Let's be honest: we all love a good flood

There's a whole load of free fireworks knocking around in Primrose Hill, if you're interested, Camden Council having cancelled "Fireworks 2000", due to "localised flooding". And not just localised flooding, either, but also on health and safety grounds; furthermore, the event won't be rescheduled.

There's a whole load of free fireworks knocking around in Primrose Hill, if you're interested, Camden Council having cancelled "Fireworks 2000", due to "localised flooding". And not just localised flooding, either, but also on health and safety grounds; furthermore, the event won't be rescheduled.

This sounds like hokum to me. Primrose Hill being, by definition, a hill and therefore high up, I don't see how "localised flooding" comes into it. No, I think what really happened is, somebody just forgot to buy the fireworks.

I picture a couple of council employees sitting in an office somewhere. The junior assistant returns, exhausted, having trudged all over the Primrose Hill area, hunting for kindling. "So, where have you put the bangers and the sparklers?" asks the senior man. Blank look from junior. "I thought you were doing the fireworks?" Consternation. "Thank God for localised flooding," says the senior man. "Quick. Get down the art shop. Big sheet of white card, magic marker, I can feel a notice coming on."

And what's all this about "not rescheduling"? Am I expected to believe that the kindly councillors of Camden would break the hearts of all those Camden children by cancelling their magnificent display, then not putting it on when the weather improves? And what are they doing with all the fireworks? Are they to be stuffed into a shed somewhere, waiting for 5 November next year, or the actual Millennium, or a royal birth?

Or, chillingly, does Camden Council know something that we don't? Are we never to see a Bonfire Night ever again? Are we, in fact, looking at a Noah situation?

If so, hooray. A flood of biblical proportions would suit us fine. There is nothing the people of this country enjoy more than moaning about the weather. Unless, of course, it's moaning about the railways. Well now, look at the wonderful times in which we live. I bet your average commuter can't wait to get down to the station early and do some serious whining, while treading water.

And there's no exclusivity in the Blair Britain of today, you'll notice. Motorists are getting their share of serious subjects to bang on about, too. Have you any idea what the fuel crisis has done for the conversational skills of the average London cabby? These people are having the best days of their lives.

Of course, the situation is different in the rural community. Very different, and not funny either, having John Prescott standing in your back garden in his flash new waterproofs. It's all very well him calling for "the insurance industry to respond more quickly to the crisis". The statement might have been more impressive if he'd made it earlier, rather than when halfway up to his neck in the problem.

And why has Mr Blair cancelled a visit to Moscow to "survey the flood damage himself"? Doesn't he know what a big lot of water looks like? What does he intend to do? Go from house to house with a bucket? No. The answer is obvious. Like Mr Prescott, he just wants to put on some wellies, splash about and have a good time. Plus, he's always looked good in Gannex.

Me, I think it's an evolutionary thing. We left the sea and walked on to the land. It's obviously time for us to think about going back there. What we need to do is forget about the railways, open the canals, go to work by barge and have gill operations on the NHS.

In the meantime, floods are fun. Ask any child, what with school cancelled and having to sit on the roof till the fire brigade comes by in a boat. This is the life.

Not such fun for estate agents, though. Watch the price of those picturesque cottages adjoining a babbling brook plummet now. On the other hand, rubber dinghies and snorkels will rocket in value, so it's true what they say. Every cloud does have a silver lining.

Comments