Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

"Extreme weather" and Baftas ...

Extreme weather continues, week after week .... not only here in the UK but now also in America, as so many states are under lots of snow .... 

It seems the UK has been wet since Christmas, with initially the west country area including Somerset and Dorset under lots of water, as the rain kept falling and the flood levels kept rising. Now though after a ferocious storm a few days ago, practically a hurricane, the whole Thames Valley area is submerged too - those expensive towns along the Thames like Datchet, Eton, Staines, right to Windsor and Maidenhead and Chertsey .... as per map above showing red flood warnings; endless news bulletins show sandbagging and the army (even the royal Princes doing their bit) drafted in to help out as the Prime Minister suddenly seems to have found the funds to pay for whatever is needed. It seems the Environment Agency had not dredged the rivers for years, to remove the build-up of silt. Who now though is going to want a riverside residence or move to a flood plain where all this could be a recurrening nightmare - suddenly these expensive properties may well be uninsurable and unsaleable ... Now the flooding has spread along the Severn towards Gloucester, and other towns like Winchester. (Above left: David Hockney's 'Rain On The Studio Window', 2009.)
The famous cobb at Lyme Regis, Dorset

In 1962 that great science fiction writer J G Ballard wrote one of his first novels "The Drowned World" seeing a time when the polar ice caps had melted causing rising flood levels after years rising temperatures  (Ballard lived at Shepperton, one of the now flooded areas). Is this global warming or climate change finally starting to take root? Nobody here has seen floods like these in over 50 years ... and the constant hurricanes and storms as the coast is battered. Its almost a DAY AFTER TOMORROW scenario ...
Flooding in Cork
The BBC only shows us the situation here in England, one has to turn to Sky News or the Irish RTE channel (on RTEplayer) to see what is happening elsewhere, as of course Ireland has been battered too - these atlantic storms hit the west coast of Ireland before they arrive here, and are probably even more ferocious. My second residence in Ireland, at Ballybunion in Country Kerry, on the cliffs above the town, is safe but bears the brunt of storms arriving from the west. Oh, to be there now, with a real fire in the grate, and seeing the sea from the upstairs windows ... The town has taken a battering, as per the photos, but so has Cork and Limerick, County Clare and further inland. 
Ballybunion usually

We are promised more to come, as even if it all stopped now, the rising rivers and flood levels will take ages to drain away.

Ballybunion high tides reaching the Rescue Centre
Meanwhile, we amuse ourself with other diversions. Its BAFTA weekend so the great and good will be arriving, no doubt for another wet night on the soggy red carpet with umbrellas to the fore. Will Cate triumph over Dame Judi (whom Harvey Weinstein has blamed for not being able to schmooze and promote PHILOMENA due to her recovery from knee surgery, and then having to return to India for her next film). Cate at any rate will do great red carpet as usual, and Dame Mirren gets her BAFTA Fellowship.
We are amused at the dismissive, terrible reviews for the new Clooney & Pals opus - even Cate comes a cropper here, as again history is re-written regarding the Second World War and art treasures.. Pity the poor actors having to talk it up on tv. Equally dire reviews for the new Nick Frost "comedy" ... how do they keep churning them out. Ever since seeing him naked in THE BOAT THAT ROCKED, a movie I hated so much I could not even bring myself to review it (it was though perceptive about disk jockeys in the Sixties and all that hanky panky they indulged in, which has seen some of them now hauled into court) anything with him is something I would wish to avoid. Sorry, Nick, but we feel the same about Simon Pegge. 
The damaged Resuce Centre afterwards. My 19 year old nephew was working as lifeguard there last summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment