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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1st February 1953
The North Sea Flood
The 1953 North Sea flood (Known in England as "the East Coast Floods" and in the Netherlands and Belgium as "Watersnoodramp", literally "flood disaster") was a major flood caused by a heavy storm that occurred on the night of Saturday, 31 January 1953 and morning of Sunday, 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland.
A combination of a high spring tide and a very deep depression over the North Sea caused a storm tide; the combination of wind, high tide, and low pressure led to a water level of more than 5.6 metres (18.4 ft) above mean sea level in some locations. The flood and waves overwhelmed sea defences and caused extensive flooding. The Netherlands, a country with 20% of its territory below mean sea level and 50% less than 1 metre (3.3 ft) above sea level and which relies heavily on sea defences, was worst affected, recording 1,836 deaths and widespread property damage. Most of the casualties occurred in the southern province of Zeeland. In England, 307 people were killed in the counties of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Nineteen were killed in Scotland. Twenty-eight people were killed in West Flanders, Belgium.
Another more than 230 deaths occurred on water craft along Northern European coasts as well as on ships in deeper waters of the North Sea. The ferry MV Princess Victoria was lost at sea in the North Channel east of Belfast with 133 fatalities, and many fishing trawlers sank.
Realizing that such infrequent events could recur, the Netherlands particularly, and the United Kingdom carried out major studies on strengthening of coastal defences. The Netherlands developed the Delta Works, an extensive system of dams and storm surge barriers. The UK constructed storm surge barriers on the River Thames below London and on the River Hull where it meets the Humber estuary.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The Doctor's (under protest!)
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
I love all the modern utilities and conveniences of a city. It does however, come at a price, particularly CRIME. I am fortunate that I have not thus far been burgled, due to some precautions I've had installed to deter the opportunist, and partly luck. I did once (ten years ago?) have a "walk in theft" when all of us were in - an opportunist nabbed my mobile phone when the back door was unlocked. The back door has been permanently locked ever since, apart from forgetting a few times, and on those times I got away with it.
Some thefts were understandable - bikes and a wheelbarrow stolen from an insecure garage - now secure! The garden gate took me completely by surprise - I was warned it would happen due to the way the hinges were put in, but I didn't believe it! I never replaced the gate and the other gate is now chained!
The meanest most pointless theft was of my house number plate. An inexpensive ceramic affair, someone unscrewed it off the wall one night. I assume the thief lives at no.26 somewhere! The other number plate on the back door has remained unmolested. I have now after three years or so replaced the front number plate with a very nice brass one - once Storm Henry has passed, I will glue the screws with Araldite, making the screws hard to remove.
The destruction of my exterior light this last week was probably not the act of a vandal but rather Storm Gertrude. A fragile all-plastic affair, it did well for 25 years, and I fear its destruction is self-inflicted - this summer I cleaned the plastic sphere enclosing the bulb and may not have screwed it properly back into place. Gertrude subsequently blew it off its mount and shattered it - this however is only a theory that best fits the facts.
Yesterday I went shopping for a replacement and decided on a robust security light - AND BOUGHT THE WRONG ONE! I can't be too hard on myself as I have no experience in such matters. It requires a 2.5 metre height to work, and the fitting is only 1.6 metres up, but I only found this on the bumf INSIDE the box. My options are now:
1. Go replace it with a decorative one
2. Fit it myself anyway - it should still come on and illuminate things
3. Hire an electrician to fit it at the correct height.
On top of this unwanted hassle is a forced visit to the doctor's who won't prescribe more stomach medication until I take a blood test for liver function - I have better things to do with my life!
Of course, all these hassles need to be put in perspective - switch on the news any day and you'll see far more suffering than I have. I remain grateful, happy and at peace beneath the grumbles on the surface, and will simply respond to these challenges in the best way I can.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you responding in the right way to what you face?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Air Pressure: 1005 millibars and static
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
My cat just swatted my dog in the face for yawning loudly and it was then I knew they were married. :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Delanie Fischer on her disastrous sexual encounter
During a woman’s period, the opening of the cervix (Latin for “neck” or “nape of neck”) and uterus stretch slightly to allow the shedding of the endometrium. During this time, harmful sexually transmitted bacteria have easier access to the uterus, increasing the risk of serious pelvic infections. HIV is also more easily transmitted during a woman’s period.
9. ZEN WISDOM
A truly beautiful person is one who gratefully appreciates beauty