One inch away from evacuation…

Just came across this drawing from 2007 when Gloucester, the City where I lived at the time, was more than knee deep in water. None of this was drinking water, that was cut off. No water came from the taps but Biblical amounts came from the sky. June 2007 was we were told at the time, a once in 100 year event, when it rained, then it rained even more, then it turned on a pump in the sky and it deluged down on us. “Toys r Us” the huge local toyshop since washed away financially, opened it’s doors at one end to let the water out the other end. Drinking water was supplied in bottles brought in by lorries from as far away as Scotland. The local pumping station for our tap water had been overwhelmed by it’s own product coming from the sky. To get the water one only had to drive up to one of the car parks where the crates were stacked and volunteers would open the back door of your car and chuck in a few crates. All surprisingly efficient and friendly.

The local electricity pump station which had been built on one of the lowest areas of the City was also under threat from rising water. It is said that the whole area was one inch away from being cut off from power and there were plans to evacuate the entire population. Not sure if this was a folk tale or not. Where would we all have gone? Luckily this did not happen and after around 7 or 8 days we had water back from the taps, and we could all have a bath and tackle the pervading BO problem.

In true style the County Council commissioned a report. That’s when we learned of the 100 year event phrase. They also commissioned me to do some drawings to go with their report. Which was good for me! As a result the whole area was examined for flooding risk and remedial action taken to try and make sure that if this does happen again in 88 years, we will be well prepared. They’ll have all the data!

Plot poppy

I’ve had a plot, an allotment, for a while now and this year it’s had the benefit of a lot of neglect from me. Leaving it well alone has allowed a group of pink poppies to take over an area where I’d planted shallots. They look brilliant so thought I’d share this one with you. If I’d tried to grow them I’ve no doubt they would not have been as successful as they have been.

That’s Comfrey with the blue flower in the background. Someone told me once that it can be a bit of a thug invader, which it has proved to be but it keeps the bees happy.

Enjoy your Summer!

Celebrating the Severn.

Down to the River for a morning out in a part of Gloucestershire that’s not visited by coaches and tourists that much. It’s at the end of the Gloucester canal not far from Sharpness Docks which is where shipping wanting to get to Gloucester would, and still, use the canal to navigate up to Gloucester Docks.

At the small village of Purton, a number of old ships were beached by the side of the River to aid the fight against erosion of the banks by the tides.

I’ll write more on this in the next blogs, but for today, my friend Robin and I took some time down there to take pictures of the ships and to give his melodeon a run out in the fresh air. For those of a more musical bent than I he’s playing a Castagnari “Giordi” and it’s sometimes called a “diatonic accordion”.  So there!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Still life?

Pubs are disappearing at a rate of knots, and that comes as no surprise really when one things of the sea change in attitudes to drinking and even smoking.

In the ‘good old days’ pubs kept pies in glass cases and never seemed to have any sell by date. There was probably so much salt in them that they may well have been preserved for years. In years to come someone will dig out the site of an old pub and will find a glass case complete with pork pie. It will be examined and dissected by future archeologists and deemed to be fit for human consumtion as long as it is washed down with a beer of the same era. It will have on it the DNA of the landlady who put it there before the place was demolished to make way for a mobile phone shop, which has also now been demolished.

I found this drawing this afternoon when doing one of my periodic clearouts, which never really become clearouts because I can’t bring myself to clear out drawings. It was one of many, this one never got into the book, about “Some Missing Persons”, a book that my dear departed friend Gordon wrote about people and types that seem to be gradually disappearing. It was a good book but did not do as well as it deserved. Such is life. Perhaps someone will find a copy in many years to come and deem it to be the great work of truth that it is. They will then go out and celebrate with a “beer-style” beverage and a vegetable-style “pork pie” savoury, poor sods.

Which one?

3 years ago tomorrow this little chap was born with his brother, am not sure which one is which in this image of him with his Dad taken by me at the hopsital where they were re-potted to grow on a bit. They’ve grown more since. Happy Birthday boys for tomorrow.