Thursday, December 07, 2006

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

I took the morning off from the restaurant, today, to attend a casting call for an ad campaign. I went to a studio in Old Street area of London. As I was spending a short time there, I drove to an area in Western London where I can park, then took the Underground to Old Street Station. It was raining when I left the house, but the rain had let up when I got into London. On my way back, when I got to the station near where I had parked, Earls Court, it was pouring rain, again. I took my handy folding umbrella out of my bag and walked to the nearest bus stop, about 50 yards from the station. As I had a Travelcard, I figured I would take the bus to where my car was parked, rather than walk in the rain, even though it was only one stop. I heard a clap of thunder and it was so windy, my umbrella was turned inside out. Thunder and lightning in December? That's a bit weird, isn't it?
Once I was inside my car and on my way out of London, I was listening to Vanessa Feltz on BBC radio. A caller to her show said he thought he'd just seen a tornado. I didn't pay a lot of attention, then, but later, I heard on the news that a tornado had struck northwest London. It wasn't as big as the tornados that strike the midwest of the United States, tossing around cows and cars. This one ripped off roof tiles and tossed stuff around a bit, although nothing as heavy as a car. A couple of homes had their roofs torn completely off and the wall of one house collapsed. BBC news reports that up to 150 homes had some degree of damage. The tornado struck at about 11AM, the same time I came out of Earls Court Station. Witnesses reported hearing a clap of thunder as the tornado struck. Was that the same thunder I heard? The tornado struck in northwest London, while I was only a few miles away, in west London. I would guess I was no more than ten miles away. That's a little close for comfort. Before this the closest I have been to a tornado was about 20 miles, when I was in Kansas City, back in 1996. Is it a coincidence that the musical, "Wicked," about the witches of Oz, is playing in London?


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