It’s pretty hard to summon up enthusiasm for the day, when it is dark at 10 am, and doesn’t get much brighter all day. This time of year, before the shortest day, must be like living close to the Arctic Circle, with its six months of night. You go to bed in the dark, wake up in the gloom, and tolerate increasingly reducing levels of light, until the dark returns.
This morning, we needed lights here by 11 am, and the day continued to be shrouded in a grey, depressing blanket of cloud. Mind you, compared to the north-west of this country, we have been fortunate. Cumbria experienced rainfall that broke all records, in just twenty-four hours. Houses flooded up to the first floor, emergency services rescuing stranded people all over, and a city of over 100,000 inhabitants returned to the Victorian age. Literally. Roads and bridges washed away, no rail service, no electricity, and just doughty people, making the best of their unenviable situation, three weeks before Christmas. And similar events occurred in southern Scotland.
Life has a way of making you appreciate your situation. Just when you are a bit fed up, because the light is absent, and with it, the will to do things, someone else gets it really bad; and you begin to realise that things are not so difficult after all; in fact, more than acceptable, considering the alternative. Looking at the TV news, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were seeing a scene from a deprived third-world country. But this is Britain, in 2015, unprepared for civil disaster, and finding it difficult to cope with the aftermath.
The ‘Blitz Spirit’ endures, and nobody really complains. In the UK, in the 21st century, this should never be allowed to happen, even if our weathermen and weatherwomen have been ‘surprised’, for the umpteenth time. I was sitting here, upset because it was dark and dull. People in Cumbria have lost everything, and are not complaining. I wish them well, and apologise for bemoaning my lot.