Saturday, 28 April 2012

A gentle moan to protect our green and pleasant land

They keep on telling us here that there's a drought. Tell that to my boots. Yesterday I managed to escape the confines of four walls and a tv and headed out to the Heath in the hope that I might manage to expend some energy. Leaden grey skies, gale force winds and an ominous prediction of yet more rain. I walked onto the Heath for probably about three hundred metres and then the heavens opened. Once more I was drenched. I cut short the walk, not jealous of the dog walkers with their heavy winter anoraks and their wellies and umbrellas following doggy footprints. Difficult to see the footprints, depleted as they were by mud and squelch.

I made my way back towards the Village and coffee. Rain gushed from overloaded drainpipes onto the streets, causing mini-rivers that gurgled onto the roads and into flooded gutters. It made sense to avoid them, otherwise my boots would have been drowned. As it was, the rain teemed down onto me, soaking my all-weather coat and my hood, pulled down over my eyes so that I was almost blinded, hardly shielded me from the onslaught. The hosepipe ban remains. It has rarely stopped raining for the three weeks that I have been back here. Where's it all going? Why is there no plan in place to retain what is a natural phenomenon in spring time: rain?

I have a moan. 'Oh, no.' I hear you murmering. 'Not another one!' But yes. When is this country going to move into the twenty-first century? Why can't any government put into effect legislation that actually saves water, much in the way that some other countries do, instead of manifestly enabling the water companies to waste so much? Our fount-of-all-knowledge, the village newsagent, he who knows everything that happens in the locale, takes note of all water leaks and then informs the local authority. The last broken pipe endured for weeks and it was only because of Mr. Fount's continual phone calls that the council did something about it. However, this retarded action was only after unaccountable thousands of gallons of water dispersing among the rats and foxes and sewers of London. What a prodigious waste of a natural resource that we the populace are told to preserve but that the elected government does nothing to protect.

So I'm sitting here, looking outside and the rain continues unabated. The sky is deep winter grey and huge great drops soak the decking that we should be sitting upon in garden chairs and drinking spring cocktails and eating salad. Oh, to be in England now that spring is here!

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