The wet weather continues and the fields and rivers around here are beginning to flood. Fortunately, being at the top of the hill has some benefits but I was talking to student today who moved into a new house in October and is just beginning to realise some of its short-comings! The cottages at the end of her garden are called Brook Cottages and she said that she thought she should have got a clue from that, although most of the time the 'brook' is just an overgrown ditch. It is now a lively stream and has flooded half of her garden, with water creeping up towards her house rapidly, creating a waterfall effect as comes over the fence. She decided she should get some sandbags and contacted the local council. They told her that they didn't have them and she would have to go to the environment agency. She phoned the environment agency and they said that yes they had them but they issued them to council and she would have to collect them from there. When she explained that the council had directed her to them they told her that she would have to go to the local garden centre and buy some sand and put it in bags herself! She said that they were really nice and empathetic on the phone and we agreed that they must have all been on some training that tells people how to deal with people in a crisis (but fails to mention that as well as being nice you actually have to do something!)
It reminded me of the time I bought a kitchen from IKEA and half of it didn't turn up. I phoned and got a very nice person the other end who said how awful it must be and yes how dreadful it was but when it actually came to sorting out the problem could do absolutely nothing! I was telling my friend who lives in Sweden and she laughed as she had received the same treatment there, so we agreed that it was an international conspiracy!