On Saturday it rained in Cornwall, rained like I’ve never seen it rain here before.
I’m lucky enough to live in an old house in the country, which is my dream life for most of the year. There are one or two drawbacks to this, the main one being that we are quite often prone to minor flash-flooding. It’s a costly irritation which has defied many attempts to remedy and generally leaves us feeling sad and disheartened.
On Saturday the field we sit at the bottom of had just soaked up the thawing snow when, in a very short space of time, enough rain fell to send a Wonka-esque chocolate river heading towards us. Nine hours of mopping up ensued.
We were blessed, if I can use that word in a secular sense, that we had a fantastic group of family and friends who dropped everything on a Saturday night to come to our aid, helping with the flow-stemming mopping, wringing out towels, making tea, not to mention working in the mud to try to find a way to stop the advance of the water. They came without being asked for the simple human reason that they recognised friends needed help, and I’m still trying to work out how I can ever thank them properly.
Much as I love to sit here and have a good bitch about those richer and more powerful than me, it’s good to have the occasional reminder of how great people really are. I was genuinely touched by the warmth of those wonderful people for whom nothing was too much trouble on Saturday night.
As we had a chance to draw breath on Sunday morning I picked up the paper and saw a front page headline about water shortages in quake-devastated Haiti, and it quickly put our temporary difficulties very much into perspective.