Here, from my safe vantage point in Italy, I 've watched the news anxiously wondering how friends are managing to cope. Some of them have had to leave their homes for the second time in a very short period. Last time the centre of Keswick flooded it was over a year before all residents got back into their homes. It's easy to overlook the devastation this is going to cause in people's lives. In a few weeks time it will no longer be news, but the displaced residents will still be living in temporary accommodation and businesses may well be closed until Easter or beyond.
Many people no longer have insurance (we don't) and after this flood, those who do will find that it's been withdrawn. This is going to have a terrible effect on businesses like the one above. The book trade is difficult enough - many rely on Christmas as their big earner. Cockermouth was lucky to have one of the last independent bookshops in the county - a wonderful place to browse - author friendly and very pro-active in supporting book-related events. It made me very sad to see the picture above. Only one image to represent many, many altered lives.