Saturday, November 10, 2007
Yesterday morning, I had the very strange experience of being 130 miles from home, watching the town where I live on the television. I was woken at 8.30am by a phone call from my mother, and through the bleariness, I caught the words 'tidal surge', 'Lowestoft' and 'on the telly now'. I then spent the couple of hours before I was due to catch my train back to the eye of the storm goggling at ferocious waves and News 24's Simon McCoy standing by the fountains that Bernie Clifton opened a couple of summers back. Mercifully, the surge missed high tide, averting disaster by about 20 centimetres, and McCoy's disappointment was almost tangible, as he desperately tried to whip up a very choppy sea into a major event. "Well, it's not as bad as forecast, but it's still pretty hairy down here," he gabbled breathlessly, before grabbing a local shopkeeper for an in-depth discussion of sandbagging. I've seen it as hairy as it was on a couple of occasions in the five years I've lived here, but those times there were no satellite trucks or damp reporters to put a frame around it. If a tree falls, etc. However, with environmental attitudes as they currently stand, we 're likely to see it getting a lot more hairy in future. News 24 may yet return to these shores.