A bit of rain never hurt Noah-body
For this week's column, I was torn over whether to offer a nuanced view of the psychological ramifications of the European debt crisis, an analysis of proposed House of Lords reforms, or maybe even an overview of Britain 12 months after the riots. But let's face it, the only thing anyone wants to talk about at the moment is the weather.
It was revealed this week that this has been the wettest summer since 1766 - I cannot begin to imagine how they got Wimbledon played that year. So I've been doing a little research into the prevailing weather conditions to assess just why so much rain has been falling over us during the past three months. The key, it seems, is in the cloud formations. Basically (and I will try not to be over-technical here), big clouds have gathered over British Isles since April (in March they were much smaller).
The clouds turn out to not have been merely big but also very wet. That moisture has been forced out of clouds and on to our heads in a process called "rain". It is this phenomenon that has swept away much of the midlands and north of England.
The Jews have an angle on this. Just look in the Bible. A chap called Noah was forced out of his three-bed semi a few thousand years ago, when a rather severe low pressure system brought what we would now describe as traditional bank holiday weather conditions to the Middle East. While everyone else stockpiled sandbags and stocked up on North Face gear, Noah built an ark, and filled it with friends, family, animals and a flask of chicken soup. It's just this ingenuity that we need now as parts of our nation disappear underwater for the third time this year.
I'm not suggesting that you all go out and build a boat just in case the next wave of rain is even more persistent than the last (although it may yet come to that). I'm merely saying that we need to be adaptable and to see the upside of a rainy summer. For example, we may have problems in this country, what with the downturn in the economy and increasing levels of unemployment but I can categorically state that no one in this country need go thirsty right now.
And no matter what the weather might do, the Olympics are bound to be a resounding success - well bits, anyway. There will still be sailing, rowing, canoeing and windsurfing. Certain events might have to be adapted - Usain Bolt will be appearing in the underwater 100 metre dash, Ryan Giggs in the water polo - but we got through the Blitz. We can handle being submerged under 10 feet of water.
Of course, the other thing that will cheer us up enormously is that the hosepipe bans have been rescinded. This means that people whose houses have been flooded by raw sewage can now legally hose down the floors, and keen gardeners will be able to water the grass - just as soon as water levels go down sufficiently to enable them to see the lawn.
But we do have the power to end the flood. All we need is for a government spokesperson to announce that the drought is officially over and you can be sure it will not rain again before Chanucah.