|Parthenocissus enriching wall in Dunham Park, Cheshire|
It's quite interesting to think about how the fish see this event. Think about it - one minute you're looking up at an admittedly dull sky, the next - it's as black as hell and you're bumping into each other, wondering how you're going to find the next worm. This must be similar to the situation faced by cavemen when an eclipse occurred, although they'd have the additional hazard of being trampled by disorientated dinosaurs trying to find their way home. Anyway, in the case of the fish, God (me) turned up and took the fence away to join the rest of the firewood. In the same way He (not me that time) moved the moon from in front of the sun so that the cavemen could look up wondrously before going away and inventing religion.
Religion was wonderful, because it provided the answer to everything: if there was a tragedy, for example, God was angry about the way we'd been going about something or other, and was therefore making us pay (for more information, apply to Ukip). And this leads you to think about what southerners had done that was wrong enough to bring the floods down on them. Apart from supporting Chelsea and seeing the north (anywhere beyond Watford Gap) as a wasteland occupied by savages, that is. Maybe there are a lot of bankers living down there?
Hearing about the floods in the south of England, where the rivers burst their banks and caused toilets to back up reminds me of childhood trips to Blackpool with my mum on a coach ('sharrers' we called them, which was short for 'charabanc'- something I didn't know at the time because we weren't posh). Swimming in the sea not far from a damn big sewage pipe inevitably led to the odd occasion when you'd reach out to cling on a floating log before realising it wasn't a log. It was then that you concluded there must be some very big people in Blackpool. This was before the days of the M6 motorway and the journey there would take getting on for half a day. Harold McMillan (remember Harry?) opened it in 1958, to huge excitement as the curtains drew back to reveal the brave new era of sweating it out in 10 mile jams while the kids murdered each other in the back seat. We all thought this was great but, as usual, the Southerners had to go one better by creating the biggest carpark in the world and calling it The M25. Maybe that's why they've got floods. It reminds me of the time Crocodile Dundee flourishes a massive hunting knife under a mugger's nose and says 'now this is a knife, son'. That's what southerners say about traffic jams on the M25.
Coming back to fences, it's worth looking at how wind works: a solid barrier offers a lot more resistance than does one which allows it to filter through (the Beagle would never have reached the Galapagos and we may still have been waiting for the theory of evolution if the sails had been full of holes). This is why professional nurseries use fencing materials which effectively diffuse the wind. If a solid barrier strong enough to withstand powerful gusts is used, the wind simply whips over the top and creates damaging turbulence on the other side. Brick walls have this disadvantage but balance it by absorbing heat from the sun and creating a warm microclimate by then releasing it slowly. Some of the old walled gardens had fireplaces built into thewalls and added to the natural heat of the sun by using a system of warming chimneys meandering through the structure. An example of this can be seen at Tatton Park, in Cheshire.
A hedge is often resorted to, as it has the advantage of allowing wind to permeate through, while still offering protection to plants on the other side. Even hedges have their down side though, because their roots can often out-compete plants growing at their base. This can be dealt with by regularly adding well rotted compost to the area at the same time as liberally sprinkling blood, fish and bone. However it is an ongoing task and you have to remain aware of the problem. For a more in-depth look at hedges, go to this link.
|Boring fence showing hard outlines|
|Fence with outlines softened by training Clematis tangutica on plastic netting|