Friday, 5 November 2010

Rain, Rain, Sunderland Women, Father Christmas And More Rain

The reports on CFM Radio, the local Carlisle station, became progressively more nervous as the day went on. "I'd just like to remind you that it is almost a year to the day that the last terrible floods happened."

The rain worsened.

Reports came through of a woman having to be rescued from her car at the unfortunately named Paddle School, somewhere near Cockermouth. Keswick seemed in danger of flooding. Other warnings throughout the county were in force.

I looked out of the bus window. The coach park was filling up with water. In one corner, wretched council workers were putting the finishing touches to the bonfire for the firework spectacular. In another corner a procession of learner drivers and their instructors were hopelessly performing reverse manoeuvres through steamed up windows in the empty parking bays.

As if that wasn't enough a bus load of students from Sunderland drove into the coach park in flying wash of spray. They were on their way back from New Lanark and wanted a refreshment stop at the shops. "I know I'm a long way from the shops," he wailed, "but I was arrested the last time I came here. A policeman did me for unloading and stopping in a bus stop. Must have caught him on an off day."

At that moment to cap a truly bizarre day, there was the clip clopping sound of several horses. A carriage and four horses was driven into the coach park. They were black horses and the carriage looked demonic, similar to something out of a Hammer House Of Horror film. The coachman was invisible with his face buried deep within his black cape. Everything was glistening in the rain.

As the coach past, a dim light could be seen lighting up the passenger in the carriage. Silhouetted against the interior was a figure with excessive beard and floppy hat. It was Father Christmas, of course. He must have been on his way to open a store, turn on some lights or some other commercial venture. How the organisers would have been horrified if they had seen him driving through the coach park and being mistaken for a dark knight.

It is pleasing to know, as I write this, that there are only 49 Days 11 Hours 55 Minutes and 36 Seconds until Christmas.

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