Exactly three years ago we had a terrible storm in the village where I come from. It was one of those storms that everyone knew was coming for a week, and it was talked about incessantly between neighbors, friends and fellow villagers. You couldn’t visit the shop without talk of the storm ‘apparently it is going to be the worst storm we have seen for twenty years’ were the words on everyone’s lips, and the Met Office (weather people in the UK) issued a weather warning.
It started off slow, with a little light drizzle and by about five in the evening me and my sister were staring wide eyed out of the window as the trees and bushes bent in half in the heavy gale and torrential rain slashed against everything. Tucked up in the warmth of the house we watched as next doors bin blew nosily down the street and the cars crawled along the road.
I decided it would be best to cancel my planned meal with friends and made my way upstairs to retrieve the book I was reading in hope of snuggling up by the fire with a hot chocolate while the storm passed. It was then that disaster struck…a large crash reverberated through the house, and ice cold wind blew into every room bringing leaves and debris down the stairs. I screamed and rushed towards the source of the bang, my sister hot on my trail squealing in horror as rain splashed down onto her head. As I reached my bedroom it was LITERALLY MY WORST NIGHTMARE, a tree from the garden, which had been struck by lightning, had uprooted and crashed THROUGH THE ROOF and onto MY SHOE CLOSET. I stood there, stock still, just staring at it. What came next is a distinct blur to me I was in so much shock, but I do faintly remember being led away from the scene crying, shaking and mumbling incoherently.
The damage was bad. The tree had not only fallen onto my shoe closet, it had fallen directly onto my vintage shoe collection my most prized possessions. Some of the shoes in there dated back to the 1920’s and were highly valuable. I called my Dad (he’s a fireman) and asked him to send in his search and rescue team, time was running out if he didn’t hurry up we would be lucky to find any survivors.
Eleven pairs of shoes perished in the wreckage that night, some water damaged, others crushed mercilessly by branches. The only leading light in the disaster was my twelve pairs of Ugg boots which had somehow managed to cushion themselves around my most favourite Cavalli paint and leather Mary Jane’s (who survived by the way, they now live safely in my closet here in Dubai). From this day on I still shudder at the thought of how close I came to losing a pair of vintage 50’s stilettos, and in my eyes it was the worst storm I have ever seen. I would like to say that moving to Dubai has made me feel a lot safer but coincidentally I lost a rather nice pair of Juicy Couture flip flops during a sandstorm over here, but I’ll tell you that story another time.