Monday, 9 April 2012

It's raining, it's pouring...

For the first time ever, due to the low levels of rainfall, there's a hose-pipe ban in the UK this early in the year. The summer isn't even here, yet we are already suffering from drought. For my non-UK followers the ban means that we are not allowed to use a hosepipe to water our gardens or wash cars (etc.). Also, fountains like Trafalgar Square in central London have been switched off to save water.

Trafalgar Square will be dry for the rest of the summer.
And since yesterday afternoon it's been raining in North London. I hate rainy days, yet I know it's good for the water levels in the country, so I shouldn't complain.

My thyme is already looking greener after the rain.
Whenever there are news items about drought, or flash floods for that matter, I think back to the excellent novel by Doris Lessing, Mara and Dan, which is set in a bleak future when the world has literally run out of water. The first chapters where the young Mara struggles to survive alone in an abandoned village in central Africa with skeletons of dead cows for company, are so harrowing, I've never since taken the luxury of having taps with running water for granted.

I saw Doris Lessing read from and talk about this novel years and years ago at Bath Festival, and I remember being struck by her comment that the book was basically an adventure story. It's typical of the Nobel Prize winning Doris Lessing that even in a tale that she said she wrote to entertain her son, there had to be a strong social message.

So I should wish you a happy rainy Easter Monday....


Telefinn said...

Helena, it should be pointed out that the hose-pipe ban is in place in only some parts of the UK, and it doesn't apply to buckets, watering cans, or other containers. So you can still wash your car or water your garden - just not with a hose-pipe.

PS; I don't mind rain. It's wind I hate.

Unknown said...

A good point, thank you Olli.


Rose said...

I've known hose pipe bans before when I was young- which was very sad when I wanted to go in the paddling pool! but I didn't live in London then and you don't feel the drought so much in London as you did when I was little in the country. It does seem mad that we haven't really had great weather and we have no water- but southern England is poorly provided for reservoir wise and we always borrow from the north so I'm told.

Anyway that is all boring- what is interesting is that though I do hate rain I do kind of miss it sometimes too- and it's very bookish... my perfect reading weather is pouring rain I must say.