Jul 13 2007

Old Traditions, New Skills

Shearing 

I wake abruptly at three o’clock to the sound of more rain beating on the window panes; more rain and still more rain. Will it never stop?  Nervously I look out of the window into the first shards of dawn light and watch a veil of water drifting sideways past the window. The wind howls, I watch the trees bending their knees in the half light. It’s July. Floods are swamping Britain. The biggest rescue operation since the Second World War, shouts the radio. Television pictures show towns and cities under water, houses destroyed, people staring uncomprehending at the wreckage of their homes, crops submerged, fields turned to lakes, herons fishing amongst the corn. Pea crops rot before harvester’s eyes as they wait for the deluge to ease. In the South West gentle rivers on the Moor are transformed into raging brown rapids. Sheep shorn for summer sun shudder coldly in the relentless tropical down pour. I climb anxiously back to bed and await morning.

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