Friday, 13 November 2009


Every year, about this time, I start looking contemplatively at the books in the big bookcase in our sitting room. 

How many of them will I read again?  Can I bear to part with those that I won't?  Where could they all go, other than in here?  Could any of my friends be trusted with them if they wanted to borrow any of them*?

Mostly on a day like today, though, I think "How quickly could I get most of those books upstairs and away from any floodwaters as they engulf the house?"  Obviously, the books get saved after the guitars are all stashed away in comfort.  Oh, and the amp. 

It's been like the End of the World today.  High winds and lashing rain, dark at 4pm (well, nearly), the whole house shaking as cold gusts force themselves down the chimney and up our trouser legs.  Brrrr.

I went into the kitchen earlier on, and looked out into the blackness of the back garden.  There was a brilliant white flash, and I thought perhaps Wiltshire's finest** had stuck a portable speed camera on the main road that I was seeing through the trees. 

I kept watching, and sure enough, a few moments later there was another flash.  And a cloud of smoke, or possibly steam, and a huge shower of white sparks.  Not from the main road, either.   At first I thought it was a firework.

"What on Earth are next door doing with fireworks in this weather?" I thought.  It was, after all, pissing with rain and blowing a gale.

I was mistaken.

The flashes and sparks were coming from the power lines stretching across to the wooden pole in next door's back garden.

I assume that a tree branch was smacking into the lines as the wind blew, making it short out.  That, or a line had broken and was snaking about wildly, shorting out on the ground.  The sodden, saturated, ground.

It's too dark to see from the house, and I am buggered if I am going out to take a closer look.  The weather out there is bad enough, but the possibility of being slammed full of a billion trillion volts of electricity is even less appealing.

I'll have a look tomorrow.  From a safe distance.

*Answer:  None.  I don't lend books.  Not after losing my entire collection of Leonard Cohen novels to a friend when I was at school.  It still rankles.



Mr London Street said...

He did only write two novels to be fair. And they're both back in print.

livesbythewoods said...

MLS, true. But that's not the point! My mate Kate borrowed them in 1982 and I never saw them again. Where's the justice in that? Why aren't the BBC making traumatic documentaries about the appalling damage done by book "borrowers"?

Kate, if you read this, get in touch please. Be lovely to catch up. Oh yes, and to get my books back.

@eloh said...

Many many years ago I had a "friend" that would come over unannounced... and take what ever (borrow) struck her fancy, books tapes etc. I never saw any of it again.

It caused me to put a different lock on the inside of my door and take off the lace the hopes of stashing my new books and such before she got into the didn't work.

Being polite is a curse in the company of those with no manners.

That storm sounds like great sleeping weather.

Spen said...

I was in Hastings yesterday and the sea was really really pissed off. It was amazing to watch at lunchtime from the warmth of an Italian restaurant with the rain gushing sideways with the force of water cannons.

On the book thing. I would never part with any of my books, although I wonder why I have some of them....30 Hour Basic for the BBC Micro for example is on the shelf to my left here as I type....but the ones that I loaned and lost are never forgotten. *Sobs*

livesbythewoods said...

Eloh, that "friend" sounds like a charmer. I think I'd have started laying booby traps around the house for them, to be honest.

Spence, we delayed our trip up to Gloucester till Saturday morning as the weather was so fierce!

And you are probably one of the few people I would have trusted with one of my books, actually. But that's only because I know you'd look after it.

Dan. said...

My insomnia meant that I watched this storm brew up and it was quite bad (Well, here in Essex, anyway)

Was everyting OK in the end?