As Britain once again received a deluge and large areas of the country were flooded, Sketty Methodist Church did the sensible thing and went away for the annual church camping weekend. One or two cried off, but most of those who booked, a group of around 30, turned up at Nicholaston Farm on Gowerwith their tents and a determination to have a good time.
I’ll be honest. I put off going on Friday for as long as possible, waiting for the phonecall from the fellow who organized the trip to tell me it was all off. I didn’t want to go. If I hadn’t been the minister of the church, I wouldn’t have. The weather prospects were grim and I was convinced we’d have a miserable time.
But I was wrong.
The weather was every bit as rotten as I’d anticipated. Worse, if anything. The field we camped in was like a quagmire. It rained consistently throughout the weekend, sometimes as hard as I’ve ever seen. We pitched in the rain, went to the beach in the rain, barbequed in the rain, played cricket in the rain. The mud was filthsome and despite all efforts it found its way into eveything. Not good.
But we had a fine time, all the same.
Of course, for some this was not a weekend for frollicking. As we packed up our stuff on Sunday afternoon, we couldn’t help but reflect that while we were taking our soggy possessions back to the dry security of our homes, thousands of others were seeing their property ruined by the floodwater. Who can say how long the damage that has been caused will take to repair, or how much it will cost? The villages of Bentley and Toll Bar in South Yorkshire may have dropped out of the media spotlight, but the last time I asked it was still not possible for buses to get through them, so badly damaged have the road surfaces been. And this has now been repeated. The waters of the Thames and the Severn are still rising. Many people are without electricity and, ironically, water.
There’s no fun in that.