Good morning to you all on a cold, cold, frosty morning. The rain and flooding from last week are still much in evidence in various parts of the country but we’re almost dried out in our area. There is one stretch of my morning walk with Molly – the railway cutting just beyond the recreation ground – which is still impassable which causes her great consternation every morning. She starts off down the cutting every morning and I have to call her back explaining that we will be in big trouble if we come home from the morning walk covered in mud – the afternoon walk generates enough mud to keep us busy.
Although most of the real flooding has occurred elsewhere in the country, we did have our own little spot of drama the other day on the road which passes the reservoir (for those of you who know it). On Wednesday afternoon we took Molly to the reservoir for her afternoon walk and, as we approached the parking area, we noticed some traffic cones and a helpful police sign indicating that the road was flooded. And, indeed it was, to a depth of a couple of feet, I would guess. As we walked across the section of the reservoir closest to the flooded road we noticed (a) a Land Rover Discovery and (b) a large white van approaching the flooded area from opposite directions. The Land Rover, you will be surprised to learn, went through the flood like a boat; the van got about half way through the flood before it stalled. The driver of the van saw us watching and, somewhat sheepishly, announced that “it wasn’t this deep this morning!” Fortunately for him, the Land Rover stopped, attached a tow rope and dragged him back to dry land.
Then, on Thursday afternoon we spied another white van in the same spot – stuck (the photo at the right, taken with my phone – click for a larger version). No driver to sheepishly admit his foolishness this time – the van was abandoned. What is it about drivers of white vans?
And, while we are on the subject of flooding, I was amused to read in the Guardian on Friday that the government has, rather sheepishly (I’m liking the word “sheepishly” this morning), been obliged to restore some funding to the flood prevention programme which they cut on taking office. At the time there was much criticism of the decision and warnings that failing to maintain spending on flood defence would prove counter-productive.
The agency points out that every £1 spent on flood defences saves £8 in avoiding future damage.
What’s that expression – a stitch in time saves nine (or, in this case, eight)?
Thanks to all of you who sent “Happy Anniversary” wishes last week. We had a wonderful day and enjoyed a lovely meal at the Inn at Farnborough in celebration. And “yes”, after forty years we are still talking to one another.
Several little items caught my eye over the past couple of weeks which I’ve not had an opportunity to share yet. Firstly, a nice little video on the BBC web site about the work of an early 20th century photographer named Edward Curtis who tried to capture on film the last remaining American Indian tribes before their lifestyle disappeared completely. If you are interested in native American Indians there are lots of great photos in the clip.
Secondly, the world’s longest chocolate structure – a 112 foot long, 1250 kg chocolate railway train which looks fabulous. It’s on display at the Brussels South railway station if you’re in the vicinity. If not, the video will have to suffice.
Thirdly, another selection of daft supermarket deals similar to those we featured last year about this same time. These include the usual collection of “bigger value packs” which are, in fact, more expensive than multiple smaller packs and other “deals.” My favourite – the flowers “reduced” in price from €3.50 to €3.90. Be sure to check the link to the right of the photos which includes a further twelve examples including the Sainsbury’s crusty rolls at 40p each or two for £1.00.
And finally, our very best wishes to Dad for a speedy recovery from his “walking” pneumonia – does it get better if you just sit down?
And finally, finally, this from Adrian Raeside and The Other Coast – I’m thinking of nominating Molly for this position. She is extraordinarily accurate with all her timings.
Love to you all,