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Friday 9th September 2005

I was working on a script with Jenny Éclair today. It’s for a stage show project which I am script editing. Luckily when she turned up at 10am I wasn’t bleary eyed and still playing poker (yes because I would have hated to have won two hundred thousand dollars), but was well rested and ready to start.
We made good progress, despite a horrible thunder storm flashing round the house and making us jump and were just wrapping things up at 4pm and Jenny went to use the downstairs bathroom. She shouted up to me in a panic – something about water. I thought perhaps she had done a good wee and wanted me to see the result. I swung round to go and see what the commotion was (knocking my laptop onto the floor in the process – happily it was not damaged). When I got downstairs water was gushing up out of my shower plug hole and the toilet and sink were also full of dirty water. Clearly the storm had caused this flooding, but there were some anxious moments as we tried to work out how to make the deluge stop. I got a bucket and started pouring water down the sink in my utility room, but thought that maybe this would mean it would just go back into whichever drain was already blocked. The water was still surging upwards at an alarming rate. I went into my cellar where I keep box upon box of programmes from previous stage shows. A little water had got in and some of the boxes were damp, but I lifted the rest out of harm’s way. We then thought that maybe a pipe had broken and looked for my stop cock unsuccessfully. Jenny rang her husband who is a proper man and who knows about this sort of thing and said it was likely that my drains were just backed up and couldn’t cope with the downpour – which I suppose was kind of obvious.
I then noticed that the water outside was up to the level of the cellar window and maybe about to pour in through there too. I donÂ’t think it is hyperbole to say that what I was experiencing was worse than the recent events in New Orleans. I had had about ten Talking Cock programmes (of the three thousand I have) badly wetted. Also I had put towel down and they were all soaked and covered in drain dirt. I didnÂ’t even moan or complain or go and live in Loftus Road stadium. I just got on with things. That is the British way, America. Watch and learn.
I started taking the buckets of water and emptying them in the road (if only more people had thought of this in New Orleans), still suspicious that that water might be routing itself into my cellar, but something had to be done.
Luckily the rain had stopped and the water started to drain away and rather than taking this as a warning that I should maybe get that drain looked at I will just content myself with the fact that I got away with my life and most of my programmes in tact.
It was an exciting interlude in my humdrum life and I think another warning about the dire effects of global warming.

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