I was diverted from my solitude by gale force winds. The magnificent bougainvillea that graces the front of the house, still bald from the last meteorological onslaught, lashed about like a cat o’ nine tails. The winter-weary palm finally surrendered to the elements and laden terracotta pots slow-danced across the terrace like cheap plastic fakes. Apparently, the wind gusted to 55 knots. I may be slightly familiar with knots vis-a-vis bondage but have no clue what this means maritime-wise. Since I was nearly blown off the patio trying to have a fag, I can claim with some confidence that 55 knots is very windy indeed.
It reminded me of the great storm of 1987, the worst since 1703, that hit southern England on the early morning of my birthday. It was the vicious tempest that killed 18 people, felled half the trees in the Home Counties and transformed Sevenoaks into Oneoak. I lived in Windsor at the time. I lay in my bed listening to the sound of Welsh slates sliding off my roof and smashing onto my neighbour’s BMW. Serves him right for parking outside my house.