We live in the east, not the far east, the middle east but the east of England – Norfolk to be exact.
East Norfolk in fact – if you demand additional exactitude, as I would.
It does not mean though, despite your preconceived ideas about East Anglia, that it doesn’t rain or flood.
Rain is fairly uncommon, but flooding is unavoidable, given Great Yarmouth’s geography.
The town perches precariously between the sea and the river Yare with the vast aqueous bulk of Breydon Water to its west to remind residents and visitors of its flood potential.
Only the natural flood barriers of chip stalls prevent its submersion.
Close one eye when crossing Breydon Bridge at dusk, look away from Asda and towards the Broads, and you can almost visualise a Venetian doppelgänger.
Okay, I’ll put the Merlot down now and get real.
Flooding – whether in Doncaster or Hull in 2007 – devastates and kills.
The events today in Sutton, Surrey where a month of rain fell in just one hour, is testimony to Britain’s unpredictable weather – further afield, Paris is further devastated by the Seine breaching its banks – not to 1910 standards but bad.
That’s enough zooming out for now, back to the parochial inverted binoculars of where we live.
We had our five minutes of fame recently (just 2 and a half years ago, I believe) with tidal surges in Gorleston, and attendant Sky news teams, only for Nelson Mandela to die inexpediently and take the limelight from our devastated beach.
So when we left the coast, we expected a sea change, so to speak.
The move to a suburb, 3 miles from the sea, back in March, was when I kissed a metaphorical goodbye to all things watery.
But I was a tad premature.
We were disconcerted to find, on exchange of contracts, that our new home is subject to surface flooding.
There’s often never a cloud or puddle in sight so this search fact alarmed me – for about two minutes.
I reckoned it was just a legal back-covering exercise, but I’ve closely watched the vicissitudes of the surface flooding dangers closely – I’m almost retired so I have time to observe life’s mundane minutiae, like the wheelie bin collection point or grass growing or paint drying.
Persimmon homes have done something very canny – or the council (do they exist now in this Multi Academy Trust age?) – or the Environment Agency – or our MP, Brandon Lewis?
I don’t know who did it but it works.
Dykes line the new relief road, ditches, fat furrows, whatever name you’d prefer.
Surface water seems to disperse into these drains from roads and they sit there rising and attracting my keen, self-employed eye daily, then they miraculously subside.
Is there a ditch fairy visiting at night?
Some council workers or Brandon Lewis pumping the water out?
The water is absorbed into the land and sates the earth’s crust.
Mundane blog, maybe, but it needed saying.