I had forgotten how depressing rain can be. The kind that falls, straight down like a flat curl-free head of greasy, adolescent hair. Unremitting, continuous, surroundings become featureless, a grey mist that washes colour from the sky. The waterfall cascades angrily, audible from a hundred metres away. When the pool overflows it means that some fifteen centimetres has fallen rather rapidly. Lightning doesn’t just rumble, it bangs and clashes like angry warriors in battle, occasionally sparking spectacularly close, leaving a sulphurous, electric odour and clouds of steam.
This is not good. For electrical components in particular. Internet routers were not meant to be in such proximity to all that electromagnetic rage. Neither were telephones plus their fragile connecting wires, some of which are unsafely draped above ground, instead of being securely cocooned below the surface. Electrons, desperate to find the path of least resistance, envelop the wire. The jolt of energy caused the router to light up like a Roman candle and the phones to mutely expire.
Might as well be Scotland, plus a few degrees.
The Scots had their chance yesterday. The once in a generation opportunity to cut the three hundred year old umbilical, to slip their English moorings and leave the Sassenach behind. They almost did, at least some of them. But, they followed the money instead, led by the business strongholds of Edinburgh and Aberdeen. For the bankers, insurance companies and asset managers headquartered in Scotland, the risks of independence were large, obvious and manifold. They chose the last minute to speak out, leading the ace on the last hand with phrases like ‘capital flight’ which very probably swayed the floaters and delighted the Queen who might have had to get a passport to visit Balmoral. The Scots are still the unwilling janitors of a nuclear arsenal, they have lost an able First Minister who very sportingly stepped down after losing and still have little time for the Eton toffs in Westminster.