Monday, July 23, 2007

Glug glug

Well, what can I say? A mini-monsoon descended on the south of England at the end of last week, and I'm sure we've all felt the effects.
Strangely, the worst delays to my journeys to work and back have been caused by the roads rather than the rails. My village sadly disappeared under water, as you can see. The picture on the left is courtesy of the BBC and local resident Phill Nederend, see more here. I've been leaving my car in Reading, which is lucky, as that's one of the only places the trains were still going to at the height of the flooding, so I was able to drive home, though I had to turn back several times as I tried to find a road into Pangbourne that wasn't under several feet of water.
The village is now once again passable, but now I have new worries. As the water flows down from the tributaries into the River Thames, there are new flood warnings. And where is my parking space in Reading, you may ask? Yes, it's at a friend's house right next to the river, near Caversham where the river is threatening to break its banks.
Strange times indeed. Should we start building an ark?


Richard said...

Left London Paddington and could only get as far as Didcot.

It took me 6 hours to get home, and I was a lucky begger who managed to share a taxi with 5 other Swindon-bound people.

Dave from "Star Cars" is a goddamn modern-day hero.

We drove through rivers, we went through every conceivable shortcut possible.
London cabbies have 'the knowledge', well, Dave Star Cars has 'the knowledge' for the Berkshire/Wiltshire area.

My hat is doffed to you sir!

Simon said...


Friday was interesting day at work (central Reading).

From 10:30 - 14:00 we had several months of rain. At 15:00 we where told to go home. Within minutes I was at Reading station with several hundred stranded passengers.

The staff, abandoned by FGW, tried to be helpful. Go home if local, try London routes or go to Basingstoke and try a connection there. All other routes where flooded.

Anyway, 5 1/2 hours later I was rescued from BTM (Bristol).

The highlight of this journey was experienced South West trains. Clean and tidy trains, train and platform loud speakers that worked, train and station staff that where helpful and friendly. The funniest part was the continual appologies for the overcrowding on the 6 carriage Basingstoke to Salisbury train. I have no idea what the train manager would said if he had experienced a FGW friday evening train!

Economy Klaus said...

Having been advised to change at Reading, I decided to brave it and go to Didcot, hoping that I might be able to get picked up by car. What a joke! Spent the next three hours trapped at Didcot. Never want to go there again. And frankly, most of the taxi drivers we tried to deal with were deeeply unhelpful.