Liverpool Echo

Into each life a little rain must fall

New Brighton recently until work started on the patio … (Picture: James Maloney)

IF it’s raining as you read this then blame me.

We decided to have our patio re-laid, based on the endlessly sunny weather, but barely was the first flag up than the rains came down and now the garden looks like a WW1 battlefield.

To be fair, the break in the heatwave has been a relief given that I prefer to sleep with both legs under the duvet rather than the one-in-one-out affair we’ve all endured of late.

But, raining or not today, it would take a monsoon to solve our water problems and for the recently announced hosepipe ban not to come into force next month.

I know what you’re thinking. Why haven’t they stockpiled water? Why is it happening here in the all-too-rainy North West? And if only they fixed the damn leaks we may not be in this position.

Of course United Utilities will argue these things aren’t as straightforward as they seem. Leaks are hard to repair, they say, for all kinds of reasons – not least of which is because many are underground and therefore unseen.

And the North West isn’t half as rainy as we think it is.

The fact is, it’s not just the lack of rain that’s the problem. It’s the demand.

Paddling pools, long showers, watering parched plants – when it’s hot we all use more of the wet stuff.

You can rail against water companies as much as you like but the fact is we can all do our bit by not wasting water.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating failing to flush the loo or sharing a bath with your neighbour.

But how many of us leave the tap going when we brush our teeth? Or fill the kettle for just one brew?

Water is a precious commodity and we’re lucky to have it – clean and on demand.

Other parts of the world don’t have that privilege.

For the entirety of her very long reign we’ve been told the Queen is barred from making political statements. Pah! She might keep her gob shut but she lets her accessories do the talking.

How else to explain that brooch she wore – a personal gift from the Obamas – when greeting Donald Trump this week?

He will have been too ignorant to clock it of course but we heard you Ma’am. Loud and clear.

First published Liverpool Echo, 21 July 2018