The strong winds that uprooted hundreds of trees and blew roof tiles off also pushed thousands of satellite dishes and TV aerials out of alignment. When commuters came home from work after bravely ignoring the world around them, many were forced to borrow a ladder from next door in time for the news at 6pm where they could act as voyeurs of storm damage without risking talking to other people. Those unlucky enough to live on their own also sought the help of strangers to move large trees that had recently moved into their back gardens.
Sean, from Chelmsford, had to reclaim his parasol that blew into the garden five doors away. “I knew I might have to talk to the guys living either side of me to put our fences back up, but I didn’t expect to have to go that far. I didn’t even know what the guys at number 25 looked like until last night.” As soon as Sean retrieved his parasol and exchanged empty promises of inviting them under it for a barbecue he went back on to Facebook to post snarky comments about how a transport system that generally sees nothing more than rain can’t cope with weather that occurs once a generation. His status read: “WTF. Trust the British rail network to not be prepared for a few tonnes of wood strewn across their rails. Get some fucking leafblowers TfL!!!”