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History was always my favourite subject at school and today I still like it. I like to read about it and I like to watch documentaries about it. You can't predict the future, but by knowing your history gives you a guiding hand in life.
In the U.K over the last two weeks we have had terrible ran fall in certain parts of England especially in an area called the Somerset levels, and the Thames estuary west of London.
The Somerset levels is a large area of flat land that is surrounded on three sides by higher ground with flowing rivers that run down into it, and the fourth side backs onto the sea. When it rains it's like various taps running into a bowl floating in a sink full of water. Any Englishmen who knows their history will know that Alfred the Great was the first King to unite various Saxon kingdoms in the fight against invading Vikings. This new union became known as England.
It didn't start well for him as he lost various battles, and he had to take refuge by hiding in the Somerset levels because then it was a large area of marshy bog land that was surrounded by water. It was very easy to defend and even harder to live in. Of course the area has been built over now and people who live there wonder why it floods so much when it rains. Then they need someone to blame and normally it's the government. If they had learnt their history they may not have been so keen to build homes there.
The other example I saw on the news last week was an piece when a television reporter interviewed a man who had only bought his first home the week before. He was now hopelessly trying to empty the house as it sat in five feet of water with a bucket. He would scoop some up walk across the road and dumped it back into the Thames river only ten meters away. Now the Thames has been flooding since the days when mankind first turned up on these shores and in them days the River Thames used to flow into the sea from my part of the world in Norfolk. I live 125 miles from London! Yes it has flooded and moved its way over all this distance. So if you had knowledge of this history you would expect to suffer the rage of the Thames especially if you lived only meters away on a part of its upper reaches that has no flood barriers or protection.
Four years ago when our family were looking to move home we visited a house on the river that flows through Thorpe St Andrew. It was nice with plenty of features including its own private mooring. Now this river floods every twenty five years causing major damage to local properties. As it hasn't flooded in the last twenty years it is due a big event within the next five years.
So did we buy the house? No we didn't. And why didn't we? Because I knew the history. Because I could see what was going to happen in the near future.
In the U.K ever home that is put up for sale has to have a property information pack which contains a lot of printed legal information, including a map on the flood risk of the area. So with a sheet of paper and a bit of history its amazing what light can be shone onto the future, and when the two come together in a book the power of the message is increased five fold.
Of the course the greatest history book of them all is the Bible!