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Ironic or Unlucky?

A friend who’d never visited our house rang me the other day to see if we’d been affected by the recent flooding nightmares.
We live in Gloucestershire; it’s one of the counties that’s been very badly hit.
I was touched by their concern and tried not to sound smug when replying ‘if we get flooded the next thing you’ll see is a big wooden ship with a giraffes head sticking out the top, we’re 800 feet above sea level.’
I was trying to be funny, okay, it’s debatable if I was successful. 
So we have been very lucky, we’ve had trees down in the storms and big puddles near us but it hasn’t flooded. We haven’t even had a power cut and that’s something we’re quite used to.
As everyone in the British Isles is aware, the rain has been brutal, endless and unprecedented
However we don’t have water. 
Well, that’s not quite true, we have a dribble coming out of the taps. It takes about 10 minutes to fill a kettle.
I have resorted to flushing our toilets by filling buckets from the big barrels that collect rainwater from our guttering. We can’t have showers and we can’t wash clothes.

It‘s due to a power failure at our local pumping station, the water authorities are ‘aware of the problem’ and we are all being patient. We don’t have 2 foot of water in our kitchens so I’m not complaining. 
But, we don’t have any water and it hasn’t rained this much in December and January in the British Isles since records began.
And when did records begin? Well, depends who you ask, but it’s either 1603 or 1729. I’m sure someone will correct me.
I couldn’t help thinking about Alanis Morrisette’s classic 1995 song ‘Ironic.’
So here’s the thing, is it ironic that after the heaviest and most persistent rain these beleaguered islands have ever experienced, we have no water, or is it just unlucky?
“It’s like ray eee aayn on your wedding day, it’s a free ride, when you’ve already paid.”
I remember the comedian Ed Byrne did a very funny if rather cruel deconstruction of the song a few years ago. It was fine when he did it in a comedy club, it was a little awkward when he reprised the routine as he introduced Alanis at a big concert in Dublin.
I laughed at Ed Byrne’s witty explanation of what irony is but I have a soft spot for Alanis, she’s a real musician who writes her own songs, plays her own instruments and has never met or had business dealings with Simon Cowell or a plethora of fake tan, tedious, utterly uncreative vacuum-beings that soil our collective cultural scene.
So I am going to go for unlucky. Isn’t it unlucky that after all that rain, we have no water.
If I was an increasingly ridiculous and marginalised anthropomorphic climate change denier who said 'well at least there isn't a drought any more, at least we have plenty of water.' and then my taps stopped working, that might be ironic.

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Reader Comments (3)

it is what it is ...reminds me of sailors at sea surrounded by water and unable to drink it

on the upside time flies things change..water returns

February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFritz

Hey Robert,

We just got the “new” season of Red Dwarf at our Seattle station and was wondering if you were going to be stateside any time soon. We’d love to set up some kind of event if so.

Last time you were here in Seattle your son was obsessed with skateboarding. Doubt that he still is, but just in case there are even more places that have popped up, all suitable for grievous bodily injury.



February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaula Nemzek

It's like the classic old story of having extremely wet months for the best part of a year, and then suddenly when we have a bit of sun there's a drought! Always makes me chuckle.

May 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJon

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