Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 23 December 2016
I don't care if you are boring - just drive
It is set to be the warmest Christmas (here) for 100 years. A storm is blowing up which is big enough to be named - Barbara - but will miss the East of the country. It may cause flooding, which means you may have to rescue me from the Somerset Levels. I was hoping to be snowed in, but watered-in will do, just so long as I get there before it rises.
The old house of my friend is right up against one of the largest drain gullies on the Levels, and is the sort of house that children draw when they imagine the perfect home - front door in the middle, back door in the middle and evenly placed windows above.
One year, someone forgot to open a massive sluice-gate downstream (or it got blocked) and the water rose about two feet above kitchen-floor level. With ancient flagstones throughout the ground floor of the whole house, all they had to do was open the back and front doors to allow the river to quietly pass through and down to the road outside, then sweep up the mud after it had gone.
During the massive flooding of a couple of years ago, their house was just high enough to escape the water, but 100 yards up the road it was knee-deep.
A few yards in the other direction, there is a large and famous pub called 'The Sheppey'. People come from miles around to visit this place - Wells, Glastonbury, Street, etc. - and it is very popular.
To get to it, you have to drive across the Levels with deep ditches both sides of the straight and narrow lanes - no mean feat when you are drunk! I am sure that they bring tee-total drivers with them on dark nights. In these times, tee-totallers become very popular. They are usually shunned by Christian society any other time.