America is being a tad too generous with its ex-hurricanes at the moment. So far we've had the tail-end of Irene (gales, rain); Katia is expected on Sunday night (more gales); and Lee is hovering in the wings and looking far too likely to cruise across the Atlantic in the other storms' wake.
This is Not Good if you're about to put your house up for sale. We're eyeing the nearby trees nervously and wondering if they're going to chuck nasty big branches all over the garden, or even worse, topple over on the roof. It's a nerve-wracking time.
The rain, on the other hand, is welcome. We heard on the local news last week that this summer has been the driest in the West Midlands since the long hot summer of 1976. Pretty much everywhere else has had a damp and depressing summer but every time it rained somewhere else, Birmingham missed it. The end result is a garden that looks as thought someone poisoned it, since so many plants are either losing their leaves to conserve moisture, or dying. We've been watering but there's only so much you can do with a hosepipe; what we really need is several days of good, heavy, non-stop rain.
Perhaps we need those hurricanes after all...