There was I thinking 2014 looked set to be about as exciting as a pencil convention – indeed, the extent of my New Year’s celebrations was a text from my Dad at midnight. When, only 3 days in, a Great Flood did come upon the Island.
The story of The Great Flood involves Champagne, Fish n Chips and my refusal to have a TV Licence.
In this part of the world, not having a TV Licence means one of two things: You either watch television illegally or not at all. I choose the latter. The silver lining is: I am spared the constant barrage of advertising, drivel from TV presenters and the depressing realities of News Broadcasts. However, the one thing I do miss – having always been a fan of the predictive arts – is the Weather Forecast. Lucky for me, I live in a building – known locally as God’s Waiting Room (on account of the fact that the average age of the residents is 90) – filled with people who love to talk about the weather; so, I need only meet someone in the hall to receive a full report.
The morning of The Great Flood began like any other: I got up early to paint and then set off for work at the local Whisky Brokers. Although I didn’t meet anyone in the hallway that morning, someone was kind enough to leave the following forecast in the foyer.
Once at work, the flood warning was confirmed by my workmates (to protect their anonymity, let’s call them Daisy and Maisy). Daisy and Maisy are wonderful; indeed, my favourite thing about going to work is seeing them…well, that and having the odd tipple.
The flood was due to to make its appearance with the rising noonday tide; so Daisy, Maisy and myself – as the self-appointed Ramsey Flood Inspectorate – decided we’d take a stroll around the streets at that time. Also, having already decided to retreat to my place after work for champagne and fish n chips, we thought it would be a good opportunity to place our order at the local chippy.
So, just before 12pm, we donned our winter woollies, grabbed our cameras and headed out into the flood ravaged streets. I have to say it was all rather exciting. However, progress around the various sites was rather slow; not only because some streets were impassable, but also because Daisy, born and bred in Ramsey, knows everyone in town (indeed, if she doesn’t know them, it means they are not from here) and it is only polite to stop and have a wee chat.
To give you a better idea of the state of things, here are some Flood photos.
Having inspected all accessible areas, we decided we might do well to gain a higher perspective of the worst hit area. So we trotted off to the Mitre Hotel and Public House – for Flood Inspectorate duties of course.
The pub was full of regulars and mighty warm and, from the first floor windows, we were afforded an excellent view of the submerged Quay. I spoke to a nice lady about her travels and was reminded of how pleasant day-drinkers can be.
On turning to leave, Daisy informed Maisy and me and, as it happened, the entire pub, that we need look no further than the latter’s day-time drinking activities if we wanted to know where our hard-earned tax dollars were going. As cosy as the pub was, a speedy exit seemed to be in our best interest, so we hurried out.
On our way back to work we stopped off at the Chippy. The thought of hot fish and chips had kept us going all morning during our arduous Inspectorate duties, so, you can imagine our dismay when we arrived at the Chippy and found it closed – due to the flood knocking out its power supply. Though most inconvenient, we accepted our hardship with good grace, as one ought when faced with the calamities of a natural disaster.
Unfortunately, another calamity was awaiting us back at work. Our building, on the same electrical circuit as the chippy, was also without power. Naturally, we accepted this inconvenience with even more grace, being there was little we could do, in the way of work, without electricity.
So, with clearance from the Big Kahuna in England; Daisy, Maisy and me trotted off to my place for Champagne and – I suppose they were pretty good, but they weren’t no fish n chips – sandwiches.
A lovely time was had by all and, to this day, we all remember the Great Flood of 2014 with deep affection.