Friday, 27 November 2009

What's ga'an on in Cumbria?

I just wanted to express my thanks to all those who got in touch to make sure I was Okay during the recent horrendous weather in my neck of the woods.

Other than a little wind damage to my garden, I got off very lightly when compared to many other people in my county. The floods were devestating: homes flooded, businesses destroyed, tourists staying away, and bridges collapsing were only a few of the headlines flashing around the world. Perhaps the most poignant story was that of PC Bill Barker who died in the act of saving a bus load of people on a collapsing bridge. I take my hat off to Bill, and say, 'Well done'. Bill is a true hero.

Following the wettest day on record, I got back to doing what authors do. I was writing again, watching stuff swooping past my windows carried on the high winds - but always had one ear on the TV playing behind me, listening to the unfolding of the tragedy around me. On Wednesday this week, I sought to escape the horrendous weather, and headed over the Pennines to the relative safety of York, to do a library event at Acomb library with top psychological crime author Sophie Hannah. Enroute the weather was absolutely atrocious, but I made it there. Then the weather caught up with me. Not as bad, but bad enough, and the rain lashed York like it had been in Cumbria for the past five days or so. On the return journey on Thursday things were almost as bad, but i made it home to some nice blue sky for a change. Yeah, right. it was still lashing down from the heavens. But I'm not complaining. I could return to my writing, but have to admit to thinking more than once about those in blue, green, brown and high-vis uniforms who are still out there still trying to do good for the people of Cumbria.

Someone asked me recently: 'Do you miss being in the police?'
I replied: 'Apart from the camaraderie, no. Not ONE bit.'
But I have to admit, when all was falling to pieces around me, I did get that urge to go and put my waterproofs on and go do my bit. The only thing that stopped me? I knew that I'd only be getting in someone else's way. So, I've realised, my place is now at this laptop. The good I can do for the people of Cumbria is to continue writing and try to give them something else to be proud of. Compared to Bill Barker's sacrifice, mine is only a very small thing indeed.


Lee Hughes said...

Had a thought whilst reading that. Don't worry it's not deep or philosophical. I was just wondering when the Joe Hunter jokes would appear like the Chuck Nortris ones. It was the talk of rain that fired it up, reminding me of the one about Chuck. Chuck Norris doesn't get wet, the water gets Chuck Norris'd

Maybe we should all put some effort into thinking up some Joe Hunter Facts. But no copying them from ChuckNorrisFacts.Com. Original ones.

Lee Hughes said...

Joe Hunter isn't afraid of the dark but Night-time is in talks with Mother Nature about cutting down its working hours, just in case.

Lee Hughes said...

Joe Hunter isn't allergic to things, things are allergic to him and self-purge out of respect.

Lee Hughes said...

Joe Hunter doesn't bruise, he just lets them show so you can see why you're getting an ass-kicking.

I really should be writing but this is more fun.

Col Bury said...


Hopefully the cooler weather will halt the rain and Cumbria can begin its recovery process.

My heart goes out to Bill Barker's family and friends, and to the Cumbrian community.


Ps. Lee, LOL.

Matt Hilton said...

Col, thanks for the kind words. You probably feel the same as i do about this issue.

Lee, I love them. keep them coming bud. Might add them to the old sidebar or something for a laugh.

Lee Hughes said...

Joe Hunter didn't lose his baby teeth. They left his mouth and made their own way under his pillow to help finance his lessons in kick-assery.

Lee Hughes said...

Joe hunter fell off his bike at age ten, you can still visit the damage to the road.

Joe Hunter remembers his first wet-dream. So does the pilot who had to perform an emergency landing after flying over Joe's house and losing a wing from the plane.

Lee Hughes said...

There was a mis-reported UFO sighting when Joe Hunter was seven. It was actually just his first encounter with a bully, he launched him and didn't have to hand over his Big Trak.

Lee Hughes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee Hughes said...

Joe Hunter joined the scouts but was only in it for a week after he learned they didn't do a badge in kick-assery. The door of the hall slamming as he left in disgust apparently woke Baden-Powell at which point Hunter figured him for the undead and killed him again.

Matt Hilton said...

Lee, you've obviously got too much time on your hands - but I love it.