Many thanks to everyone asking if we were okay or had been affected by the flooding in Germany this week. The really serious floods were well to the north of us near Belgium, or over on the opposite side of the Black Forest to the east. That region is partly drained by the Neckar river, which flows north through Stuttgart, and this caused some disruption in the valley but the family live in an attic apartment on top of a hill 100m (320ft) above the river; if they are ever flooded, then everyone is in trouble.

I’m in the Upper Rhine Valley. This is a massive flood plain at this point, which is probably why most rivers look like the one above: dead straight with wide channels and high levees, and generous basins to catch excess water and release it slowly. Of course these all drain into the Rhine eventually, which is why places like Cologne were so seriously affected, but the most serious problem I had was getting wet and having to take the train to work, and finding the fire brigade pumping out the subway at the station.

River immediately after the rain.

Now the weather forecast has changed to “Warm and sunny” and we’re all being warned to use sun cream if we go out from tomorrow…