I feel like an Old Testament Egyptian today. As has been widely publicised on the UK media all Borsetshire, normally a landlocked county somewhere near the centre of Dear Old Blighty, is suddenly underwater. In some places as much as 2m of unanticipated and unaccustomed moisture that has spilled out of the local watercourses, is making of itself a most unwelcome houseguest.
Fortunately not so at Jest Acres. It pays to live at the top rather than the bottom of the hill you see. Although even we were not immune to the effects of a vast tonnage of wet stuff invading the local electricity substation and making for a brief though undoubtedly lively firework display before plunging half the county into stygian gloom, in our case for about seven hours, on Friday night.
All weekend we have been hearing of friends and acquaintances who have been much less fortunate, forced as they were to spend a night in a local community centre, or in a couple of cases stranded roadside in a coach. There was news on the radio this morning of one poor lady who ended up giving birth in a caravan on the Motorway, with the help of the woman from the car behind who happened to be a midwife.
What has been really interesting in all the attendant chaos and disruption, has been the tone and content of the reportage. We are constantly reminded by reporters, none of whom are old enough, of the evocation present rescue activities raise of the "Dunkirk Spirit", almost as though the present act of a very Old Testament Vengeful God can be likened to the tramping through Europe of the Feldgrau clad hordes of a malignant, and arguably clinically insane, megalomaniac.
I freely admit to having been very fortunate in that I was not called on to travel to or from work last Friday, and so was spared the indignity of having to abandon the car and wade through sludge. But for those that were, and for those still unable to return home as a result either of flooded roads or houses, the threat posed by the current unseasonal monsoon and it's aftermath, is in no sense as real or as enduring as that posed to the entire nation and its way of life over sixty years ago. To continue to use such lazy journalistic hyperbole dishonours the memory of the generation that endured Dunkirk and the long grey years of fear and terror that followed.
This is in no way intended to belittle the impact of what are fast emerging to be the worst floods in living memory, on the communities worst affected. They are entirely desrving of recognition for their present day fortitude and forebearance. Likewise the emeregency services and their armed forces colleagues who have stepped up to offer vital support to those most in need of rescue in such trying circumstances deserve a more relevant and more contemporary recognition than to hark back more than sixty years for our exemplars.
Also, it would really help if the Beardy Man Upstairs would turn the taps off now.