There’s a storm coming. I’m not trying to be dramatic, there really is. I don’t know about your bit of the country but in mine, weather wise, a mouse fart would be news right now. So this counts as the calm before the storm. Literally. At the moment we have high pressure outside my window. At some point a big heavy sack of air sank down on us and as it warmed up it released all the moisture it could carry and that accounts for the blue sky. What’s coming our way as a fairly unsatisfactory replacement is Storm Ciara, who sounds like an aromatherapy assistant from Chingford. Storm Ciara is already starting to get Scotland nervous and before you know it she’ll be slapping herself all over the country and then you know exactly what will happen.
This is what happens in Britain when there is a storm. First of all the MET office will issue lots of warnings, which about 3 people will pay any attention to. Whether it’s a yellow, amber or red warning most idiots will stick to their idiotic plans and venture out with the line (that is almost the calling card of the unstoppably stupid) ‘how bad can it be?’. The next you see them they’ll be on the news because a bloody great gust of wind has sent them shattering through the window of a florists in Muswell Hill. That’s how bad it’ll be. Storms have no time for morons.
Next up the entire transport network will suddenly become double fucked as trains grind to a halt, though it is fair to mention that in Britain our trains grind to a halt in a squally shower and indeed are incapable of withstanding even a glance at weather that might seem a bit adventurous. Some clueless tit in some command centre somewhere like Slough will arrange for some replacement buses but they’ll end up being double-deckers and one will get blown over as people are leaving a church service and there will have to be an independent inquiry which will take forever and when the verdict comes it’ll be on the news and you’ll say, hesitantly, something like “ohhhh, I think I remember that, was that the day you got blown through that window”.
Speaking of news, that’s where the worst bits will be. George Alagiah will look very serious indeed as he slowly explains what wind is and where it comes from and then explains that rain is wet and that babies come from cereal packets and then he’ll show some footage of storm stuff. This footage will always include the following: someone having their umbrella turned inside out; cars edging through flood water; other cars in floodwater that tried edging through it a few hours earlier but failed and now their cars have died forever and was it really worth it; a tree that has blown over, usually onto a car or the extension of a 3 bedroom semi-detached house; a shot of a train depot with all its train tucked neatly away, followed by a double-decker rail replacement bus edging through….you guessed it, floodwater; waves smashing the shit out of some Cornish fishing village and some unstoppable cock standing on the edge of the harbour, just to feel alive with nature (they will be found dead the next day, four miles down the coast, crabs feasting on their eyes). And all through the news report George will have to make sure he sneaks the word ‘unprecedented’ into every fucking sentence.
People will then start stroking their chins and asking if this has anything to do with climate change or an act of God and then some clever dick will tell us that we can expect more storms like this, “going forward” (still one of the phrases I despise the most) . In the aftermaths the news will visit the ‘worst hit’ areas and there will be an interview with someone who loves living next to a river but has just been flooded again, and she’d only just finished renovating after the last flood and now she just doesn’t know what to do but the reporter won’t have the heart to tell it might be a good idea not living next to a river anymore.
The British have some kind of a sado-masochistic relationship with bad weather events. How else can you explain it when we get hit and hit and hit yet we never really learn from our mistakes. We seem to find some comfort in the suffering that storms can bring; it’s almost as we’re trying to rekindle the Blitz spirit but in actual fact most people don’t really care about other people anymore. Whatever happens with Storm Ciara it will just be deja vu all over again, I hope it comes and goes without too much fuss. Oh, tiles! I forgot about the tiles. They always tell us about somewhere where tiles were ripped off a roof. I just hope it won’t be my roof. I’d better have a quick emergency pray.
G B Hewitt. 08.02.2020