Monday, July 23, 2007

England is breaking down

...apparently three times the average monthly rainfall for the whole of July fell in 24hrs on Friday. Large swathes of the country are still without drinking water, there are eight severe flood warnings in place today and the RAF has seen the largest emergency helicopter mobilisation since the War. London however is largely unaffected, apart from pockets by the Thames. It is 17 degrees tho and I have no warm clothes, well,not ones I wld choose to be seen in by my peers, having left Manhattan in 28 degree heat with a suitcase full of sundresses.

So, it only took seven hours to get to Bristol. (Parts of the track had been washed away, & embankments were crumbling). Which was better than the twelve hours it took A&A on the flooded M4 on Friday to drive the 2.5hrs journey. No swimming, but a lot of puddle hopping. (Fuck knows where my wellies are - I have some splendid purple Hunters, they wld have come in handy). There was one train an hour from London Paddington to Bristol(usually they run every 20 mins) and a queue (every other person seemed to be reading Harry Potter) for the Bristol train that snaked from the platform barrier all through the concourse, back through & round the Food Court, and then back into the concourse – which is where we joined it – and then stayed for the next 2.5hrs, with occasional forays to M&S for sustenance, the newsagents for papers, and Starfucks for hot drinks.

We eventually made the 1330hrs by sprinting down the platform, elbows out, pushing down any small children and grannies that were stupid enough to block our path. Highlight of the journey: the guard announcing that if we looked to our right (and could we please not all move to that side of the train simultaneously as it wld tip over), we wld see a completely black sky, and a tornado. As you do.