Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Big One (17-3)

Saturday 4th of August 2012
Market Drayton

The morning was quite sunny and a few boats were on the move. I had a walk into Market Drayton to buy an umbrella. The old one had been caught by a sudden gust of wind while we were on the move and had quickly disappeared down the cut! I visited a couple of charity shops before finding a large green one for sale for just a couple of pounds. 

We decided it was a day for sitting still and enjoying a good read of the Kindle. It also gave us time to watch some of the sporting antics on television. A relaxing time as we tried to avoid the thunder storms that were predicted on the weather forecast. Do you remember "The day that the rains came down" a once popular Merle Haggard song. It could have been an anthem for us today. 

At lunch time, I returned back to the boat with my new-to-me umbrella. By this time the grumbles could be heard way off in the distance. The sky was starting to get darker. The fishermen were starting to prepare by putting up their umbrellas and drawing things that were scattered around on the bank side under cover. When it started, it came with a whisper tiny droplets, that grew in size and number. The sky looked ominous. Maybe we would only get a shower after all. That notion was dispelled a few moments later. The coming storm was heralded by a sudden flash, followed a couple of seconds later by the ear shattering crack of nearby lightening.

Then the strong gusting wind arrived, the precursor for all summer storms. As the sky grew evermore darker. Now, the pitter patter of the first rain drops had turned to a constant hiss. The rain was so heavy there was no space for rings to form on the waters surface. A second flash of lightning was followed by an almost instant explosion of thunder. The fishermen had all wisely placed their carbon fibre poles on the bank-side as a precaution. It now grew even darker still, the automatic lights on the moorings opposite started to illuminate.

The rain was now beating the water surface into a maelstrom. Water on Rosie's roof could not get through the side drains quick enough and a shallow pool of water was building up. Flash, bang and the thunder rolled and grumbled on and on into the distance.The TV set was now unable to get a signal. The last picture frame was frozen the screen. I disconnected the ariel and turned it off.

The rain was now so heavy, boats on the other side of the canal were shrouded in a grey mist. Their outlines now quite indistinct. The noise of the rain on Rosie's roof rivalled the thunder. We were getting the odd drip through the mushroom vents. Water was gushing through the side vents and over the roof sides into the canal. I caught sight of one duck who was perched on the top of a boat rudder and sheltering from the fury of the downpour under the back button. 

Against my advice, in the middle of all this watery mayhem, the Memsahib has just returned through the back doors. She had just nipped outside to the herb garden on Rosie's roof - to collect some coriander.

Off in the distance the sky was getting noticeably lighter. The noise of the rain was beginning to ease. Water continued to cascade off the roof for some time. The grass alongside Rosie had been flattened down. The towpath was flooded in places with large pools of water slowly draining into the canal. The rain noticeably eased back to heavy. The everyday sounds of life in Market Drayton could be heard once more. Cars who had come to a stop on the nearby road, started to move again. Now that their windscreen wipers could cope with the rain.

The fisherman started to call to each other and laugh that they had survived unscathed. It was now just normal rain, tight overlapping rings on the water surface could be seen. The wind had also fallen away. Now it was just the usual rain shower. The fishermen picked up their fishing poles. The sky grew lighter almost back to normal once more. Off in the distance there was a long low rumbling roll of thunder. Faces that had been watching the weather from nearby houses now faded away from their windows.

Only the drizzle remained and the weak smell of Ozone. The ducks came out from under the pontoons. The pair of swans and their Cygnets continued to swim along unconcerned. A pigeon in a nearby tree started that long monotonous coo-cooing. The sun came streaming through a gap in the clouds. 

The dog walkers were now back on the pristine scrub-washed towpath once more. Ready to leave those soft brown reminders of their passing.

I had to turn on the TV because the Kindle says it needs a recharge. So its back to watching the track and field events.  The memsahib arrives with lunch and our two dogs jockey for position just in case there are any food leftovers to be begged. A thought struck me, if we had set off at out usual time we would have been in the middle of doing the next flight of locks when the storm arrived! A most welcome near miss.

I wonder what the prediction is for tomorrows weather in Market Drayton - it seems its even more thunderstorms!

Daily Total
Miles: 0.0
Locks: 0
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 0.0

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 1038.5

Locks: 753
Swing / Lift Bridges: 119
Tunnels. 19
Pump Outs: 12
Engine Hours: 2312.3


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