I dreamed that we were castaways
Two turtles on a log
We were drifting off the coast of France
And listing sideways.
At times like these
You turn in on yourself.
The superstitious sailors of old
Refused to learn to swim
But there’s no need to drown today
Cause we’ve got lifeboats.
Where are the lifeboats?
There are no lifeboats.
There are no fucking lifeboats….
There’s a freak storm blowing in, in from the Arctic
There’s a freak storm blowing in, in from the Poles
I’ll be the last to leave the bridge
The last rat off your ship, England!
In dreams the skies are azure blue
The sea a mirror pond
Then you wake to howling wind and rain
Upon your roof tiles
It won’t be long
It won’t be very long
It won’t be very long now.
Â© T.Dolby (May 27th 2008)
There’s a woman in my village whose father ran the Three Mariners Inn, Slaughden, pictured here. As the North Sea gradually encroached and reclaimed the village, the pub was the last building left standing. At the end, she told me, she remembers the locals would sit with their tankards on high bar stools, watching as the occasional wave broke in through the front door and wash out the back.
Slaughden Village is gone now, and the only building remaining is the yacht club, which was rebuilt on stilts. Further up the coast is a place called Dunwich, which was once a busy market town with 17 churches. Now all that’s left are three sheds, one of which is a museum documenting Dunwich’s gradual disappearance.
A couple of millenia ago you could walk all the way from East Anglia to Holland, on mainland Europe. But that was at the tail end of the Ice Age, when much of the Northern Hemisphere’s water was still sucked up in glaciers.