In fact, I’d say the closest encounter I’ve ever had with ‘natural disasters’ was either the time I lost my hat in Blackpool when a violent gust of wind blew it off (October 1998: never forgive, never forget), or whenever I’m at my Nan’s and it rains a lot and her driveway becomes flooded (far less euphemistic than it sounds) by about an inch and a half of water and as a result, we have to jeté out of the front door to the car.
Well, ok, there was ONE sort-of natural disaster that I experienced in 2008, and that’s when my little area of England was victim to a larger-than-normal-for-here earthquake (in fact, it was SO LARGE that Emily didn’t even know it had happened the next day when I told her about it all and she’d slept straight through it). I distinctly remember waking up to my bed banging against the wall and, upon not seeing a Catholic priest in the room (thinking they’d either a) be exorcising me or b) be the cause of my bed banging against the wall as I’m in a state of drowsiness), I pretty quickly assumed there was a quake.
Of course, here you have to substitute the word “disaster” for “mild teacup-rattling inconvenience”, despite the fact that the Burton Mail went with a front-page story of an elderly woman who’d had her pictures knocked off the wall by the violent rumbling. Still, this was a step up from one of their previous headlines atop a story about a Chinese takeaway in the area that had been involved in some dodgy goings on which read: “EGG FRIED LIES”.
As with all things in life, if you want the full force of anything lobbed at you then you need to head to the USA. Hurricanes are such a regular occurrence there that it’s not just detainees at Guantanamo who know what waterboarding is like (LOL SATIRE, my invitation to appear on Have I Got News For You in the post please (Paul’s team, obvs)); and they’re so used to them that they give them names, a 6-month work Visa, a star sign and a blood type. In fact, SOME of these people* (*lunatics) even go chasing after such weathers, and upon seeing a particularly badass tornado forming drive TOWARDS it with such haste that one group once ran over Toto. Dorothy was only JUST lucky.
Overall, I think the worst natural disaster to get caught up amongst (other than George Osborne) would be a heat wave. I’m bad enough with the two collective days of British summer that we get, let alone a month of 40 degrees Celsius sticking me to all leather furniture within a 50 metre radius. As for the frizz that would go on with my fringe? The sun can be a cruel and unforgiving sky-bitch.
As we head into December, the sun is going to be the last of the UK’s problems as I eagerly await the panic-laced news reports of how OMG THERE IS A LIGHT DUSTING OF SNOW IN SOME PLACES AND JESUS CHRIST THIS ROAD HASN’T EVEN BEEN GRITTED!!! EVERYONE, EAT YOUR YOUNG!!! As a Brit, I’d say we’re particularly good at two things out of a few: getting on with miserable weather, and having a rational sense of perspective. But my God, snow really flips our balance doesn’t it?! We just can’t handle it! Lines of traffic can be seen from space, trains spontaneously combust and BBC reporters are shoved into fields with microphones, tit-deep in the stuff. Hardly a natural ‘disaster’, but by how it’s reported you’d think the Pope had just morphed into a 90ft half-human half-lizard hybrid and had threatened to tear the world a new arsehole.
Seriously darlings, it’s just snow. It melts in the end. But if one snowball comes anywhere near to hitting me, I will be buying up TV airtime and BY GOD, you are all going to hear about it.