I’ve clocked up a few negative experiences in my lifetime. I have had homes burgled twice. I was in the building both times and on the second occasion I confronted the intruder whilst completely naked. I was in London for the 7/7 bombings and the riots. I’ve lost friends to car accidents and suicide. Whilst no one has yet been successful, several people have tried to mug me while I’m minding my own business on the sidewalk.
As writers we observe real life. We take those experiences, some first hand, some third, and use them; sometimes to entertain, sometimes to inform.
A few new experiences have been added over the past few days. The city I call home was placed into a State of Emergency by the local government. My building was subject to mandatory evacuation. No power. No clean water. No communication.
Mrs Pigfender and I escaped very lightly from the experience; others were nowhere near as fortunate. The flood waters that prompted the evacuation have destroyed homes. I have seen people covered in mud and foul water carrying load after load of once prized possessions to the side of the road as trash. I have seen the surfaces of roads broken up and destroyed by the force of water and train tracks buckled until they look like a rollercoaster.
I have watched neighbourhoods band together to help.
I have no doubt these experiences will make it into a piece of writing one day; another image of tragedy (like so many others we see on the news) added to the mixing pot of imagery to call upon. In the meantime, my thoughts and warm wishes are for those who weren’t as lucky as Mrs Pigfender and me in the recent Alberta floods. Stay safe.