Backchat struggled in to work on Monday despite the lack of trains, only to be called up by various TV stations for comments on the poor weather.

He was most alarmed to be told, when he turned up at the Stock Exchange's media centre for a satellite TV interview, that the first floor had been flooded when the technician arrived early that morning.

Backchat's imagination had run away with him again. The water hadn't been 30ft deep in the City of London – the wind had rattled the windows, which had damaged the air conditioning system and it had leaked onto the carpet. Phew!