The weather .... but then isn't everyone obsessed with this topic at the moment ?
We're off to Switzerland next week . In eager anticipation, I googled the worldwide weather prediction service. To my surprise , the tiny village where we're staying was actually listed. You're then given 5 little icons in a row which depict the kind of weather you can expect. These range from blinding sunshine to the " Sodom and Gomorrah end of the world' type scenario , represented by a violent thunderbolt and the deepest shade of grey. Guess what we can look forward to in our little alpine resort next week ? Rather typically the icon line-up for Tenby, from which we've just returned after a week of grey skies , had , rather tantalisingly, a line up of 5 smiling suns , taunting me like a fruit machine jackpot.
I spent the morning musing about past Holidays from Hell . There was the Isle of Wight near death experience when my youngest son's temperature rocketed to sky high danger levels on arrival. Husband , dispatched to find emergency water to re-hydrate him with, returned with a fluorescent Slush Puppy. This little drama unfolded on Ryde Seafront . We were surrounded by 1001 scooters, convening to celebrate their annual convention. The sound was reminiscent of a swarm of buzzing hornets. I could have happily swatted all or any of them as we battled our way along the esplanade in search of a chemist selling Calpol. Happy Days.
Then there was the Great Flood of 2004. Groping my way downstairs at 6am, having been awoken by my youngest son to go watch some cartoon dross on telly , I reached the penultimate step to find the carpet mysteriously floating on top of a brown sea of muddy water. The persistent rain of the previous 48 hours had finally burst the banks of the rain sodden garden and had swept into the cottage, bringing with it the contents of the neighbouring septic tanks by the smell of it. The contents of the cereal boxes in the floor level kitchen cabinets had emptied themselves and the kitchen resembled a giant bowl of effluent coco pops.
Carrying a child under each arm, I made it to the car which was perilously close to being engulfed by the lapping water and drove , or rather spluttered out of the driveway towards the the A1 and the relative safety of home, stopping only when my youngest wailed " I need a pooh" . Judging by the look on the policeman's face whose cop car I parked alongside at the services, he must have thought I was a new escapee from the local asylum. It was only then that I realised I was still dressed in a nighty and one flip flop having lost the other underwater in the drowned garden. This was further confirmed by the fact that I left the car engine running whilst parked up in the car park for fear of it never starting again if I switched it off. It's at times like those that you usually bump into your boss or your children's Head Teacher. Thankfully neither on this occassion.
I'd almost forgotten the Greek Heatwave from Hell in 1988 . But then that's enough scary stories for one day . I'll leave that for another time.