October 27, 2013



It’s frelling tipping it down out there—no, hurling, smashing it down.  Anyone who either lives here or likes following global weather will know that the south UK is in for a hammering tonight.  The weather guys are permanently twitchy since the seriously under-predicted storm of ’87 that pretty much took out the south of England* but they’re rolling out ‘worst storm since ’87’ warnings now, although maybe that’s only foolish young reporters who were still in grammar school in ’87.

The storm wasn’t supposed to start till later but I’ve just had an undesirably exciting time driving back from church** where there’s so much water on the roads in some places that you’re effectively fording, with a bow-wave higher than your bonnet/hood and the water showing a deplorable tendency to slash across your windscreen and there’s enough rain there already thank you.  And you’re white-knuckling the steering wheel, which wants to sashay with all that water slamming into the wheels, and KEEPING YOUR FOOT DOWN on the ‘go’ pedal because if you get water up your tailpipe you will stall and then you are there till someone with a tow-chain rescues you, which is not a good position to be in at the beginning of a major storm.

So I’m going back to the cottage early and posting what in my case passes for early and short here before I leave because I’m expecting the internet to go belly-up any moment, and probably at the cottage first.***  Very possibly followed by the electricity.  I should be able to find torches/flashlights, candles, oil lamps and matches in the dark but I am so not looking forward to trying to convince an assortment of hellcritters that these are the current conditions, and the sooner they get on with things the sooner we can all go back indoors.

I’m supposed to have my voice lesson tomorrow morning. . . .

* * *

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Storm_of_1987

When I moved over here in ’91 it was still practically speaking recent because you can’t regrow old gardens and forests that fast.   I saw a lot of what it had done in Hampshire and Kent.^  And as the Wiki article tells you, that the meteorologists missed it has become a standard British joke.

^ And am in the process of remembering the storm itself, like I now remember the ’40s well as a result of being married to Peter.  The really weird thing is that I remember the American forties.

** Having had a pretty undesirably gusty drive to ring afternoon service at Forza with Wolfgang bucketing over the road like a cold-backed horse.^

^ The ringing wasn’t much better.  But for once it WASN’T ME.+  I held my line through most of my feeble repertoire of methods—there were only eight of us at full strength—while not everyone else successfully held theirs.  This might be more satisfying but in the first place it’s a lot more fun to ring in a good touch than a bad touch as well as less nerve wracking since there’s always the (in my case dreadfully justified) fear of someone falling off their line dragging you with them.  And in the second place you always feel crummy ringing badly for service, especially when it’s something the band ought to be able to ring, which it will be or you wouldn’t be trying to ring it for service.  AND IN THE THIRD PLACE while it wasn’t my fault, I’m an erratic enough ringer that things are more likely to go wrong—and less likely to recover—when I’m on a rope.  Good ringers can hold their rhythm as well as their line when other parts of the row are falling apart.  I can sometimes hold my rhythm on six bells just because I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR NEARLY A DECADE and most of that time has been on six bells.  On eight bells, forget it.  If the person I’m supposed to be passing or dodging with has drifted astray all I can do is go clang and look for my next victim, and hope that I’m not now so far out that we will fail to find each other too.  Sigh.  One so wants to be on the side of the angels, instead of the side of the bodgers—the side that finds itself using safety pins on its hems because it doesn’t have time to find a needle and thread, the side that finds itself making chocolate apple cake because it discovered after the shops had shut that it’s a little short of both chocolate and flour but it has lots of apples . . . the side that sets out to write a short story and finds itself writing a frelling trilogy.  I am a bodger through and through.

+ It wasn’t I, either.  This blog tends to be pretty colloquial.

*** I am so tired of living with wiring made of pipe cleaners and chewing gum.


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