I used to have rather a nice lawn in my back garden, months ago when it was still summer, but when I went out to the compost heap yesterday I found it very much changed. Not so much a lawn as a quagmire. Every step I took squelched loudly and rather rudely and when I turned to walk back to the house, I saw that I’d left round pits wherever I’d trod on my way out. “Welcome to the world of ceaseless rain” Mrs Noah said to me, adding, “Perhaps you should start thinking about a boat, dear.”
Not that there’s anything new about floods. We’ve had several during the time I’ve lived in Felpham and Bognor. This was The Grove in a previous year
and below it is a picture of the beach at Pagham after a particularly high and destructive tide. But these scenes are nothing compared to the devastation that the people of Cumbria suffered last year, when there were five severe flood warnings and more than seventy flood warnings in the North of England alone. Their homes were flooded and their furniture and belongings wrecked and the army had to be called out to help build up the flood defences. It made me ache to watch the scenes of wreckage in the flooded streets, and I was full of admiration for the stoicism and courage of the people coping with the total disruption of their lives. As a nation, we’re not very good at flood defences at the moment.
Perhaps Mrs Noah had the right idea and we ought to build a fleet of arks, ready for the next one. Although I shall draw the line at all those animals. I wouldn’t mind sharing my accommodation with the odd dove or the occasional cat, but elephants, crocodiles, giraffes and hippos, no! There are limits.
And just to remind us that flooding around our coasts is no new thing, here is a picture of Bognor taken in the early years of the twentieth century and featured on a postcard.
Pass me my galoshes!