So, this weather – what do you make of it, eh? Bad, isn’t it?
Anyone else experienced a moment of déjà vu, there? If not, then you didn’t read my column last week – what are you playing at? Do I really have to come to your home, sit you down and read it to you myself, like some sort of Jackanory bedtime hostage situation; because I will? Anyway, last week I discussed how weather was a good topic to start a conversation with. Of course this was before the heaven’s opened and Mother Nature saw fit to drench the region in an amount of water so large, even Nemo would feel overwhelmed. It was astonishing. It was in a different class to other weather – it was prime time Channel 5 documentary type weather. You know, the sort of documentary that shows people fleeing homes and abandoning their cars, the type narrated by a solemn-sounding Richard Madeley, usually called something like; ‘The Day the Weather Drowned Everyone Alive’. It was that sort of weather.
I was getting a lift home from a friend when it first started. We had no idea that a harmless drive would have ended up like a scene from Titanic – one where the boat is sinking, obviously. Not the bit where Kate Winslet’s in the nip and Leo’s playing with his crayons. Like Jacques Cousteau in a cul de sac, we wound our way through Gateshead and were greeted by the sight of wheelie bins making a break for freedom, traffic cones bobbing around like triangular gold fish and most traffic at a standstill. At one point, I’m pretty sure I saw a bus hitch up its bumper to try cross a puddle. It seems that anyone who was anyone was caught in the downpour. It was a bit like a precipitation-based JFK moment – you knew where you were when the lighting hit the TyneBridge. I can’t speak for you but I was wringing the excess fluid out of your espadrilles at the time.
Since the occurrence, which we will hence refer to as the ‘plague of water’ (it sounds more impressive than ‘that time when we had lots of rain’); conversations were about nothing other than the weather – it was the hot topic of the moment for the following few days. The only subject that has had this much coverage recently is 50 Shades of Grey but it’s not like you can bring that up over a vanilla latte or on the Metro. Not that I’ve read it you understand. I’ve still haven’t got past the first few chapters of Harry Potter because the emotion is too overpowering, so I don’t think I’d cope with this. What? Harry Potter is heart breaking; he lives under the stairs at his Uncle’s house – that’s chronic child neglect if ever I’ve seen it. Don’t even get me started on Roald Dahl’s Matilda.
It safe to say; I certainly wasn’t devoid of chit-chat fodder, all you had to do was mention it and that would be it – people would be re-living the events, showing you YouTube videos of the storm – the lot. One person even started to show me it through the medium of dance but It’s Raining Men wasn’t really the right choice of song and the leather hot pants were just confusing.
Even though a week has past, it hasn’t diminished the subject as a conversation piece. It will still be relevant for weeks, eventually passing through to folklore. The stories will be subjected to endless retellings – the hailstones reaching biblical sizes, songs will be written about the time someone aquaplaned on the A1, and forever the day will be known as Grey Thursday. We will never forget it. We’ll certainly remember it when the Channel 5 documentary comes out.