Floods are in the news, and they are a serious matter, but this short blog post is mostly a flood-related story against myself, and is of little wider relevance or importance.
There’s a road near where I live which often used to be flooded. Some unblocking and ditch-building and various other bits of engineering have prevented floods from happening in recent years.
But one evening last week, when I was heading to a meeting on recycling (of all things) I saw the road was closed because of a new flood. I should have turned around, the detour wasn’t very far, but another car went on through the flood and so, I shrugged, and followed, and almost got all the way through but not quite…
The noise a car engine makes when it dies in a flood is a sad noise.
I had wellies, and managed to put them on inside the car, and was relieved to find that they just were tall enough to allow me to stand in the flood, push the car (uphill) a few yards out of the flood and into a safe place.
Now, as regular readers will recall, my car is not a new pair of wheels, it has 250,000+ miles on the clock, so it is possible that its end is near anyway, but I felt pretty foolish, sheepish and chastened as I sat turning the engine over with no result. This was not bold sensible behaviour.
I walked home, and in the morning walked back to give it another go – no joy. So I walked to the local garage and after pointing out the Peregrine on the church spire, told them what I had done.
There was quite a lot of sucking of teeth, blowing out of cheeks and looking at the ground which seemed to add up to ‘You’re a bit of a prat, but the customer can do no wrong’ and we went back and I got a tow back to the garage (great service!). As we hooked the tow rope up the Peregrine was circling over head – good view actually.
Their parting words were ‘You might be looking for a new car, sir’.
So I hired a car for a couple of weeks and then had a cup of tea in the garden (this is Friday morning). When I went back inside I looked out of the front window and noticed my car outside. The garage had brought it back after about 90 minutes. I sat in it. I turned the key. The engine hiccupped slightly but roared into life (well, roar is a bit of an exaggeration but not too much). It hadn’t died, I hadn’t killed it, my car is still alive.
Not much of a story really (I hope you were impressed by my attention to Peregrines in such a trying time) but the interesting thing really is that the flood was back. I suspect that the flood is back because there is a track built across a field. The track is built across the field because some houses are being built there. Now I have heard many locals say that building houses in that field is a recipe for floods. I think they are right. I hope that anyone looking to buy a new house there in the summer will be told about the possibility of floods in the winter.
Floods are a product of heavy rain, but heavy rain falling on some substrates will lead to more floods than heavy rain falling on other substrates.
Look up – there may be a Peregrine.