As wet as an otter’s pocket?

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A simile long on description and short on ambiguity. But today, I must add the rider – wetter. Three years ago, the government were granting extraction licenses, by the hundred, to ensure the water companies could honour their dividend promises. And in that irritating pious way of theirs, then telling the rest of us to throw the hosepipe away as global warming was here to stay. And so it is, but the meteorological effects are somewhat different to advertised. if the last two summers’ set any sort of precedent.

And there is a certain irony that the same volume of poorly planned housing was contributing to parched aquifers are now being desperately sandbagged, as the greedy stupidity of building on flood plains is lapping against the public conscience. As a trivial aside, it also makes for bloody awful mountain biking as a bunch of 24 hour walking races have graphically demonstrated this year.

Floods September 08Floods September 08

Today we have too much water in the ground, and a surfeit on top as well. 50mm of fast rain finds no space in the geological inn, and instead squats in river form on what used to be roads. With typical British planning, half the population refuses to leave the house, while a significant proportion of the remainder are washed downriver. Not me though, because – in line with a history of compensating a lack of talent with expensive equipment – the on roader of some softness was delivered in the middle of a period of extreme wet. I like to categorise this never ending rain using the simple term “summer

Which somewhat scuppered my plans of a detailed inspection, focussing on Internet here-say of potentially explosive parts. Instead a mechanically inclined friend braved the weather to pull, push and prod various parts while I made him a nice cup of tea. Because, clearly what he needed right then was a bit more liquid. I could have done with a proper drink tho, as we transferred a suitcase of electronic cash to a bloke I’ve never met.

We celebrated our own personal credit crunch by taking an old fashioned drive in the country. Which was by this time essentially underwater with steams of hill washed clay accelerating down any and every back road. I engaged 4WD, gripped the steering wheel tightly, and made sail for some unmapped region of Herefordshire tracks and abandoned tarmac. When the car is as wide as the road and the edges even higher, you know this is the fated time to meet 40 feet of lost lorry coming the other way. But the X-Trail ignored my rubbishness and ploughed up muddy steeps, surfed through sill height water, and splashed gloriously through fords edged by abandoned cars.

Floods September 08Floods September 08

I’d have been troubled significantly in the Honda. Especially if I’d wanted to sell it any time soon. Still that’s old news, the family has dismissed the loyal old retainer citing more space, bigger windows, easily scratched plastics (“Hey Dad, I’ve signed my name“) and the transient joy of the new. Even the pup loves it – no really I took his territory marking to signify his pleasure at yet another place he can piss with wild abandon.

Tomorrow I’m affixing a tow rope and a sign offering a five pound tow out service. Then for a laugh, I’m going to lobby my MP for a hosepipe ban.

4 thoughts on “As wet as an otter’s pocket?

  1. bruce

    God man you’re really hitting all the stereotypes!

    Move to the country, get a lab and a 4*4.

    Next you’ll be changing your bike; wait a minute, it must be a month since the last one – or have you done that without telling us this time?

    Before you start to imagine that you’ve now a Land Rover, just remember you’ve bought an on-road 4*4…

  2. dave

    all i can say is:

    camping
    north wales
    wet

    it’s like i parked my car in a river all over again. Only this time i threw everthing out into the river just to make doubly sure.

  3. Ian

    It’s when he turns up for a ride wearing a barbour jacket a flat cap and green wellies with a shotgun perched over forearm that we’ll know for sure he’s become a city man turned country lover..

    Re changing your bike Al, do you think the reason you’ve not ridden for a week has got anything to do with the fact you’ve not spent an african nations GDP on a new carbon something recently?

    Landrover make bikes you know 😉

  4. Alex

    Dave – I’d have just left it there 🙂

    I have spent a whole month buying nothing. I’ve booked myself in for some therapy. Still I haven’t actually ridden the bike since Scotland mainly because I’m not sure how well it’ll float.

    Am considering modifying wellies to take an SPD.

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