
Still eh, at least it’s not climate change.
How do I know for certain? Because the BBC had Lord Lawson on Today this week and he said so. And he should know. Oh, wait…
Here’s a (typically) great piece by Mark Steel on that topic:
Public Service Corner: Ogbourners? If you need help filling and shifting sandbags today, let me know.
Stay dry grown-ups, wish for snow kids!