The BOF was in westerly parts this morning and had to leave the house at around 8 o' clock. There had been some unremarkable rain when he went to bed last night but nothing to be alarmed by. He slept soundly (perhaps because the preceding two nights had seen little opportunity for pillow-time) and so was unaware of what must have been happening.
As he set off down the valley, it became clear that there was an unusual quantity of water fighting for space. The narrow lane had become a torrent, dips in the road surface had become ponds, and everywhere little fountains spouted from the steep banks.
All in all, rather pretty. It's not unusual for conditions to be like this in the valley, with its network of springs feeding the meandering brook. Once back in clear radio reception, this view appeared a little wide of the newsgathering consensus. Apparently, this was an emergency, something close to a disaster.
Later, in Cheltenham Spa, he spied something out of the ordinary: a gentleman in gumboots came out of his front door, approached a blocked drain in the road and BEGAN TO CLEAR IT HIMSELF. No emergency services, no orange cones, no yellow tape, and, particularly, nobody moaning that 'They should do something about it.'
We do love weather in this country, but the attitude seems to have changed. Where once every household behaved like the Cheltenham Gentleman, we are now exhorted by voices on the radio and TV to stay at home, and to avoid travelling unless strictly necessary.
Come along now - it's just a spot of rain. Get your boots on, go and splash about in the puddles, and make deliberately unnecessary journeys. It's what winter weather is for.