I can’t say I’ve paid much attention to the weather recently, not since before Christmas in fact. Normally I would watch at least one forecast a day, a late evening one on the BBC news, just so I have some idea of the forecast for the following day, enabling me to make sure I have a coat, wrap up warm, or leave extra time to defrost the car in the morning if needed. Having spent so much time tucked away in one hospital or another over the last two months (without access to a tv… even when there has been one, I’ve been unable to watch it as it makes my daughter’s head hurt even more than it already does) all thoughts of weather, news and sports have very much gone out the window.
Granted, the odd paper here and there has helped me catch up with the news, and in particular the devastating flooding that is encompassing the country, but I can’t say I’ve had too much first hand experience of it. On the odd occasion when my wife and I have swapped children, and I’ve been at home from hospital over the weekend, yes, I’ve had an early evening drive back from Southampton to Salisbury through the pouring rain. And yes, on a couple of occasions I’ve had to whisk my sick daughter to our local hospital in the middle of the night, again in pouring rain. But I can’t say locally I’ve paid much attention, or seen any real sign of it. That is until yesterday, when I decided to go for a short walk on my own just to get some fresh air, something I’ve had precious little of over the past couple of months, and something you just take for granted until it’s not possible to enjoy.
Our family’s usual walk would be a short hop around to Elizabeth Gardens, and then a very scenic pad across the town path to the Old Mill at Harnham, nip across the park, down the main road and cut back through the Close, past the Cathedral, into town and back home.
While I wasn’t sure if I’d do all of this, I did start off as normal. What I found when I got to Elizabeth gardens was a complete surprise. Having lived in Salisbury since being a small child, I cannot remember anything quite like it. It looked like a collection of park benches had formed their own synchronised swimming team. Last year around Christmas, the rivers and town path were flooded, but nothing like this. This was absolutely amazing, and not really in a good way. You see all the pictures on the news of the Somerset levels, Dawlish and today the panic surround the Thames river, and while this isn’t even in the same league as all of that, it is still quite shocking.
And to top things off, just when I thought my walk couldn’t get any weirder, I was standing among a number of other people, all taking pictures, when a gentlemen appeared from out of nowhere, waded thigh deep through the flood water, and sat on one of the benches.
He then unfurled his newspaper, and sat pretending to read it. I say pretending, because after about sixty seconds, he folded up the paper, got to his feet, waved at the people watching, and wandered off… how bizarre!
So anyway, I just thought I would share my images of beautiful Salisbury, waist deep in flood water. My heart goes out to all of those in the aforementioned areas, and anyone else hit by the floods. I hope you all stay safe, and I hope as a country the rain stops soon, and the sun comes out for good.