It is ironic, is it not, that 3700 year old plans for an ark have emerged just as Britain is about to sink beneath the waves.
We’ve got this friend. He lives at Marlow, Marlow-on-Thames. And his house is to all intents and purposes dry; right until you look underneath the floorboards.
Lift a board and there it is, a churning maelstrom plotting to take over the house.
There’s a doctor’s surgery on the Thames, at the village where Kenneth Graham retired to – Pangbourne. It called The Boathouse Surgery, and it is right by the river, but they’ve thought of that. They’ve built it on stilts.
This is it usually:
And this was it when I went to photograph Pangbourne a week or so ago:
And though I have no pictures today, I’ll wager the water is higher now, and the boathouse is in danger of becoming a boat.
Which brings me to practical matters. Let us, fellow Englishman, take a look at the plans for the Ark which have recently emerged. This one is not like Noah’s; it is not tidy and clinker-constructed; the instructions which were on a tablet, brought to the British Museum by a member of the public, Douglas Simmonds, who had been gifted it for passing his exams man-years ago, were for a huge round pitch-and-skin coracle, two thirds as big as a football pitch, big enough to carry a whole community.
It strikes me this might come in quite handy. If the waters keep rising we’ll be going in by more than two by two, I can tell you. We’ll all be a seagoing nation once more, despite cuts to the Naval services. Travelling on huge curricles, bound for all those places we once made our home from home, thousands of miles away from Britain.
Alternatively, they could issue us all with straws, and we could sink beneath the waves in comparative safety, suffering very little more discomfort than we are at present.
The psychologists ask, don’t they: what’s the worst that can happen? Is it really that bad?
A few days ago we were marvelling that we had found 800,000 year old footprints, proof of the land bridge which once ran between Britain and the continent. I wonder if they ever asked the people who made the footprints the same question. The water came, and obliterated their way of life. sooner or later.
How long before Britannia rules the seabed?