Well, it’s horrid outside, the weekend is turning out to be a complete wash out.  High winds, worse further north and into Scotland, non-stop rain, floods and storms.  With no reason to want to go out and get soaked within minutes I thought I’d work on my novel.  So, off to my lovely writing space I went.  I was sat there for most of the day, stopping for coffee and lunch.  I’m really pleased to have rattled off slightly over 40k words by the end of my session this afternoon.  Officially 10k still to write, but I’m aiming for 60k and I know I’ll get there.  I’ve been moving scenes around, new inspiration having obliged me to make a few changes to the basic plot.  Then I’ve had to go back and make a couple of tweaks and changes so that it all makes sense still.   At least, I think it makes sense, I’ll find out for sure when I start editing.

The weather today though isn’t as bad as it was earlier this week.   On Monday, in the town where I work, an 86 year old man died after his car somehow slewed off the road and into the river alongside.  This river runs right through the town, the road criss-crossing over bridges in a number of places as the river wends through.  I walked past the river in the morning, on my way to work, noting how much it had risen overnight.  That was nothing to later on in the day when I left work to drive home again.  Walking back to my car I had to walk alongside the river, the office overlooks it and I park my car further up river and on the other side, crossing a road bridge to get there.  I’ve never seen this river so high and so fast moving.  I didn’t know then that right at that moment the police were frantically looking for both car and driver only a little further down from where I was walking.  The town was congested with traffic and I knew something was up once I was on my way.  I passed the two police cars, with their blue lights flashing, parked up on main road on the way out of town which runs beside said river.  It was on the local news that night.  I doubt anyone expected to find the poor man alive, the river was moving far too fast for anyone to survive no matter how strong.  An 86 year old didn’t stand a chance.  Not that anyone knew who he was, where he lived or how old he was at that time.   Indeed, I’m not sure whether it was known whether the driver was male or female at that point.

On Tuesday morning I had to follow a detour into town, joining a long and very slow moving queue of traffic through a winding narrow country road never made for the amount of traffic that was moving along it that day.  The river flowed to the left of this road as we travelled along it.   Overhead a helicopter hovered, clearly the police had found something.  Further up, following the river all the way, and just past the official town boundary could clearly be seen the battered wreck of the car peeping out of the flowing water, the river level having fallen overnight.  The helicopter, I think, was monitoring the search for the poor man’s body which was announced ‘found’ just half an hour later.

In the summer the river is a joy to watch, indeed I posted an image of the river just a few weeks ago, the trees dressed in their beautiful autumnal colours.  I remember writing something about the view encompassing ‘perfect peace’.  That peace is illusory, the river in full spate is a killer.

3 thoughts on “Learning as I go and the deadly power of a river in full spate

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