We have extreme weather forecast, here, in the North. The worst storm since 1995 is predicted to peak at 2.00 am on Thursday. There is a shitload of stuff - galeforce winds, rain, blizzards and encroaching seas - a tidal surge. I wasn't here in 1995 but sat up all night through a really bad blow - 125 mph at times - in, I think, 2002, it was magnificently awful, we just had to sit it out.
The council has its flood teams out and is anticipating that one of the coastal towns will be seriously flooded, requiring evacuation. These times are a pain, I look around the courtyard and the near gardens, spotting, everywhere, hazards which could be uplifted and dashed through a window, humping them indoors, pots and trays and ornaments. I've been ill for months and let things go, a bit, well, I haven't, I've just been incapacitated by surgery and narcotised a lot of the time I haven't been near the big fuck-off truck since May, asked mrs i to go and fire it up in case we need to evacuate and the battery's flat. I have one of those brilliant new batterypack starter things, you know, the ones garages have, but even now the wind is blowing too strongly to lift the bonnet, the Citroen's in dock for a belt change and all we have in which to flee, if necessary - mrs i, Harris and I - is the Smartcar, not much room for survival stuff.
I don't anticipate that the sea will reach us, it is close, a hundred and fifty metres, maybe, most of it flat but there is a step-up of a metre or two to the house, so we should be alright, I mean, that's why the Vikings and then the Christians built here, we may well get some spray and some seaweed, the bottom garden may be swamped and the newly-planted thousand daffodil meadow destroyed, floated away, to Norway. There is a ten-foot, metre-thick dry stone wall around the bottom garden. but I doubt that it's tidal-surge-proof.
This is a double gabled house with a valley in the roof, the wind seems to find it's way through and around and over and the most that happens, usually, is that we lose a couple of slates, but if the roof goes, that's it, job done, the house'll be wrecked. We lost a conservatory in the last big one and if this one is worse than that we may well lose both of them. It's not the conservatories, so much - conservatories, Christ, it sounds like a stately home, it's not - it's the contents, the one has tools and tools and tools and tools and tools, cupboards full to bursting with polishes, stains, waxes, glues, fillers, sandpapers, pins, nails, screws, on and on and on, all of it labelled and sorted and shelved and hung and drawered; potions and powders, gifted me by the oldboys when I was a newboy, weird litle tools, punches and clamps and things for bevelling. I don't know what I'd do if I lost that lot. It's not the money, it's just that it's, in a way, my lifetime's summit, that collection of doingstuff. I know that I can go and put my hand on nearly anything I might ever need; being a man who can Do Things came late to me and it is a status I treasure.
We might be flooded out, we might be blown down, everything lost; shouting at each other through sheets of rain or snow, like in the movies. The snow here, in blizzard, is amazing, hits you like a burst from an angel's Tommy gun, not lethal but painful, at a hundred miles an hour; getting in and out of the car can be nigh on impossible, you can't hardly shoulder the door open against the wind and once open, the wind, in an instant, will fold it backwards against the wing, or even rip it off.
There will be power cuts, outages as we now, all men of the techie world, call them, but we are well-, even over-prepared for them, in every respect save electricity, one of these days, one of these days, I must sort-out some back-up, off-grid electricity, submarine batteries or something, Forgive me, therefore, should I not respond to anyone kind enough to comment, normal service will be resumed. It starts to blow now, vast and thrumming, like God doing heavy breathing; angry rain and sleet enfilade the windows with rapid fire, concentrated volleys of Nature's chilly musketballs; hark, the herald demons sing.