Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Flooding

I've received a few emails and instant messages about the flooding in Oxford and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to make sure I'm not floating down the Thames somewhere. Apparently Oxford was on The Today Show or Good Morning America. Fortunately for us, there hasn't been any flooding in the actual downtown Oxford area. Mostly people outside Oxford, on the countryside, are affected. Our Oxford Architecture professor informed us that it hadn't rained in the area this much since 1740. Unfortunately some of Central London was flooding, many of the bus and train lines were flooded out, and our planned trip to Bath had to be canceled. They also had to make the decision on where to reroute the river. Rather than sending the water towards historic buildings, they sent it towards people's homes, knowing that they would have insurance whereas history doesn't. It's interesting seeing the flood and I hope for the locals' sake that the rain subsides. Ironically, for you literary buffs out there, our Literary Makings of the Modern Self class has just finished George Eliot's Mill on the Floss.

While we haven't been directly affected by the floods, here are a few local views of places that are still fine after all this rainfall, as well as a few places that are struggling.

Oxford is built along the Thames with meadows and wetlands meant to take excess water. Look at that view from between the trees though. Truly amazing.

I suppose we can only hope for little rain so the situation doesn't become worse. For the most part though, we're keeping on with our daily activities and sticking a little closer to home since the flooding has affected some traveling.

Of course, I can't go long without talking about music. I formally declare that the United States is in desperate need of another British music invasion. American pop music tends to have a sad, gloomy, and depressive air. Think of Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" or The Fray's "Lips of an Angel." If you really listen, these songs are enough to send a bright mood into temporary gloomy depression. British pop, on the other hand, has a way of making you break out in a grin and start bouncing to the beat. One of my favorite UK artists right now is Just Jack. If he doesn't make you smile I don't know what will. So therefore, I've got Just Jack on endless repeat. Two of my favorite songs from his album Overtones can be played below:

Just Jack - "Stars in Their Eyes"

Just Jack - "Glory Days"