Friday, July 01, 2005


Froggy and Idris have gone to her mother's and I am home alone.

The first crack of thunder jolts me out of my TV watching semi-awareness and seconds later all the lights go out. My first thought is for the PC. Yes, I had left it on.

Suddenly, all hell breaks loose. Doors and windows slam and there is white noise. I rush round closing all the windows and notice it is hailing. Not quite golf balls but it is close. There is a bang outside. A ladder I had left propped up against a wall has been blown down narrowly missing my motorbike as it descended. The windows in the conservatory are open. They open horizontally at the top of the frame and the blinds are down and flapping wildly. I try to roll them up but the wind is too strong. I shall have to close the windows.

Spoons. I can't close them from the inside as I had opened them fully, taking the metal retaining slider off in order to open them to their full extent. I shall have to go outside. I am naked and it is urgent.

Ouch. Ouch fucking ouch. Think a sadistic acupuncturist with more arms than Shiva and you would still not be anything approximating close.

The terrace is already aflood and I notice that most of the plants have already been forced into a very low altitude drooping posture so I decide to leave them there.

I dash back inside and the hail turns to rain. Sheets of it. I look out front and the road is awash. The drainage ditch which but a few minutes before had been empty is now bursting its banks and I start to consider taking the engine out of the Trabant to improve its bouyancy. I have visions of floating off in the direction of the Croatian border perched on its roof with my dog and single malt collection.

I am setting up candles in the room when I hear a dripping sound. Well, I say dripping, splashing would be closer. I track it down to the conservatory. I can only see by lightning flash, illuminating everything for a brief moment of utter clarity but by moving around, the impact of water on my body gives me an accurate idea of where the leaks are.

For the second time in a week, I dash round in search of buckets and then I have one of those light bulb cartoon moments. It's the conservatory, right? There are plants in the conservatory, are there not?

I hoick all the cane furniture into the house to dry and rearrange the floral layout. It is undoubtedly not pretty, as I discovered when the power returned but it was pretty damned effective at both damage control and simultaneous irrigation. Job done.

I go into the study. To be near my single malt collection. Just in case.

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