The 2001 flood

I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god – sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities – ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons, and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.

from Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
Flood water seen from our living room on 23 October 2001, after the water had started to go down
Our garden and our neighbours’ seen from an upstairs window
The entire lawn was submerged, and the water came within a few inches of entering the house. We piled books from the lower shelves onto the table in case it did.
More rain falling (I think this was later on the 23rd)
Ducks taking refuge from the strong midstream current (our lawn forming a relatively quiet backwater because the fence on the downstream side of our garden slowed the flow)

These are some photographs of our garden during the great Cambridge flood of 22nd-23rd October 2001. The water had already gone down somewhat by the time we took these pictures: we were too busy for the first few hours moving our possessions upstairs in case it came any higher.

This blog post is re-created from a web page that I made soon after the flood in 2001. I added the photo captions in 2021. I have back-dated the post to match the date the photos were taken.