cataractae coeli apertae sunt

Well, that’s what it felt like. According to the BBC, some ludicrous quantity of rain, such as three-quarters of what you’d expect in the whole of November, fell in twelve hours. It was all very worrying: we were tipped off to the existence of a problem by a colleague who lives roughly in our direction and happened to be leaving Aberdeen at about 8, only to find that there was only one northwards-tending road still open. Of course the true hilarity of things is vastly increased by Sunday night. We did our best to find out what was going on but to very little effect. I rang the bus company at about quarter past eight this morning to be told that they simply didn’t know. Actually, a) south of Aberdeen copped it notably worse than we did, and b) a good deal of local efficiency swung into operation. There was a major culvert-clearing operation just a week or two back. When I went in on the bus this morning (which was no more than five minutes late) we passed vast amounts of water — the Turriff football pitch had become a vast, turbid lake, suggesting that the team would be well advised to take their snorkels, or possibly, to shift their interest to water-polo. The lowlying ground around Fyvie was like the Zuyder Zee. But no water was hanging about on the roads, or flooding across them. Competent engineering and adequate maintenance appeared to be part of the deal, which was rather encouraging. I remember an absolutely dreadful episode of flooding on the Aberdeen road a year or so after we moved here, a cascade across at 90 degrees to the direction of traffic, with a fifteen-foot drop on the lower side, but the risk was then recognised, and the subsequent re-engineering of the drainage was effective. The landscape looks rather bleak and strange, since all this rain fell on already waterlogged fields, but we seem to be coping. As far as purely local problems are concerned, the dam has held, and since we are half way up a large, if shallow, hill with well developed acquifers, we haven’t been much troubled, except by leaky roofs — we have wanted someone to sort out the flashing round an obsolete chimney for months, but since it has rained nearly all the time since we got back from holiday a couple of months ago, it hasn’t been possible to organise this.

6 Responses to “cataractae coeli apertae sunt”

  1. Jon Says:

    How disturbing. Has it drained now, or is everything simply waterlogged?

  2. Jill Says:

    Ah, the vagary of the weather gods. While you weathered the tempests, we here in the Far North enjoy unseasonably temperate days, as the sun slumps towards the horizon. Ice free walking and that means no fear of landing on ones gluteus maximus.

  3. Jane Says:

    Well, you are in the traditional position of the Blameless Hyperboreans, visited by the Sun God on his holidays.

  4. Jill Says:

    A lovely thought. However were not the Hyperboreans “Sons of God”? Where does this leave me?

  5. Jane Says:

    The Hyperboreans are the people who live behind the North Wind beyond the furthest streams of Ocean — since the Homeric Greek notion of the furthest streams of Ocean is probably the English Channel this seems fair enough.

  6. Jane Says:

    The lake at least has returned to its usual height — but the countryside is absolutely saturated-looking. Wellies, if not actually waders, required.

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