The world feels a bit end of days at the moment with COVID-19, the catastrophic floods in Australia and the terrible war in Ukraine.
As I lie in bed tapping out this blog post, the rain continues to pelt relentlessly on my roof. My boss was hoping I’d come into the office today for the first time, but I’m thinking peak crazy weather event isn’t the moment to do it.
My last house sat in a one in 100 year flood zone, but I’m lucky to live on a hill these days. Things are pretty squelchy around me, but it’s nothing like the hell others are facing as rivers rise.
In the year I was born, The Great Flood of 1968 brought exceptionally heavy rain and thunderstorms to South East England and France. It’s been described as the severest inland flood experienced in the Home Counties during the last 100 years.
That same year saw the largest recorded flood in the Hastings River at Wauchope – it reached a peak level of 9.1 metres.
However, Lismore’s levee was breached earlier this week and the level of the Wilsons River rose to 14.37m – more than two metres higher than the previous benchmark set in 1954.
I really hope the rain stops soon and my heart goes out to everyone affected by the floods.
As for being born in 1968, it blows my mind a bit that I arrived in the world during the 60s … that seems sooooo long ago.
A lot happened in 1968, other than my birth and The Great Flood. It was quite trippy to do my research on it.
All these songs and movies I still love were released then. Some pretty shockingly bad stuff happened too.
It’s the weirdest juxtaposition of stuff that feels quite modern and things that seem incredibly ancient.
I mean, Mick Jagger is still bouncing around and he was putting out hit albums before I was born!
Here are a few 1968 high and low lights:
Jan 6: The Beatles’ album “Magical Mystery Tour” goes #1 & stays #1 for 8 weeks
Jan 21: The Battle of Khe Sanh – one of the most publicized and controversial battles of the Vietnam War – begins at the Khe Sanh Air Base
Feb 8: “Planet of the Apes” premieres in New York City
Mar 17: Sonya and Denis welcome their first child, Alana Maree
Apr 4: US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
Apr 29: “Hair” opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 1750 performances
May 25: Rolling Stones release “Jumping Jack Flash”
Jun 1: Simon & Garfunkel’s single “Mrs Robinson” from “The Graduate” hits #1
Jun 3: American radical feminist Valerie Solanas attempts to assassinate Andy Warhol by shooting him three times. She is later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and pleads guilty to “reckless assault with intent to harm”, serving a 3 year sentence.
Jun 5: Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan shoots Robert F. Kennedy three times, who dies the next day. and wounds 5 others at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California
Jul 6: Billie Jean King beats Judy Tegart 9-7, 7-5 to earn first ever prize money (£750) offered at Wimbledon
Aug 8: Republican convention in Miami Beach nominates Richard Nixon for president
Sep 18: “Funny Girl” biopic film based on life of Fanny Brice premieres, directed by William Wyler, starring Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif
Sep 28: Beatles’ “Hey Jude” single goes #1 and stays #1 for 9 weeks
September 30: Boeing introduces the first 747 “Jumbo Jet”
Oct 16: Americans Tommie Smith (gold 19.83 WR) and John Carlos (bronze) famously give the Black Power salute on the 200m medal podium during the Mexico City Olympics to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans
Nov 5: Republican candidate Richard Nixon is elected President of the United States, defeating Democrat candidate Hubert Humphrey and Independent candidate George Wallace
Nov 11: John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear nude on cover of “Two Virgins” album
Nov 22: 1st interracial TV kiss (Star Trek – Captain Kirk and Uhura)
Dec 3: NBC Elvis comeback special airs
Dec 23: Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders become the 1st men to orbit the Moon
I can’t quite believe I’m 54 in a few weeks. It sneaks up on you. You think you’ll be young forever and then bang it’s gone. Next year I’m allowed to live in over 55s developments and DD is eligible for a Seniors Card. How’s that for confronting?
And on that cheery note, it’s time for me to face another wet and wild day. Stay safe everyone.
Song of the day: Simon & Garfunkel “Mrs Robinson”