Plumbing the depths of despair.

As if being pushed under a tube train in February and attacked in the street in November isn’t bad enough I’ve recently had the only item of value stolen from my new home recently.  With not much else that can go wrong and whilst I wait for the near certainty of being killed by a coronavirus infected terrorist, I have taken the opportunity to temporarily de-camp from my new little cottage as 200 years of water pipes and bathrooms are updated to something a little more 21st Century.

Batjhoom mess

The day previously there were an incredible 10 copper pipes here, it’s hope these can be reduce to two.

I find myself in a local hotel in the splendidly named Water Lane.  It’s called Water Lane because it stands near several waterways on what would have been called a flood plain.  It’s now thoroughly built upon and yet from time to time the council and others act shocked when it all gets flooded.  Surely the clue is in the name!

Anyway, whilst venturing out with my sore leg and sans stainless steel mens Gucci watch; I came across the wonderful sculpture which humorously pokes fun at the semi-regular floods in Water lane, Watford.

Water Lane Sculpture

Modern Sculpture of a man catching a fish in a net from his bedroom window.

The sculpture has a succinct information board as part of the display.

Water Lane Sculpture 2

You can get an idea of how prone to flooding this street was by the height of the current flood defences below.


Despite the high protective wall, the river still breaches the bank quite regularly.

Just a few minutes walk down stream it is easy to see just how the area used to flood.  February has seen over 200% of its average rainfall and it has almost been raining or with named storms every day since Halloween.  Despite it being a few days since the last rain, the river remains just a little below the height of the river bank and road bridge.


Whilst I wait out my renovation works; I’ve brought my computer to the hotel and hope to do a little writing.  I had two goals for the winter, one to finish writing my newest book and the second to go on my first holiday for 6 years.  Both have been foiled thus far by delays to moving house and a rampant virus epidemic.  Perhaps at least I can make some progress on one whilst temporarily avoiding the other as I am holed up on this water flood plain.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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6 Responses to Plumbing the depths of despair.

  1. Contractions of Fate says:

    So sorry to hear about the theft. Insurance is one thing, but items of personal, sentimental value can never be replaced, so I hope it wasn’t one of those.

    I misread one line as “Coronavirus-infected TOURIST!” But I see it’s terrorist. I get flu vaccines every year due to my underlying conditions, so I avoid people completely as this Covid-19 will probably finish me off! Not that it is necessarily more virulent, there’s just no vaccine as yet.

    Building towns on Flood plains… will they never learn? The only ones who seem to have that down pat are the Dutch!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I’m in the same boat; this winter has been the first since around 2003 that I’ve not had to seek urgent medical treatment for a flu like illness and since the 80’s without actually getting ill. I’m pretty sure Covid-19 will get me seeing as I have all these tourists and go on the tube every day. Here they are telling everyone to wash their hands all the time but if that works then surely very few would get infected as only idiots wouldn’t wash at every opportunity…. and so the outbreak would be contained. So if hand washing works it should be no big deal, if it doesn’t then they should be invoking much firmer laws. Anyway if my blog suddenly ends in the next month blame this wretched virus!


  2. padresteve says:

    Sorry to hear about that Stephen, some things by nature are irreplaceable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a low water point for everyone at the moment! I hope we all bob up for air very soon. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephen, you poor thing. So the old saying goes bad things happen in threes, but sometimes it’s possible to just have a bad run of shitty things happening. I really feel for you though. Be assured that when things get dark or challenging that better days are ahead


  5. Pingback: Coronavirus Diary 2 – Goodbyes but no good grub | Stephen Liddell

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