Friday, 25 November 2016

Where the rain goes!

The sunshine has returned. This does not mean that the water has disappeared. We still have a river running down the road, puddles as large as small lakes and fountains bubbling up out of grids and manhole covers.

Returning from my run this morning, laden with shampoo and conditioner and packets of tissues from the local chemist's shop, the co-op still being a work of refurbishment in progress, I ran into a stranger. Almost literally! The sun was in my eyes and I could not see a thing. He stopped to ask if I was local and then asked me for information about the village. It turns out that he is staying at the Old Bell Inn, right next door to our house, and was out for a stroll around. He commented on our water features. So we had a chat about building on flood plains, builders possibly collapsing drains, the cumulative effect of putting up lots of houses on land which previously would have soaked up a lot of the water that is now running down the main road, as other such things.

Despite having lived in the Bristol area since 1970, he retained a delightful Geordie accent from his childhood and youth in Whitley Bay. He is here to attend a wedding at a bigger hotel further up the road from here. He is not an admirer of Trump, nor of our current government, and he seems to be anti-Brexit. You see, this is the kind of thing that happens when I am out and about in the morning quite early. People talk to me and tell me all sorts of stuff. I must have that kind of face!

The other day I went to visit an old friend. Forty years ago we were bright, enthusiastic young teachers involved together in the struggle to improve the education system, reduce class sizes and generally put the world to rights. At the time we thought we were doing a good job. Now it seems that the struggle just goes on and on. And today's bright, enthusiastic young teachers have even less time to keep it going! But that is another problem.

As I approached my friend's house, I saw that the field behind her house is now full of brand new, modern houses, probably quite expensive ones. It was quite a shock! Now, I knew that they were going to be built; the planning and the failed protesting went on years ago. However, not having been up there in daylight recently, it was a shock to see the formerly open aspect now converted into a smart housing estate.

Another patch of rain-absorbing ground covered over with bricks and mortar, concrete and tarmac!

I am quite surprised that George Monbiot hasn't added ot to his list of the crises we are currently facing!

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