Thursday, January 18, 2007

Where the Bee Sucks

We don't do Weather very well in Britain. The first autumn breezes bring the rail network to a grinding halt with leaves on the line. More than 4 hours of consecutive summer sunshine and the use of all hosepipes is banned. 2 inches of rain and everywhere floods, especially Norfolk which has barely risen out of the North Sea in the past 2 millenia.

The current gale force winds are causing mayhem up and down the country. The Dartford Bridge over the River Thames and the Severn Bridge across, well, the Severn have both been closed all day. Motorways have become long, rather narrow car parks as commuters find themselves unable to get home, their paths blocked by overturned lorries. Walls have collapsed, trees blown down and serious damage caused to Lords' Cricket Ground ( though not to their trophy cabinet). The official advice is " Stay Indoors". If a journey isn't essential, don't make it.

There's just one tiny oasis of calm amongst this turbulence. The Humber Bridge. Unflappable in her 25 years, she has been closed only once, briefly in 1989, when a van was blown over blocking the carriageway. Today she happily bore all but her high-sided traffic. A couple of caravans came a cropper, their roofs pressed to the crash barriers. I've little sympathy for them. They have no business on the roads in January. Actually, I have no sympathy for them whatever the month.

I did have a brief moment of concern when I received a text message ( from a handsome hockey player - eek!) suggesting the Bridge was closed and that I might be marooned in Hull for the evening. Fortunately, the rumour turned out to be false but I used the excuse to leave the office early for an important appointment. The journey home was quite surreal. Hedgerows festooned with wind-blown debris, like a procession of Used Car lots, danced in the mauve glow as the sun set. The river boiled angrily, sending spray across the windscreen - the cleanest it's been in weeks.

I should have been at a Nazi rally tonight, or rather planning a programme with a personal trainer. I was all set to go when I received a call from Jack to say a tree had come down and I'd have to take a 10 mile detour to get to the gym.

I put the phone down, removed my trainers, reached for the nearest magazine and shall spend the rest of the evening flicking through the AutoTrader desperately looking for a high-sided vehicle available immediately so I don't have to get out of bed until the wind drops.


Blogger Pete said...

did a little smile cross your face when you heard about the tree?

8:39 pm  
Blogger delcatto said...

You could do the exercises at home, to music and with a nice chilled white wine accompaniment.
Aerobics to the sounds of Leonard Cohen...

8:45 pm  
Blogger Seany said...

Good plan. Personally, I'm looking for a job just the other side of the snake pass...

8:55 pm  
Blogger Joyce said...

weather woes. Feel my pain.

9:20 pm  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Where do you find these good-looking hockey players? They seem to be around every corner over in Great Britain. Maybe that's why they call it "Great."

10:15 pm  
Blogger Stegbeetle said...

"especially Norfolk which has barely risen out of the North Sea in the past 2 millenia" - this is true. As I'm sure you've noticed, a steady drizzle will return fields to their "lake status".
At times of exceptionally high tides the local Council will distribute sandbags when I feel scuba equipment would be more appropriate.

11:40 pm  
Blogger Within Without said...

Having posted about every second week on our weather woes, I do shed a tear or two for you.

But what, pray tell, of the handsome hockey player?

3:32 am  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

Once I read the word 'hedgerow' all I could 'ear in mee bloody 'ead was..

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
Don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May Queen.(wth?)

Yes there are two paths you can go by,
but in the long run.
There's still time to change the road you're on.

You'll take the Humber and if it does snow,
you can drive slow.
The Humber's calling you to join him.

Dear Cherry can't you hear the wind blow and did you know
Your hedgerows fly in the gale force winds...

((air guitar solo!))

6:18 am  
Blogger Artist once known as Dave said...

Southern softies, eh? Fancy letting a bit of wind worry them.

By the way (being a little pedantic) I think you'll find the van blowing over thing was yesterday; the Humber Bridge was completely closed when a van tried a 3-point turn, causing a tanker to overturn.

That's what I read yesterday, on a link someone sent me.

8:17 am  
Blogger Artist once known as Dave said...

Here is the very article for those who really want to know.

9:33 am  
Blogger Mise said...

A rowing club mum who is a stewardess has been flying the Ireland/UK routes this past week and has had a brisk trade in sick bags as a result of the rollercoaster turbulence and hair-raising heavy landings.

Give me the couch any day!

5:49 pm  

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