In The Bleak Midwinter With apologies to Christina Rossetti In the bleak midwinter, sodden wind made moan, Hillsides started moving, as we had never known; Rain had fallen, rain on rain, rain on rain, In our wet midwinter, two weeks ago. Rivers started moving, o’er their banks they spilled, Drains and gutters useless, too quickly had they filled; Water levels rising, families under threat, Scenes from that weekend, too hard to forget. Christmas is upon us, that special time of year, Normally it brings, a special atmosphere; But this year some will wonder, how on earth to cope, Can we reassure them, offer them some hope? They haven’t been forgotten, we are all aware, Some offer assistance, others offer prayer; The Flood Appeal is bulging, there’s many helping hands. Repairing is important, but so are future plans. Cumbria will rebuild, of that we have no doubt, But we should do more, than simply drying out; “Let’s build flood defences”, seems a common theme, But longer term solutions, surely lie upstream. Managing the Uplands, from where the torrents flow, Could hold more water up there, or simply make it slow; Novel schemes whose outcomes, keep the towns from harm, And provide an income, for our neighbours on the farm. We have much to cherish, our landscape all around, Not only can it feed us, but our hearts it can astound; Friends of the Lake District, look forward to next year, Hoping that we all can, enjoy some Christmas cheer.