It seems supremely ironic that having used the metaphor of a road closure in the training workshop that I have run 20 times in the last couple of weeks, and included a quotation in one of yesterday’s sessions from Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, that today the village should look like this.
Of course after twenty-four hours in which a month’s worth of rain has fallen I wasn’t surprised to find water gathering at either end of Moor Lane. It always does when we get significant rainfall. What did surprise me though was the chaos that I encountered on my short (12 miles) journey to Birtley. Many scenes were reminiscent of the flash floods that I blogged about earlier in the year.
Major roads like the A19 and A1 were already suffering closures as I picked up traffic news in my car, and whilst I wasn’t aiming to use either of those, my route took me close to both, with the effect that I became embroiled in the melee of motorists desperately trying to find a better route. Nevertheless I crawled along, and having habitually left myself plenty of time, felt confident of making it to my destination for this morning’s training.
On my way I spied plenty of police activity, closing lanes and whole roads where the waters were impassable, but my luck held. Until I reached the outskirts of Birtley. Here I ground to a complete standstill, tantalisingly close to my destination, but nowhere to park and walk the rest of the way. Eventually after two and half hours, and my course abandoned I turned back and returned home.
On the plus side it gave me the chance to stop at the beach for a couple of images, where I met David. He told me about the sports field nearby that was heavily flooded and suggested it might make a better picture. I knew exactly where he meant (I’ve seen canoeing on that same field before!) but didn’t know that last year a new drainage system had been installed. Back to the drawing board I think!