The Cruellest Month

"Oh, to be in England now that April's there," longed W Robert Browning in Home-Thoughts, From Abroad in 1845. Had he been writing last week, he might have been tempted to plagiarize T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land (1922):

"April is the cruellest month." Not for about 100 years had Britain witnessed such a miserable April, replete with buzzards, rainstorms and—finally—flooding.

Across much of the country, plunging temperatures brought record snowfalls and drifts as high as 15 ft. In some places, power cables were downed, vehicles were stalled, and hundreds of motorists were stranded—including a wedding party marooned for eleven hours aboard a bus...

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