Monday, October 28, 2013

Survivors of the Storm

Younger readers may find this hard to believe but at the time of the last Great Storm over England, in 1987, there was no blogging or social networks; in fact, there was not even an internet in its present form. So my entry for the day after that storm is a fictionalisation based on what I probably would have written had I maintained this blog at that time.

16 October 1987
A refreshing night's sleep. Apparently there was a lot of wind in the night. The trains are disrupted a bit. 

Yes, I have to admit, the first I realised that anything at all untoward had happened on that fateful night was when I arrived for my morning commute at North Harrow station (for I was living in those parts at that time, gentle reader) and the Met was out of service.

Not so last night. With warnings on all sides, Mrs. Commuter and I prepared for the worst. The garden chairs were carefully stacked at the side of the house. I reinforced a loose bit of fence with some carefully chosen bits of old wood. Then to bed in the knowledge we had done all we could. It rained heavily, but not excessively in the late evening. In the early hours we could hear the wind roaring over the rooftops and one or two interior doors creaked. Around 6:30am Mrs. Commuter looked out into the front and saw - well, nothing at all to speak of. No trees were down. No damage to property. Our drive seemed cleaner than usual, as if the wind had removed all the leaves and scoured the surface. Later in the morning I found that one of the fence panels I thought was secure had come loose, and that the wind had been strong enough to lift off the cover from a water butt that had been weighed down by a brick. Exciting stuff, eh?

There must have been more than this going on. Here is a snapshot of the Tube's service status
I haven't seen a screen like this for a long, long time. But is it going to affect my morning commute this time? No. I'm not going in to work today.  I shall monitor the situation with keen interest, of course, but I regret that no first hand account of today's London Underground experience will be forthcoming from this quarter.

As I pen these words [I love these colourful archaisms: Ed] there is a strong breeze providing a reminder of what have been. The skies are full of grey-white cloud in huge fluffy sheets. It is not raining. And that completes the weather report from beautiful Ruislip so let me leave you with the outlook - probably more of the same, I should think. Move over, Michael Fish - there's a new sheriff in town.

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